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Cody and Cassidy Gifford honor mom Kathie Lee during last day on TODAY

Kathie Lee's kids raise a glass to her — and share some beautiful words — as she leaves TODAY.
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As their mom prepares to set out on new adventures, Cody and Cassidy Gifford have some something special to share with TODAY viewers.TODAY
/ Source: TODAY

Friday is Kathie Lee Gifford's final day on TODAY and it marks the end of an era as the she moves on to new adventures and new opportunities.

But as her fellow anchors and longtime viewers say their farewells to the broadcasting legend, her children want to remind everyone that's she's so much more than that.

"To us, she's a legendary mom," son Cody Gifford, 29, declared in a tribute he and sister Cassidy, 25, shared with TODAY.

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Cassidy Gifford, Cody Gifford and their mom, Kathie Lee Gifford, pictured here attending the 2018 Hallmark Channel Summer TCA event in Beverly Hills, California.Getty Images

Cody joined us in the studio to celebrate KLG's big day, but Cassidy couldn't make it since she's currently filming a series with mom's pal Roma Downey. But the duo were side-by-side in their pre-taped message, and they spoke of the many values they've learned from having a role model like their mom in their lives — from kindness to generosity to having a strong work ethic.

Proud mom Kathie Lee Gifford celebrated her final day at TODAY alongside her equally proud son, Cody Gifford.
Proud mom Kathie Lee Gifford celebrated her final day at TODAY alongside her equally proud son, Cody Gifford.Nathan Congleton / TODAY

However, Cassidy considers a single quote from her mom to be "the biggest life lesson" she's ever learned. Kathie Lee told her, "If you have a pulse, you have a purpose."

Here at TODAY, we're familiar with those short and sweet bits of inspiration from KLG, like the self-empowering message that she often shares: "My joy is non-negotiable."

And according to Cody, some of that rich wisdom has been filtered down through the generations.

"The best advice I've ever gotten from mom actually came from her father, Pawpop, and he had told her at a very early age, 'Find something you love to do and then figure out a way to get paid for it.'"

Her career is a testament to that.

But not everything they've learned about their mom's life has been taught by her directly. Their father, the late NFL star and sports commentator Frank Gifford, gave them a one-of-a-kind insight into the woman who means so much to them.

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The Gifford family, circa 2005.FilmMagic

"What I learned through my dad's eyes about my mom was just how proud he was of her," Cody recalled.

Frank and Kathie Lee had been married for 29 when he died in 2015.

"I just remember in the last couple years before our dad passed away, if I was ever home and we're sitting watching Mom at 10 a.m., he used to just always say — first he would say, 'Oh, boy, you're mom's so pretty!' — and then he used to always say, 'You know, there's no one else like her.' And he said, 'Who knows if there ever will be?'" Cassidy shared.

He boasted to his children about how she connected to people and how that was truly one of her strengths. And it still is.

"She's still kickin' butt doing what she's doing," Cassidy said, adding, "She has more energy than we have."

TODAY viewers has seen that for themselves, as has KLG's entire TODAY family — especially her fourth-hour co-anchor and cohort Hoda Kotb.

"When Hoda came into our lives, there's this little spark, this little flame inside of mom — we've all seen it — that radiates outwards," Cody explained.

"I think there are friends and then there are friends like Hoda," Cassidy said in agreement.

But as KLG says goodbye to working with Hoda and the rest of her on-air family, she has a lot to look forward, too.

Kathie Lee Gifford, with Hoda Kotb, announces on December 11, 2019 that she has decided it's time to leave TODAY.
Kathie Lee Gifford is saying goodbye to TODAY and to her best friend and fellow anchor Hoda Kotb.Nathan Congleton / TODAY

"What's next for mom? I want her to rest," Cody said with a laugh. "I want her to just chill out for a little, but it's going to be movies, music, spending time with friends."

They closed their touching tribute with a message (and a fitting toast!) to their matriarch-and-more.

"We love you, Mama," Cassidy said. "And I just can't wait to see how God blesses you in this next step."