I am not sure that there was a dry among us when the world heard of the death of the beautiful, talented actor, Paul Walker. It was one of the first times for my generation that we had lost someone with whom we had all grown up with. His life was tragically taken in a car crash when his vehicle, which was going upwards of 100 MPH, crashed and burst into flames on November 30th, 2013.
We knew much about the actor; we had all watched him rise to fame through his illustrious acting career, culminating with his biggest franchise: The Fast and Furious. As someone who does have any interest in the fine points of auto machinery, it does not seem like I would be someone who enjoyed these movies, but I did. And I, like countless women before me, sobbed my heart out in Paul’s last scene in the seventh movie, with the hit song “See You Again” playing in the background. The song’s music video is basically a tribute to Paul Walker, focusing one key word: family.
Many of us were not even aware that in real life, Paul left behind a young daughter.
Her name is Meadow.
15 Her Full Name Is…
We all want to know more about Meadow Walker but there is very little information available to the public. But one thing we did find? Her full name is Meadow Rain Walker.
Her father, the late Paul Walker, was a marine biology major so the fact this daughter’s names all tie loosely to nature should come as no surprise. Paul was a huge fan of the outdoors and especially enjoyed surging. He paired with wildlife foundations like Nation Geographic in a series called, “Expedition Great White”.
For all those parents reading this, we all know how our children’s names reflect certain values that we hold dear be it wildlife, history, music, art, or family. Paul Walker chose to give his daughter names that reflected where he felt most at home; nature.
14 She Was An “Oops Baby”
Meadow was born on Novemeber 4, 1998 in Northern California. Paul was not shy about admitting that Meadow was not planned, but it was clear to everyone that he was happiest being a father to his little girl. Walker was quoted about Meadow saying, “Right now there’s only time for her.”
His friend and co-star Vin Diesel has credited with Walker as an influence on his own journey though fatherhood. He said, “When we were in the cars in between takes, he would tell me, ‘Hey, Vin, it’s not a scary thing to become a father’ (and) give me all the good advice,” he continued. “Next thing you know, I am a dad, which is why I named my daughter Pauline — because of the credit that Paul Walker deserves in my personal life.”
13 Paul Walker Had Full Custody
Although Meadow grew up in Hawaii with her mother, she ended up moving to Santa Barbara to live full time with her father in 2012. No one will know for sure the ins and the outs of “why”, but it is rumored that her mother had an on-again-off-again drinking problem. Furthermore, Paul was fearless in telling the world that Meadow was his life, so it makes sense that he would jump at the chance to spend more time with daughter.
At the time of his death, Paul Walker had full time custody of Meadow, and she lived with him in Southern California. Paul alluded to the fact that in the summers, they would travel for various movies, choosing roles by the location of the shoots and planning all of the fun that they would have.
12 Paul Died When She Was Only 15
Meadow Rain Walker was only 15 years-old when her father, Paul, passed away. That is an unimaginable burden for a young teenager to bear, especially with the close relationship that the two of them had. Paul had made it clear to everyone from his friends to the media that his first priority in life was his daughter, and he could not help but say wonderful things about her every chance he was given.
But Meadow seems like her father. A source close to the family was quoted as saying, “Everyone is amazed by how strong she is. Her family is all focused on looking after her and protecting her, but she’s actually helping them…she has a very strong spirit, just like Paul, and it’s been a huge blessing for everyone to have her close.”
11 The Heartbreaking Battle
After the death of her father, the custody of Meadow Walker came into play; two family members vying for her safekeeping– her mother, Rebecca, and her grandmother, Cheryl Walker. Any child who has been in this situation can vouch for the fact that custody battles can tear your heart to shreds.
The Daily Mail reported that the custody battle stemmed from Rebecca’s problems with alcohol, and that the late Paul Walker’s family was concerned for the safety of Meadow. The battle for Meadow made into the courtroom in 2014.
Rebecca allegedly agreed to seek treatment and enter rehab, and in exchange Paul’s immediate family agreed to let her take custody of Meadow. Cheryl had reportedly cited Rebecca’s two prior drunk driving arrests as proof that she was struggling alcohol addiction.
10 She Had To Take A Break From Social Media
After the death of her famous father, Meadow took a break from social media. It is hard to imagine the trauma of losing a parent at a young age, but to do so in the public eye must have been really tough. Meadow took her time in grieving; in spending time with friends and family. She has just recently activated and started to post on her Instagram account.
Her feed is full of normal teenage girl substance but is also coupled by many requests for her fans (all 1.4 million of them) to help promote good will in the world through various aid organizations. Her feed is also spotted with photos of herself and her father, in heart wrenching tributes to the dad that she lost.
Paul Walker left behind an amazing, smart, and kind daughter.
9 She’s Close With The Fast & Furious Cast
The cast of “Fast & Furious” play a close-knit group of friends and family in their hit movies. But they are all really good friends in reality, too. Vin Diesel and Paul, especially, referred to each other as “brother”.
On a press tour, Diesel explained that he was torn about the paparazzi following him to the birth of his daughter. He explained that Paul had told him, “‘Go in there, be present, cut the umbilical cord, and it will be the best day of your life.’ And he was right. And when that happened, he went from just basic friend to a brother.”
Even after Paul’s death, Diesel and his crew acknowledge that Meadow is like family. They hold tight to the memories of their beloved “brother”, and relish in the joy of his daughter.
