Blended Hope

This is the last picture that my daughter took with her dad. She was 6 years old and in Kindergarten at the time. Of our three kids, Maggie was the prize jewel to Cameron. She was everything to him and the feelings were mutual. They loved talking together about Maggie’s goals and future dreams, cuddling with one another while watching movies of Maggie’s choice (any princess movie ha!), and Cam would tell her constantly how beautiful and special she was. Such a daddy’s girl!

When I broke the news to my children that their father died I knew telling Maggie would be the worst. It was. As she drifted to sleep that night she was even whimpering in her sleep and buried her face in her blanket trying to catch her breath…for hours. It was as if someone just sucker punched her in the gut.

For months Maggie would sit by her upstairs bedroom window and remind me how “this is the spot where I would sit and wait to see Dad’s car pull up and run out to hug him”. It was so tough to hear. She missed the man in her life who adored her more than life itself. He was gone. She would have nights where she would get so worked up and cry and scream the same sentence over and over again “I want my daddy back, I want my daddy back. Pleeeease mommy I want my daddy back”. Each time this would happen I would try to stay so strong but eventually I would just cuddle with her and rock her and sob right along with her.

As time went by she developed anxiety (which I talk about in my post “This is Childhood Anxiety. Woah” and that was really difficult to watch her go through. It’s painful as a parent to watch your child hurt so badly and you just want to take it all away.

Now that it’s been 3 years, Maggie is different. She is getting older, has adjusted to having a “new dad”, is happy on a daily basis, no more panic attacks, and is settled into her new blended family. She is normal again.

But recently in a conversation, Maggie told me something that unknowingly made me have to stop and gather my thoughts before proceeding. She said, “Mom, I’m forgetting Cameron daddy”.

It’s actually making me cry even writing this. It’s like someone took my breath away when I heard that and I wanted time to stand still.

No. This can’t happen.

It’s not as if I didn’t think this would happen but…it’s happening! Noooo! Noooo! Noooo! This can’t be happening! I loved having talks with her about all the fun things they did together and how she loved hanging from his strong arms and how she would draw him cute notes all the time.

She doesn’t remember that anymore.

It’s gone. Erased. He is a picture that is hung in her room. She is 10 years old and has moved on. He is now just a faded memory. She will now look to me for memories and only know what I tell her. She has very few real memories left and it’s all becoming a blur.

This is reality. Ouch.

It is my prayer that even though her memory is fading she will remember the love he showered her with in those short 6 years.

What are some ways you have kept memories alive?

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11 Replies to “Fading Memories…”

  1. Wow, so sad 😥
    It’s a dilemma this 1. Although you want her to move on you still want her to remember. At that age its probably easier with photos. Share the photo memories with her & talk about the time they pics were taken… Do a memory book! I’ve got a couple of holiday memory books & we all love looking through them.
    That’s as far as I can go with advise, it really must be so difficult for you… X 💘 🙏

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  2. Write out all the memories you and she have. Write out memories from his family and friends. Make lists of his favourite and most hated things from colors, food, cars and tv shows – anything you can think of. Make a quick note as you remember stuff and pad it out later.
    Make a blog for your kids just to record all this stuff if you prefer. Seeing stuff written, well, it’s there forever. You can access it any time you like unlike a conversation.

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  3. I felt the same way when my son started forgetting about his siblings (2 were actually born, with 3 being miscarriages) but…I think they DO remember. All memories are alive in our subconscious minds, and maybe we just have to push them aside during our conscious moments during the day, when we need to function in this world. But, I think when we sleep…I mean, do you remember every dream? I don’t, yet I know when I’m sleeping, that my children are there. And that, to me, is a memory. She remembers. And, as far as keeping memories alive in this world? Your writing will keep her father alive. She’ll learn story after story from what YOU write down. And that’s beautiful…

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  4. Going places where we would go together helps me. I also like to look at old photos once in a while. I never lost anyone while I was young – your young daughter will have fewer memories unfortunately and time will damage those. But, she has you and that’s important

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  5. My heart goes out to Little Maggie.
    It must have been so heartsore for you to see that sort of anguish and pain on one so little.
    My daughter rarely cries, she is stoic, resolute even, I still worry for her. She is 21.

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