Widow Kathie Lee Gifford 'Stilled' Soul after Marrying off Kids within a Year — Grandson Is Her 'Heaven' Now
In 2022, it had been almost seven years since Kathie Lee Gifford lost her husband. She'd married off their two children by that year, and now that she was all alone, she found comfort in one particular person.
Kathie Lee Gifford was married to her second husband, Frank Gifford, for twenty-nine years before he suddenly passed on. Speaking on the "Today" show, she revealed that she was heartbroken by the loss.
The former New York Giants running back died at age 84 on August 9, 2015, from natural causes. With the former "Today" show host, Frank raised two children, son Cody and daughter Cassidy, but he had three other children from a previous marriage.
Kathie Lee and Frank Gifford during the former's new musical "Under The Bridge" - Opening Night Afterparty in New York on January 7, 2005 | Source: Getty Images
At the time, Cassidy was on a Delta Airlines flight to Santa Fe, New Mexico, to shoot her film "Angels and Outlaws." Luckily, an airline staff member was able to intercept Kathie Lee's daughter on her layover in Minnesota and informed her to call home.
Frank, Kathie Lee, Cassidy, and Cody Gifford at the "Scandalous" Broadway Opening Night on November 15, 2012, in New York City | Source: Getty Images
When Cassidy got home, that's when she found out the heartbreaking news. During a PopCulture interview, four years after Frank's death, Kathie Lee said she'd handled her husband's passing well because she had been expecting it.
She hadn't been prepared for how suddenly it happened, but she'd known that her husband had been failing. The former athlete had been healthy, in great shape, and exercising when he died, and in her "Today" appearance, she honestly reflected:
"The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. And that's something that my family and I have been through."
Losing her husband was a significant milestone in the former co-host's life. However, she remained strong and deep inside; she knew the former football player would always be with her.
THE GIFFORD FAMILY HAD FOUR HAPPY EVENTS WITHIN TWO YEARS
After four years of Kathie Lee's family surviving the significant loss, they were in for some happy news! The first great news came in May 2019, when the star's son, Cody, got engaged to his girlfriend of six years, Erika Brown!
The television personality had a memorable Mother's Day celebration, sharing the news of her son's engagement on Instagram. While the Gifford family was still absorbing Cody's information, Cassidy came with an announcement of her own that her mother shared on Instagram!
In November 2019, a few months after Cody's engagement, Kathie Lee revealed that her daughter was also engaged! The star's post included a picture of Cassidy, and her fiancé, Ben Wierda.
In June 2020, Cassidy married her longtime boyfriend, while Cody tied the knot with his significant other three months later in September. Kathie Lee's daughter's first wedding was held at her husband's Michigan family farm.
The ceremony was a simple and casual one, but the second one, held in Nashville at Kathie Lee's friend's place, called Acme and Seed, was more glamorous. Cassidy wore a Monique Lhuillier that her mother had paid for.
The star's daughter and son's weddings were kept small because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Speaking to People magazine, Kathie Lee explained that while others held off from getting married because they wanted big celebrations, her children didn't care and just wanted their unions.
Cody's ceremony was held at the Greenwich home where he and Cassidy grew up. It also happened to be where Frank died and where the late football player's ashes were spread.
In her memoir, "It's Never Too Late," Kathie Lee said she felt her late husband "smiling" during their children's ceremonies. The television star shared what she thought the late former National Football League player was doing during the ceremonies, stating:
"He had an aerial view, I think."
FIRST TIME GRANDMA AT 68 AND BEING SHOCKED BY GRANDBABY'S NAME
In September 2020, Kathie Lee took to Twitter to reveal that she had "stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother like a weaned child is my soul within me." The quote she used was from the Bible in Psalm131:2.
The star said she was grateful for all her blessings, especially her "happily married children." Now that her children had grown, gotten married, and moved on to start their own lives, Kathie Lee needed something else to hold onto.
In December 2021, she found that thing when Cody revealed that she would be a first-time grandmother at age 68! At the end of May 2022, the star's son welcomed a baby boy and surprised Kathie Lee by naming him after Frank!
Baby Frank "Frankie" Michael Gifford got his second name from Brown's late uncle, who passed away the year before at 61 and whose name also meant "gift of god." Kathie Lee was shocked when she discovered that Cody had named his son after the late broadcasting legend because she thought he'd get a Jewish one.
Cody's [Gifford] wife [Erika Brown] said the star [Kathie Lee Gifford] was "precious" with little Frankie [Gifford] and included photos of the new grandmother with her grandson.
She felt Cody knew what it was like to grow up in Frank's shadow but thought he'd never get over the loss of his father at an early age. Kathie Lee understood her son's choice to name his child after his late father because Frank was his hero and always would be.
GRANDMA KATHIE LEE IN "HEAVEN" WITH GRANDBABY
By the summer of 2022, Kathie Lee was fully engaged babysitting her grandson! In June 2022, she shared an Instagram video of her singing to little Frankie after meeting him for the first time.
The following month, the television personality shared another Instagram photo of her babysitting the little boy. She captioned the post revealing how being with Frankie was her "idea of heaven."
During a "Today with Hoda & Jenna" appearance, Kathie Lee said she saw Cody's personality shining through Frankie at two months old. The star said the little child was her son replicated.
On August 16, 2022, Kathie Lee celebrated her 69th birthday with Brown sharing several images with her and her mother-in-law. Cody's wife said the star was "precious" with little Frankie and included photos of the new grandmother with her grandson.
Kathie Lee got to celebrate her special day cuddling with the little boy. The television star revealed that she didn't like birthdays because every day was meant to be a special day, and she didn't enjoy the unnecessary attention.