All through this week, Kathie Lee Gifford has been more emotional than usual, and no one can blame her. As she said to Hoda Kotb last week, “This is getting real,” referring to her impending April departure from “Today," that was announced in December. Her departure will be at around the same time she and Hoda Kotb honor 11 years of kismet and chemistry that rarely comes along in television broadcasting.

KLG and Hoda have shared life, from the joys of motherhood to the unspeakable grief of losing a loved one, never concealing their emotions.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Adding to the irrepressible tender moments necessitating new tissue boxes, this week, is Hoda’s release of her second children's book, “You Are My Happy,” again dedicated to and inspired by her beautiful daughter, Haley Joy, now a strident and adventurous toddler.

The message of the authentic tale is to treasure the simple times, such as exploring hiding places and looking at the colors of sunsets. The adoptive mom got one of the dearest reminders, of the love that any parent can receive, when Haley replied with her mother's own words to the question asked every night.

Kathie Lee Gifford is celebrating dear friends and springing surprise lunches in last weeks on Today. [Image source: TODAY-YouTube]
Kathie Lee Gifford is celebrating dear friends and springing surprise lunches in last weeks on Today. [Image source: TODAY-YouTube]

“Do you know what my favorite time is?” came the loving question. “Right now,” Haley replied, teaching her mom how much that reminder at every bedtime truly meant.

Kathie Lee Gifford couldn’t wait to show off Hoda Kotb on the cover of “Woman's World” this morning, March 7, but it was the senior host, with 55 years of spreading song, silliness, sass, and uplifting honesty, who became the subject of a beautiful memory. The cheery Gifford made some special memories with these special ladies who've been with her from the beginning.

Advertisement

A friend always remembers

Hoda praised, in a March 6 E! interview, that Kathie Lee had taught her more about trust and partnership than she had ever experienced within her previous career in journalism. “I trust her completely,” declared Kotb, “and when I look at her, I know she loves me.” Those authentic feelings have translated between the two from the start when they had no scripted prompts on Rockefeller Plaza. Kathie Lee Gifford has always followed her heart, instinct, and faith, and Hoda insists that she is “blocking out that day” of her morning partner’s last day until it happens.

Kathie Lee reminded Jenna Bush Hager that she's going to have the best partner in her career, too, sitting beside Kotb, starting in April. “She'll have your back because she's got your heart,” Gifford assured.

Someone else has given her heart to Kathie Lee Gifford years ago and declared her devotion to Hoda at a book signing.

She may be a senior citizen according to the federal government, but Kathie Lee Gifford never loses her memory for her dear friend.

Advertisement

The moment that Hoda mentioned “Gloria” who used to bake for her and Regis Philbin, Gifford instantly replied, “Gloria Ultrecht.” She remembered the luscious baked goods from her friend, and Hoda confessed to eating the ones she offered in a bag. Gloria’s more meaningful gift is coming by special delivery.

Very few luminaries in the celebrity orb take the time to remember names, much less the devotion of real friends and fans. Kathie Lee has taken notes on her heart through all the years, and a book of collected memories from Gloria is “on the way to your dressing room” as Hoda assured, and Gloria hopefully will be present on Kathie Lee's farewell “Today”

A surprise lunch

Gifford sprang her own surprise on a dozen or so longtime fans, some of whom remember her "from a Lysol commercial back in 1842,” the TV veteran teased.

Advertisement

The ladies all thought they were coming to record personal messages for their morning favorite until she emerged to make a toast with the group.

Doing that gesture several notches better, Gifford treated the whole group to a girls’ lunch at Michael's restaurant, where they dined on Dover sole, scallops, and wine.

Parting is indeed sweet sorrow, but with the fans and friends Gifford has accumulated over the years, there will always be hellos and warm hugs from someone, anywhere she goes.

Click to read more and watch the video