8 Paul Gave Her The Nickname ‘Bear’
Most parents, even if they swear they are not going to, end up giving their child a nickname. Sometimes it is purposeful and sometimes it happens so subtly that you are not even sure where it came from. Nicknames can sneak up on you and the next thing you know you are calling out from the kitchen, “Hey Boo Face, come get your breakfast!” And you recoil at the monstrosity of the word you have just called your precious child.
Meadow, just like most kids, has a nickname too; Bear.
As we have stumbled upon, Paul Walker was a nature buff, so the fact that his daughter’s nickname is “Bear” makes a lot of sense. Like many families, there may be some back story to this that will stay a family privilege.
7 She’s Friends With Justin Bieber
Meadow has apparently always been a big fan of teen heart throb, Justin Bieber. (Who isn’t?) Shortly after the death of her father, Justin’s world premiere of his movie “Believe” was set to debut in Los Angelos. Justin Bieber extended an invite to Meadow to join him.
For the first time since Paul’s death, Meadow stepped out, utilizing transportation that Bieber had arranged for her. (Justin has got a bad rep in recent years, but can we all agree that this was a pretty awesome thing that he did for someone who had just lost a parent? Not only did he invite her to his gig, but he made arranged everything for her so she would not even have to worry about how to get there. Sigh. Biebs, you the best.)
6 Her Mother Is Rebecca Soteros
Paul Walker and Rebecca Soteros were dating in the late 1990’s when they found that they were expecting a little girl. The couple’s relationship with each other did not pan out and they split up the following year. But the two of them raised Meadow Walker as a team, with Rebecca creating a solid home life for Meadow in Hawaii while Paul traveled for work.
Rebecca was in her early 20’s when she met Paul, and it seems that although their time together was brief, Rebecca and Paul tried to keep their young daughter the focus of their time, and not let the past come between them. Paul has stated in interviews that he was not the best boyfriend to Rebecca, but the two of them seemed to be able to move forward.
5 She Started Her Own Foundation
Like her father, Meadow is go-getter. She believes passionately in charity work and created “The Paul Walker Foundation”. Their website states: “Our mission is simple: DO GOOD. The Paul Walker Foundation is to serve as an enduring light of Paul’s unique spirit, far reaching goals, and spontaneous goodwill. Many of his traits have been passed onto his daughter Meadow. Meadow is excited to be carrying on his legacy. One of the key ways she plans to meet this challenge is by helping ocean leaders of tomorrow become beacons in the fight to protect our oceans, wildlife, and ourselves.”
Her late father’s words ring true to her, as well. He said, “I’m a doer, and whether it was the tsunami in Sri Lanka or the earthquake in Indonesia, I was always saying, ‘I should be there…”
4 She Enjoys Ice Skating
One of the few Instagram posts that Meadow has shown to the world is a recent picture of her ice skating. It is captioned, “before I fell on my face”. It is nice to see this vivacious, young girl out in the world having a little fun.
Oh Meadow, I feel ya. There is nothing quite like learning how to glide atop razor blades, on something that is literally hard as a rock. Every time you fall, it is a constant reminder of your failure. Somehow Meadow looks like she has just emerged to walk the runway, which is nothing what most of us look like when we are repeatedly hitting our faces on ice. She seems to have inherited not only her late father’s sense of humor, but also his good looks.
3 She Was Spotted At Music Festivals
Like most teenaged girls, Meadow is apparently very into music. We know she is friends with Justin Bieber too, so I imagine that she has a lockdown on a lot of new pop music. She is a young woman growing up in Southern California—what more would we expect?
In 2015, Meadow attended the ever popular music festival, Coachella, which is held in Indio, California. Coachella is where the rich and famous merge with us normal folks who are also obsessed with good music. It is a three-weekend event that draws ofver 250,000 fans. This music and art festival hosts an amazing array of artists including Snoop Dogg, Frank Ocean, Rihanna, Wiz Khalifa, Eminem, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Social Distortion, Tegan and Sara, La Roux, Violent Femmes, Wu-Tang Clan—just to name a few.
2 Like Father, Like Daughter
Just like her father, Meadow is passionate about charity. Paul Walker was very enthusiastic about giving back. In an interview he explained, “My mother’s a nurse, my sister’s going to nursing school right now, and my friends have construction backgrounds. God willing, the next time there’s a natural disaster I’m going to be there with 11 or 14 people and a handful of doctors. And the next time, it’ll be 150 people with 30 to 35 doctors.”
Clearly Walker instilled this philanthropy in his daughter, who even today utilizes her Instagram to help out those in need, calling on her followers to donate to various causes. She is still a very young woman, and yet 90% of her internet presence is concerning charities, or raising awareness. Meadow should be an inspiration to all of us.
1 She Was Paul’s World
Meadow’s close relationship to her father was no secret; it is evidenced their smiling faces and the constant admiration that was reflected between the two of them. Every time an interviewer brought up his daughter, Paul Walker’s face would crease with happiness—she meant the world to him.
After his death Meadow was able to express, in her own words, what her father meant to her. She said, “When I was little he taught me to walk, taught me to smile, and taught me to never give up. I loved him even before I knew what love was. He was my hero. Me REAL life hero! He will always be in my heart! It brings years to my eyes as I write this. You’re gone, but not forgotten. R.I,P, Dad!”
Sources: The Guardian, Yahoo, IMDB, Wikipedia, Daily Mail, Paul Walker Foundation, People