This Thursday morning, April 4, is not Kathie Lee Gifford’s last morning on “Today”-- at least not technically. Tomorrow morning marks her farewell broadcast as official co-host, and the NBC celebration will move from Studio 1A, where Gifford and Hoda Kotb have made their broadcast history, and be with a live audience to share the final adieu.

Kathie Lee marked the day in very special ways, from walking out into Rockefeller Plaza in the same bright yellow rain slicker that she wore on the day that Kotb first introduced her 11 years ago.

Hoda did her best to recreate her original look, too, with the same red dress touch, except that her attempt at creating bangs looked like “Cousin It” to quote Kathie Lee Gifford.

The sensational senior of show business made another early stop before her fourth-hour with Hoda Kotb and poured out her heart in her typical, tender fashion.

Third-hour reflections

A regal seat was brought in (by Jerry again—on camera) for Kathie Lee Gifford when she walked out to join her “Today” third-hour cohorts, Al Roker, Sheinelle Jones, Craig Melvin, and Dylan Dreyer, for some special reminiscing.

The soon-to-be Nashville resident quickly cleared up that she is not parting with her family home—noting that her grown kids would “get rid of me”—if the home of their childhood memories was put on the block. She is, however, very pleased with what she described as “a little doll house” in Music City, where much of her “next chapter” in life is focused.

The discussion of children prompted the mother to mention that while she was up in the wee hours, not getting much sleep this week, she was comforted to look down to the floor and find her son’s “huge shoes.” Cody is now taller than his famous football icon father, Frank Gifford, and has been visiting his mom through the week while his sister, Cassidy, is working on a film project.

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Kathie Lee spontaneously shared her personal reflections of gratitude to her parents, who each had difficult upbringings. She praised how they constantly supported her aspirations in entertainment, and never spoke the “you can't make a living at it” response of so many. She recalled how her father always worked three jobs without complaint, and how her mother sold eggs to make ends meet with her brother and sister.

She attested that “they were never religious,” but provided a continual example of faith through their lives and their love, showing generosity to all, always prompting her to “soar on the wings of the wind” and go where her faith led her.

KLG related a beautiful story of genuinely kissing her husband, Frank, in his declining years, prompted by her mother. “I kissed him like my love,” she remembers, and her loving gesture gave a spark to his face that let her know how deeply he remembered their love.

“The lessons we teach our children-- they never leave them,” she reminded her co-workers, many of whom are parenting young children.

She urged anyone listening to “hug your children a little tighter” and to call parents and tell them how loved they if they are still on earth to hear it.

This was another kind of TV moment that only Kathie Lee Gifford could create.

Those words and wisdom were a perfect segue into memories shared with Kathie Lee that was written and put into a bottle from each co-host. Sheinelle Jones remembered a powerful prayer, spoken by Kathie Lee in less than a minute, that calmed her before their first broadcast together. Craig Melvin commended that Gifford constantly shines a light that comes from her genuine lifestyle to everyone around her. Dylan Dreyer, who came to NBC when she was already expecting, recalled a prayer for her unborn son, Calvin, from Gifford that seemed to guide her through his healthy birth and thriving.

Al Roker has known the daytime TV trailblazer longer than anybody, and he described how their time hosting the Oscars red carpet together is singular in his memory.

Edible moments mean a lot

Culinary treats have been presented to Kathie Lee Gifford all week long, but this morning’s presentation from her favorite lamb chop spot, Neary’s Restaurant, was clearly near and dear to her heart as much as to her tummy, and Hoda Kotb completely concurred. Kathie Lee frequently chowed down at the spot with Frank, and she and her children were fed there after the busy mornings she spent with Regis Philbin.

The plate featured the perfect lamb chops, her favorite fresh corn mix, made-from-scratch potatoes and pudding for dessert. Besides being told that her entrée would now be dubbed “The Kathie Lee Gifford Special,” she was presented with her own plaque to be placed in the corner of the restaurant, where she sits.

It seemed to take less than a minute after the Honors were done before Hoda and KLG dug into the feast. Kathie Lee cut her bites with a knife and fork, but her sidekick, Hoda, chose fingers instead, picking up the chops and chewing down to the bone. It was another moment for fans to remember.

Broadway superstar, Kristin Chenoweth, came out to complete another special moment related to the restaurant. A cherished employee, Mary O’Connor, was the honoree of the final “Everyone Has a Story” Chenoweth sang Kathie Lee Gifford's final collaboration song for the feature, “Give It Away.” The song was the perfect accompaniment for the deserving recipient, and for Gifford, who said that she hoped Hoda “knows how much I love her.” Hoda’s wish was that Kathie Lee “knows how much she matters.”

The loving tribute of moving the focus onto someone else was the perfect way of paying forward the gift of her parents.

Every person needs to feel loved and that his or her life matters.

Friday will celebrate Kathie Lee Gifford’s final day as host of “Today,” and dry eyes will be impossible to find.

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