Mercyhurst Magazine Fall 2014

Love and loss... and hope By Susan Hurley Corbran 6:15 AM, Sunday morning. A soft voice innocently calls, “Daddy? Can you make me some pancakes?” With eyes half shut and a slight smile, I answer, “Sure, honey, I’m coming right down.” In a moment of butter, four and maple syrup , my shattered family begins to heal. The night before, I’d told Amanda (four years old), Kevin Patrick (six), and Christopher (two) that their Mommy had died. If it were not for my kids, I would have remained in bed for a long time. But Amanda needed me to rise and be her daddy. My little girl’s 6:15 AM wake-up call summoned me to fnish the job m y wife, Pamela, and I began: making pancakes, making memories and making a loving home for our three children. This is our journey. Kevin McAteer ‘89 lost his wife on Feb. 17, 2007. Numb with grief and disbelief, he was still determined to ensure that the kids would remember what Pamela looked like, what she sounded like, and how much she had loved them. He gathered home videos, created photo collages, wrote down family stories. Gradually, the scrapbook he was building for the kids morphed into a journal of how the whole family survived its unthinkable loss and he decided to share it with a broader audience. On Father’s Day 2014, he published the story in book form. Kevin found his title in the words of Amanda, who looked so much like her mother: “Daddy, can you make me pancakes?” He says it shows how quickly the next chapter of your life starts. “When you have kids depending on you, you don’t have time to think about it,” he says. “Sometimes life puts you in insanely adverse situations and you just have to step up.”

From top: Kevin, Pamela and the kids a few years before cancer struck; Kevin and his kids the frst summer after Pamela’s death; the six children from Kevin and Shayna’s blended family. Opposite page: The McAteers in a “Brady Bunch” pose.

“Daddy, Can You Make Me Pancakes?” (2014, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas) is available through . Follow the McAteers’ story at .


Made with FlippingBook - professional solution for displaying marketing and sales documents online