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Kathie Lee Gifford shares her grandparenting philosophy: ‘Be a blessing’

The former TODAY co-host and new grandmother is loving life with her baby grandson Frank, she says in an interview with TODAY.
/ Source: TODAY

Kathie Lee Gifford is having the time of her life as a new grandmother.

"Every moment is a gift," the 69-year-old former TODAY co-host told TODAY Parents.

In May, Gifford became a grandma — that's "Bubbe" to you — when her son Cody Gifford and his wife Erika welcomed their first child, Frank.

The little boy is named after his late grandfather and Kathie Lee's husband of 30 years, former NFL star Frank Gifford, who died in 2015. The couple shared Cody and daughter Cassidy, 29.

"I knew I was going to love Frank instantly because I love babies," explained Kathie Lee. "But this is my son’s child — my husband’s son’s son — it’s all such a beautiful tapestry of life and creation."

Watching Cody as a parent sweetened the experience of becoming a grandmother.

Related: Kathie Lee Gifford sings ‘Amazing Grace’ to her baby grandson in new video

"I remember when I was in the hospital (after giving birth to Cassidy) and Cody kept kissing her head," Kathie Lee recalled. "He said, 'Mom, why do I love her little head so much?' I said, 'Because it's precious. Go ahead and kiss it, just be gentle, honey.'"

She added, "All of a sudden, Cody is doing this to his own son's head and getting lost in the smell of it .... I just got caught up in the beauty of it."

Having moved from Connecticut to Nashville, Tennessee in 2019 for a "new life," as she explained in an interview with TODAY with Hoda & Jenna, Kathie Lee connects to her grandson through daily photos and FaceTime calls.

And she frequently hops the two-hour flight to visit Frankie in Connecticut — "to get my little fixes," she said — in between media appearances for her new projects.

This month, Kathie Lee released a book she co-authored titled "The God of the Way," described on her website as "a grand story of scriptural faith and the people who changed the world forever."

Related: Kathie Lee Gifford on becoming a grandma

A companion musical production "The Way," produced and narrated by Kathie Lee, brings biblical stories to life.

The film will debut in theaters nationwide September 1 and will be available to stream on Pureflix, a Christian video on demand service. According to Kathie Lee, the endeavor is "an opportunity to share God’s hope and love with people. It will certainly open a dialogue."

During family visits, Kathie Lee helps with baths and feedings and jumps in when Erika needs a break. "It’s not as if I haven’t had any experience," Kathie Lee laughed.

Related: Kathie Lee Gifford explains why she won’t talk about the ‘special’ man in her life

Kathie Lee said she feels strongly that grandparents should give new parents freedom to make their own family traditions and memories.

"It isn’t about me, frankly — it's about them," she said of Cody and Erika, adding, "Don’t put guilt and burden on your kids. God knows they have enough of it already ... be a blessing. Laugh, giggle and dream with them."

Besides, work and friends keep Kathie Lee busy — along with "someone very special," she recently told People, explaining, "I’ve discovered that by not talking about it, it stays special."

Releasing assumptions is the key to happiness for Kathie Lee, she said. "I just let life happen," she told TODAY Parents, joking, "I think that's why I'm still alive."