Kathie Lee Gifford has only been away from morning television for a little over a month, and the do-it-all entertainment veteran isn’t wasting a minute of her “second act” launch in life. Some of the greatest verbal comebacks ever crafted for Regis Philbin came from Kathie Lee Gifford, and she learned from “GMA” that she really wasn't craving a career as a news journalist.

She came to “Today” at the encouragement of her late husband, Frank Gifford, who proposed that she try the new on-air partnership planned for her and Hoda Kotb for a year.

The bond between Gifford and her “Egyptian goddess” created 11 years of spark and spontaneity that can never be replicated.

Today, Kathie Lee Gifford doesn't want to repeat or replace her history or her memories. She wants to create new memories and meaningful creative projects from her new Nashville home base. As marvelous as Kathie Lee was to morning television, she wants to be even better in all she does from now on, as she details in her May 30 AOL feature. She's still available on-call for mom advice or a quick chat with Hoda, too.

Moving in for good

Kathie Lee Gifford has a brand-new home in Nashville and a multitude of friends in Music City who welcome her into their homes any day of the week. She is still in the process of making her move permanent since she hasn't yet become a Tennessee resident. When it comes to her work, however, everything is happening in Nashville.

“All my work is basically based there in Nashville,” related Gifford.

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Despite all the millions of fans who felt that their morning was never complete without Kathie Lee, her “Today” stint was never “my dream job,” she insists. Gifford’s passion was always to be “an actress and a singer,” and her gift for writing songs and stories emerged when she was a child.

She got strong feedback along the way, too. Before her final “Today” sendoff, she spent time thanking Dolly Parton, Neil Sedaka, and Barry Manilow for being mentors.

Manilow praised that he would “go anywhere” to sing for Kathie Lee, which he did on her last show.

In truth, Kathie Lee Gifford stayed a full year longer on “Today” than she had planned. She already had several music and film projects in the works, and “didn't want to take a break at all,” but stayed on out of her loyalty and commitment to her work family.

Kathie Lee is hearing the message of “You’re inspiring me,” from all across the country now.

Many people in their 60s see Gifford as a force for getting busy in life’s later years rather than settling for a sedate retirement. Whether it's pursuing a new degree or scoring songs for the Broadway stage, Kathie Lee exemplifies that “it's never too late to dream.”

Besides her creative passions, Gifford continues to advocate for support and outreach to widows and highlight positive efforts like those at the Changemaker gala, where Kathie Lee was an invited guest. Her personal faith guides and renews her, as well as being a strength to others.

Serious mom credit

Kathie Lee Gifford was more than gracious in supporting Jenna Bush Hager as she handed off her morning seat. Hager has taken the helm of the fourth hour of “Today” with a series of guest co-hosts since Hoda Kotb has been on maternity leave after the arrival of her second adopted daughter, Hope Catherine.

When Hoda was seen out and about this week, celebrating me Sesame Street Workshop’s 50th anniversary, Jenna playfully pleaded, “Hoda, do you remember where Rockefeller Street is?”

Jenna Bush Hager delayed announcing her own third pregnancy with a son for nearly six months, not wanting to cut in on Kathie Lee's farewell or Hoda’s long-awaited arrival. Hager is certainly entitled to hoping for her regular co-host’s comeback to morning duty.

Hoda Kotb is no longer a newbie at motherhood, but she still appreciates sound advice and good examples from both Kathie Lee Gifford and Jenna Bush Hager, as she elaborated in Us Weekly on May 30.

Jenna’s counsel was to forget about being perfect as a mom, relating to Kotb: “Don't try to get it all right because you're not going to get it all right,” relieving the 54-year-old mom again from the perfection myth.

Kathie Lee Gifford offers everyday graciousness by example, and her “big words” of “Please” and “Thank you” became lessons for Hoda as a mother. She senses the reward every time she gives Haley, 2, a bottle or a dish and hears “Thank you, Mama” in return.

Even though Kotb confirms that she misses Kathie Lee, she also delights in seeing her “happy, and she is” at her Nashville home base. Gifford also has the wedding of her son, Cody, and Erika Brown on her calendar of special events.

Kathie Lee Gifford doesn't want to spend her days looking at scrapbooks, she wants to be “putting something beautiful into the world” and pursuing joy. She is still in the business of giving away much of her joy to others, too

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