TV star Kathie Lee Gifford is still glowing from her July adventures in Scotland, where she directed and starred in Love Me to Death, a film she wrote about a widow on an emotional journey of rediscovery. “This is a romantic comedy for people who have given up hope that anything will ever happen for them in their life,” the Today co-host has said, who, after losing husband Frank Gifford in 2015, knows what it’s like to have to find the strength to move on.
“In some ways it seems like yesterday, and in other ways it seems like 15 years,” she previously said on Today of her loss. But the movie’s ultimate message is one that Kathie Lee embraces: “[My character] finally has that understanding that, ‘I’m ready. I’m ready to not be defined by this anymore,'” she shared. Instead, Kathie Lee’s focusing on all the good in her life after she turned 65 on Thursday, Aug. 16.
“She’s always in gratitude mode,” an insider exclusively told Closer Weekly (in the magazine’s latest issue, on newsstands now!) of the bubbly TV personality, who’s mom to son Cody, 28, and daughter Cassidy, 25. “She misses Frank desperately every day, but she’s healthy, her kids are thriving, and she truly loves her life.”
On the Aug. 9 anniversary of Frank’s death, Kathie Lee prayed for him, just as she does every day. “She speaks to him with love,” the insider shared, “and she’s sure to keep his memory alive for the kids. She absolutely has faith she’ll see Frank again once she passes, so that gives her strength and comfort.”
Accepting her new life without Frank didn’t come easily, but she’s made her peace with it. “You have a moment where you just accept that you’re a widow,” Kathie Lee previously said on Today. “For me, it was on our one-year anniversary of his passing. That was when I took my wedding ring off and put it on [my right] hand.”
Getting back to the dating scene, however, wasn’t her motive. “I’ve had one date in two and a half years,” she previously admitted on Today, “and that didn’t go so well. He didn’t share my faith. I’m not going to share my life with somebody if you don’t share the same passion for your faith as I do.”
That does’t completely rule out romance in the future, though. “Who doesn’t want to find love again?” she asked. “If that’s part of God’s will for me, I’m certainly open to it.”
Finding someone who can meet the high bar set by Frank, however, will be tough. “She won’t compromise,” the insider insisted. “She still has hope, but she’s not holding her breath.” Instead, she’s embracing the moments and laughter she shares with her kids and friends like Savannah Guthrie, Regis Philbin, and his wife, Joy Philbin. “She loves to hang out with her pets, tend to her garden, watch movies and read, so she’s doing just fine,” the insider shared.
“I keep very busy,” Kathie Lee — who wrote and recorded the score to Love Me to Death and also has a project in the works for Hallmark Channel — previously told Entertainment Tonight. Add to the mix all the fun she has with Hoda Kotb on Today, and Kathie Lee wouldn’t trade her life for anyone else’s. “It’s an exciting time,” she has said. “I’m very blessed.”
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