Many children yearn for and treasure their father’s love. One Pennsylvanian father always made sure that his children knew how proud he was of them, and when a devastating prognosis startled his family, he did a wonderful thing.
Ken McHugh and his wife Tammy were a contented couple who enjoyed spending time with their four children. When Ken was given a cancer diagnosis in 2010, they never imagined that life as they had known it would end.
Ken was inspired to cross items off his bucket list by his sickness and two-year prognosis. He visited locations all throughout Europe and went on an African safari. Writing goodbye letters to his cherished children was one task on the dad’s list, though, that he kept putting off.
A Heartbreaking Realization
In his wishes, Ken would watch his one son and three daughters get married. He did something brave when his health started becoming worse. They planned an extraordinary occasion—a wedding ceremony—with the aid of his family and a nonprofit organization called Team CMMD.
The dad got the opportunity to accompany his children down the aisle that day and also presented a letter to each of them. Knowing he wouldn’t be present on the day of their wedding caused him considerable difficulty, as he acknowledged when he struggled with what to write.
It was a Saddening Experience That Brought Tears To My Eyes
Ken was thankful for the opportunity to be able to give his children away and make sure that they were aware of how he felt about them. The father began each letter in the same manner: “I have a secret to tell you. You’re my favorite.”
The statement got a good laugh out of his children, but the remainder of the letters contained heartfelt assurances that he loved them all very much in addition to a description of the extent of his affection for them. It was an experience that brought them to tears, but it was one that they would not have missed for anything in the world.
Ken didn’t want his family to be upset or worried when he passed away. Even though his one and only child, Dylan, had already assumed the role of head of the household, the father was upset since he would no longer be able to provide for his family.
The Wedding Ceremony That Will Never Be Forgotten
On October 3, 2015, daughters Samantha, Dylan, Julia, and Kathryn were each individually brought down the aisle by their devoted father, who then turned them all over to God and the new families that were going to be waiting for them in the future.
“It just knocks me over. It’s more than I ever imagined. It’s absolutely beautiful; it’s bittersweet.”
Renewing Their Vows
At the front of the altar, Ken gave a speech in which he encouraged his family to carry on with their lives even after he had passed away. He did not wish for them to grieve because he knew that they had a prosperous and fulfilling life ahead of them. The children shed tears, but the majority of those tears were of appreciation.
They wanted to express their gratitude for the wonderful memories and the time they had spent with their father. After 20 years of marriage, Mom Tammy and Ken had a beautiful moment at the ceremony when they recommitted themselves to one another by renewed vows. Ken expressed:
“It was very remarkable. I don’t know if everyone cries when they’re renewing their vows, but the both of us sure did.”
The Most Proudest Achievement of the Father
Tammy could not believe that her children had smiles on their faces the entire time they were at the wedding. No one brought up Ken’s illness, and the father’s pride was impossible to conceal.
His most notable accomplishment will always be the experience of watching his children mature and pursue their goals in life. He was well aware that the wedding would remain in their memories for the rest of their lives, and he continued:
“I think when they look back, they’ll go to that in times of need and happiness. When they go to it, it will be to seek reassurance, the belief that I have of them.”
Because of the creation of a GoFundMe page on his behalf, the family has been able to collect thousands of dollars to aid with the costs associated with the children’s education and other requirements. The children had high expectations for themselves, and Ken was appreciative of every donation that was made. It was in December 2015 when he went suddenly, exactly two months after the lovely wedding party.