How did you get connected with The Fatherless Daughter Project?
I conducted ten on-camera interviews of Dr. Karin Luise and Denna Babul for the November issue of Points North Magazine 2015. They were both recognized as one of several Savvy and Successful Women in the Atlanta area.

After I interviewed them, Denna and I struck up an off camera conversation. I mentioned I listened to a recent podcast by Monica Pearson about the project. I realized their research greatly affected women. Denna shared a little about her story and then asked me if I was fatherless. She then invited me the following evening to the TFDP Launch Party at Tootsies in Buckhead and the rest is history.

Can you tell us in a few sentences about your personal story of father loss?
I was 22. My father was my coach and my very best friend- the closest thing a girl could ask for in an earthly father. Although it was completely unexpected and uncharacteristic of him, my father committed suicide.

Days before he died, my father asked if I believed in him. I chuckled and whispered in his ear, “Of course I believe in you.” The aching need of belief that a man needs to hear this often has never ceased to leave my memory nor my heart.

A year later, I lost my mother to cancer.

Because of the life they lived together, I am alive and because of their death, I have become who I am today. I am a better person for their death. I know who I am. I know who I am not. I’m more genuine than I was. I’m more authentic. I’m bolder. I say, “No” more often than I say, “Yes.” I’m not afraid to have fun AND be focused. I don’t live to please nor to be perfect. I’ve learned how to forgive others, how to forgive myself and that forgiving others is a constant thing to practice. I choose to have many acquaintances, fewer close friends and “the bests I can count on one hand. I’m unapologetic for the way I feel. I have less time for drama then, now I have none. I make things happen. I’m a survivor, and now I’m learning how to thrive. I’m proud to say that I am their daughter and quite remarkably their only official bloodline alive-ever- which is pretty crazy and pretty remarkable. Such an honor and even though they are no longer living on earth, I’m thankful for the opportunity to honor them in all that I do.

What has been the biggest challenge being fatherless?
Not having my father invest in my husband and to hear my father call him “son.” He was the man that would give you the shirt off his back and make you feel like the most important person in the world. My father also had a great sense of humor, tough exterior, and very gentle heart.

What has helped you to survive?
A few constant things:
• Realizing pride really does come before the fall
• Seeking out counsel
• Having my faith
• Talking things out with people I trust
• Exercising
• Facing my emotions when they arise so I can move forward

Is there a special person(s) in your life that has helped you find healing?
After my father passed, a year later my mother passed so I immediately enrolled myself in 16 months of counseling. Therefore, my therapist was someone who helped me find healing. I would also say a few close girlfriends, my sister and brothers and of course, my faith. I enjoy reading books by Brad Lomenick, Dr. Brene Brown, Ann Spangler, Staci Eldridge, & David G. Benner as well.

Where do you shine?
I shine when I believe in myself in the work that I create on camera and when I serve others.

What would you tell your younger self?
I would tell myself to not be embarrassed by my parents and to embrace their quirks. I used to try to “control” what they did because I was fearful of how it made me look when in fact it had nothing to do with me.

If you could have a theme song, what would it be?
Comically and yet, ironically, I would say, “Another One Bites The Dust” by Queen. Since I played sports growing up, I always said if I could be a professional baseball player that would be my walk-up song. It fits so many arenas of life, doesn’t it?

How do you hope to make a difference in the world?
In all honesty, I don’t hope. I just make it happen. My goal in my work as an on-camera talent and TV host is to speak belief into people by telling other’s stories to encourage positive life-change.

For instance, if there is a homeless person on the street and I feel led, I go purchase a meal, park my car and walk it up to that homeless person. I look them in the eye, say, “Hello” and tell them I hope the meal and water is OK with them. If warranted, I have been known to give a hug or two as well. OR, if a friend or an acquaintance is going through a rough time, I don’t shrug it off anymore and think, “Not my problem.” I actually engage in how that person is really doing and ask if I could offer advice. If they say, “No,” then no worries, I’m not offended. Usually the answer is actually, “Yes,” and I offer encouragement and a listening ear because positive words and influence are powerful.

I don’t hesitate in life anymore. By putting my experiences into perspective, I have realized a few things. I’m not the only person in the world whom has lost their parents. I’m not an orphan. I am not a victim. Go. Do it is in my spirt unless I hear a firm, “No.”

I had the opportunity to have a wonderful father and wonderful mother up until the age of 22/23. Although I would trade most anything to hug my mother as I brush by her cheek to smell her skin and feel her embrace or to play baseball with my father and have my hand in his when the game is all said and done, I am in fact, a better person for their deaths. I do make a difference in the world by believing in myself, speaking belief into people, taking action, taking risk, and speaking up and speaking out to others.


Thanks, Kate. We are stronger with you in our sisterhood!

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