My children have passed over the dividing line. They have been alive more years now without their father than they were with him.

My daughter Samantha was 12 years old when her father died and Rick was just 10. They were merely children when they had to say goodbye to him after a car accident and a final 2 week stay in the hospital as a quadriplegic. Their last visual was of a motionless, mute forty-four-year old man who could only signal his love to his children with a blink of his eyes.

But previously, his total dedication as a father left them with many cheerful memories and that is what defined the word “Dad” for them as youngsters. Growing up they felt his love every day and his unique laugh joyfully filled their heads and hearts. Nightly bedtime stories, trips to the beach, simple games in the back yard and tending to the vegetable garden were how they spent those years. They were good years and they are treasures that they still cling to.

But now as young adults they have a different perception of “Dad”. High school, college, and law school graduations have come and gone. My daughter has gotten married and is now a mother herself to a son and a daughter just like I was twenty-eight years ago. Gone are the carefree days of their childhoods and they are each faced with job responsibilities and the usual adult concerns.

Today, as they reflect upon the early time with their father, they can truly understand his influence and the impact of his character upon theirs. Childish fun has turned into adult pride. Faded snapshots now frame a proud legacy. A passing remark from a former friend or colleague of their father leaves them smiling as if he were right there in front of them. In a way, he is. He always will be right next to them.

So as we approach another Father’s Day I marvel at their ability to hold dear their Dad’s love and admiration. They are thankful for what he has given them and for the lessons that they continue to learn from his character and reputation.

Father’s Day for them is not a just one day or a picnic on a June afternoon. It is a time for them to measure their life’s accomplishments and to celebrate their progress. These once innocent children are now sophisticated, successful adults who understand the tremendous role of a father and a love that is eternal. I am so proud of them.

And it all started with their Dad.

Happy Father’s Day to everyone!

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Kim Meredith

Kim Meredith

Kim's life changed dramatically in February 1993, when she became a widow at the age of 40 and a single parent to a 10-year-old son and a 12-year-old daughter. Her husband of 15 years, David, died after surviving 2 weeks as a quadriplegic as a result of a car accident. Feeling alone, afraid, and confused, Kim journalled at night in an attempt to give order once again to her shattered life while teaching high school Spanish during the day. As the months went by she readjusted her life's frequency and began to trust in her inner voice, her "whispers." After 10 years of writing, her first book, Listen for the Whispers: Coping with Grief and Learning to Live Again, was published by Cable Publishing in July 2010. While a tribute to her family's journey from unfathomable heartache to a life once again filled with love and laughter, this inspiring story is for everyone who has experienced the loss of someone beloved to them. Currently, Kim lives in Lancaster, PA, with her new husband Tom. She continues to teach and fills her free time with writing, speaking, and enjoying her 2 new grandchildren. Her story, A True Treasure, about her first grandson, Max, appeared in the 2010 Barnes and Noble special edition, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Tales of Christmas. She has another story, My Man Harry, which will appear in Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Dog's Life in 2011.

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