'I Want Daddy'
After her father died on Sept. 11, adults kept telling Samantha Walker, 4, that her daddy, Benjamin James Walker, would always be in her heart. "She said, `I don't want Daddy to be in my heart. I want Daddy to be in my house,"' said Laura Walker, her mother.
One night when Samantha was curling up in bed with her mother, she broke into tears. Daddy had promised to teach her to play soccer once she turned 5. Her brothers, Henry, 9, and Christopher, 7, assured her that they would.
But the boys have their moments, too. In November, after Henry scored a 63-yard touchdown in a football game in Rockland County, where they live, Henry came off the field in tears, because Daddy wasn't there to watch him.
Their father, who was 41, worked as an insurance broker for Marsh & McLennan and doubled as a local soccer league coach on weekends. "Ben made pancakes every Saturday morning," Mrs. Walker said. "Now they have to make do with mine, and mine are not as good."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 29, 2001.