This Dad Walks His Children Down the Aisle One Day after Learning He Only…

Many children yearn for and treasure their father’s love. One Pennsylvania father always made sure his children knew he was proud of them, and when a life-changing diagnosis shocked his family, he did something heartwarming. Ken McHugh and his wife Tammy were a happy couple who enjoyed spending time with their four children. They never imagined that their lives would change forever when Ken was diagnosed with cancer in 2010.

Ken was inspired to cross items off his bucket list as a result of his illness and two-year life expectancy. He went on an African safari and traveled throughout Europe. But there was one item on the father’s to-do list that he kept putting off: writing farewell letters to his beloved children. Ken hoped to see his three daughters and one son marry in the future. When his health began to deteriorate, he did something brave.

They organized an unforgettable event—a wedding ceremony—with the help of his family and a non-profit charity, Team CMMD. That day, the father had the opportunity to walk his children down the aisle while also writing a letter to each of them. He admitted to struggling with what to write; knowing he wouldn’t be present on their wedding days was an emotional realization for him.

Ken was grateful for the chance to give his children away and let them know how he felt about them. The father began each letter in the same way: “I have a surprise for you. You’re my personal favorite.” The sentence made his children laugh, but the rest of the letters included affirmations for each child as well as a description of how much he adored them. It was a heartbreaking experience, but one they wouldn’t trade for anything.

Ken didn’t want his family to be concerned about his death. Dylan, his only son, had already assumed the man of the house role, but the father was sad because he wouldn’t be there to provide for his loved ones. On October 3, 2015, their father escorted their daughters Samantha, Dylan, Julia, and Kathryn down the aisle separately, handing them all to God and the new families who awaited them in the future.

Ken was astounded by the lovely celebration planned in his honor and for the sake of his family. His daughters looked stunning, and his son looked dapper in a suit. There was immense joy among the day’s heartbreak. Ken stated: “It simply knocks me over. It’s even better than I could have imagined. It’s absolutely stunning; it’s also bittersweet.” Ken spoke from the altar, encouraging his family to continue on after his death.

He didn’t want them to be sad because they were going to live a long and happy life. The children cried, but many of their tears were tears of gratitude. They were grateful for the special memory as well as the years they had with their father. During the ceremony, Mom Tammy and Ken renewed their vows after 20 years of marriage, which was a touching moment. Ken stated, ”

“It was truly amazing. I’m not sure if everyone cries when they renew their vows, but both of us did.” Tammy couldn’t believe her children were smiling the entire wedding day. Nobody mentioned Ken’s cancer, and the father couldn’t keep his pride in check. Seeing his children grow and achieve their goals will always be his proudest achievement. He knew the wedding ceremony would be etched in their minds for the rest of their lives, and he added:

“I believe they will return to that in times of need and happiness. When they go to it, it will be to seek reassurance, to validate my faith in them.” Ken didn’t want his family to be concerned about his death. Dylan, his only son, had already assumed the man of the house role, but the father was sad because he wouldn’t be there to provide for his loved ones.

However, thousands of dollars were raised for the family through a GoFundMe page he set up to help with the kids’ schooling and other needs. The children had lofty goals, and Ken was grateful for every donation. He died in December 2015, just two months after the beautiful wedding. Ken’s story moved many people in the online community, and many people prayed for his family. Users also requested that God comfort his loved ones during the difficult time following his death:

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