66-year-old former Today Show host, Kathie Lee Gifford did an interview with The Tennessean on Tuesday talking about her reason for leaving her co-hosting job behind at the Today Show with Hoda Kotb and moving from her home in Greenwich, Connecticut to Franklin, Tennessee, which is a city on the outside of Nashville, Tennessee.
What was the Today Show Co-Star's reason for leaving her beloved career and the very home she shared with her loving husband and two children as they were growing up? According to Gifford, leaving both the show and her home that was once full of life and laughter was literally a "vital part of her well-being."
Yes, it was important for her well-being because the 66-year-old ex-co-host of the Today Show said she was "dying of loneliness." Gifford was married to former football legend, Frank Gifford for almost 30 years. The couple also raised their two children in their home together, 29-year-old Cody and 26-year old Cassidy. Frank died in August 2015 at the age of 84-years-old. Once the children were old enough, they left home and went to live their own lives.
Gifford, like any other normal person with a family like that, felt her home was her"safe haven." However, once Frank died and the kids went off to live on their own, she n longer felt like it was safe their anymore. She said she went from being happily married and raising two children to an empty nester alone in the house and she couldn't take it anymore. She was lonely and needed to be around other people. This is when she chose to leave the Today Show and to move to Nashville, Tennessee.
Gifford had this to say about being in her home by herself after everyone else was gone:
"That huge, beautiful memory-filled home was like a morgue to me. Here’s the bad news — I’m a widow, an orphan, and an empty nester. The good news is, I have the freedom of a widow, an orphan, and an empty nester.”
Although this is a sad reason for Gifford to leave everything she loved behind and to begin a new chapter in her life, it is exactly that, a new chapter in her book of life. Although she is like any other devoted wife and loving mother and wouldn't change that part of her life for anything, this new chapter in her life is a good new beginning for her. She told the newspaper that she wants nothing more than to create faith-based movies and music, adding that she's "got all the time to spend my days writing.”
Gifford is looking at the brighter side of things. She said,
“I’m having the life I could’ve only ever dreamed of."
She recently visited long-time friends and co-hosts of the Today Show, Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush-Hager, she talked about how much she really loved living in the south. She not only loves the city but says the people living there are genuinely happy and really nice people to be around.
She said she loves their laid-back nature and their way of providing a hospitable environment. She also said,
"There’s a different culture down there. It’s a culture of kindness in Nashville. They are authentically kind. They are joyful, they have so much fun.”
Gifford is so much happier now in Nashville. She says when she wakes up in the morning, there are church bells ringing all around her. She says "it's a different attitude."
Gifford walked away from her decade long career as the co-host of the Today Show. She really did love working on the show but that part of her life is now over. After all, nothing lasts forever. Things change and things have definitely changed for her, for the better, though.
Gifford did an interview with People before she left the Today Show for her move down south and told them:
"The work that I want to do isn’t in [New York City] anymore. I am an artist, I’m an actress, I’m a writer, I’m a songwriter, a director now. That’s the stuff that feeds my soul and I know that I’m running out of time to do those things.”
Although Kathie Lee Gifford will be missed by her co-workers and fans alike, everyone wants her to be as happy as she can be.