She Doesn’t Remember…


“Oh Cassidy, do you remember this song?”

“No. What do you mean?”

“I Can Only Imagine” started playing as I switched around the cd looking for the song Cade begged to listen to once again… I immediately turned it up and gasped with that ever-reminiscent stirring gust of air that somehow blows the dust of those years into an emotional tailspin.

“You don’t REMEMBER? Really? Oh honey! When you were two and three years old… this was our song!”

My heart immediately crumbled into a thousand tiny pieces as I realized all those countless nights and endless days we spent together singing this song. I couldn’t believe she didn’t remember. How could she not have these critical years singed in her memory? I was absolutely astounded.

During those years, my little toddler knew every single word to this song. Her voice was angelic. It was the only comfort to cling to during that horrific time of her life.

Just weeks after Cade was born, we rushed Cassidy to the hospital with a fever of 105.9. She had been so sick for days, and for the first time I reached out to my church group for prayers. I was so scared. Her breathing was labored and her asthma flare had been relentless. I hadn’t slept for days… up every night with her and nursing my newborn. These were the hardest days of my life. I picked up her limp body and buckled her in, got baby Cade and immediately called the doctor as Derek drove us to Children’s Hospital.

This wasn’t the first time we had rushed to the hospital. And it surely wouldn’t be the last.

But on that fateful night, I spent hours holding my baby and the mask that dispenses the breathing treatments while we sang over and over again…

“I Can Only Imagine”.

It was the only thing that distracted her enough to hold still. Each time she cried or tugged at it, I would ask her to sing with me- loudly over the vapors and she would whimper and oblige. After hours of needles and treatments and shots and tests, the song was all I had to hold on to- to give her comfort. And as I held her and rocked her… we sang.

Over and over again.

Her precious little sweet voice. Angelic. Innocent. Gasping and coughing and cracking. Begging for mercy.

She doesn’t remember.

Five hours later, I was arguing with three doctors begging to take her home. Her oxygen was too low. She had to stay and be admitted. I was nursing Cade, and he wasn’t allowed in the respiratory isolation unit over night. This meant I would be leaving Cassidy in the hospital with Derek. For the first time in our life- I wouldn’t be with my baby to ease and comfort her through the night. She would be in a caged crib hooked up to monitors in this foreign scary new world… without me.

At my baby’s sickest and most traumatic moment of her life, I had to leave her…

I sobbed all the way home, uncontrollably… along with Cade, who at this point was screaming. I don’t believe I have felt a more desperate ache in all my life since.

And then one night at the hospital, turned into two.

For almost three years, I had been holding my baby girl through the endless brutal nights of sickness. This was the hardest ‘let go’ I have ever had to face.

So many nights, I would wrap Cass in blankets and carry her outside in the cool midnight air, praying it would sooth her croup, or settle her choking cough. I was terrified most of the time. I was desperate. Hearing your child in agony for hours and hours and days and days… coughing to the point of vomiting over and over and over and over … again. This was our plight.

Relentless agonizing horrific suffocating trauma.

Days turned into weeks…
Weeks blurred into years…
Crying…crying… begging…pleading…
Clumps of hair pulled out of my baby’s precious head…by her little fingers twisting and fraying those frazzled threads. The only way she could cope with the trauma.
Capillaries burst in her face…
Steroids engorging her precious little body…
And she would always beg me to sing.

Our song.

She doesn’t remember.

This is how we slept

Where was God in all of this? I will tell you exactly where He was, in my Devotional Diary this Sunday.





Author Signature


  1. Melissa says

    I love you, and can only appreciate you more as I have had a taste of this anguish! Mine, no where near what you and Cass had to endure. I am so happy she is so healthy and well!!

    • says

      Oh sweet PEA!!! I love you for coming by to share your precious encouragement and also? I HATE that you have to experience ANY of this anguish with that amazing gorgeous adorable little boy! I have loads of more albuterol if you need it, hun. And you KNOW you can call me anytime for support/help/insight- anything!!!

  2. says

    Oh Chris–we have talked before about the nightmarish start you have had. I spend time wondering why about the awful stuff too, but like you just said, “Where was God in all of this? I will tell you exactly where He was, in my Devotional Diary this Sunday.” Somehow, someday it will all be used, and someday she will remember this song–even if you have to play on repeat until she does! 🙂

    • says

      Thanks for your sweet encouragement, dear friend! I have such a deep and profound belief that God has great plans for my girl. And I am just realizing that perhaps He graced her with sweet protection from re-living the horrific early years of her life for a reason. Oh my heart! He has blessed her with His everlasting care!

    • says

      YES. Thank you love, for shining light on the beautiful ending to this long agonizing story! I am going to figure out when she started remembering things… it’s my new purpose, as I recount our journey in her early years up until she was nine. So many twists and turns and awful and horrific moments… I am realizing that perhaps God has protected her precious heart from it all, now. She is such a sensitive soul, I now see why God blessed her with this Divine Grace. I would hate for her to be re-living it all day after day… she only knows she had lots of sickness and medical issues. Yet, she doesn’t emotionally attach to those painful years. Amazing!

  3. says

    Love this post. Love the song. Can’t wait for your Sunday post. I can’t really imagine how you endured the pain of watching your child suffer so. You are an inspiration.

    • says

      I love that song too, and of course it has a deeply intense meaning for me. Those years are blurry and awful… and yet, I am blessed to be living the happy ending to it all. Oh, I thank God for that!

  4. says

    Can’t wait to read Sunday’s post. This just sounds like such a hard experience, Chris. What torture to see your children suffer like that. Oh, how we want to take on the pain for them. The feeling of helplessness must have been overwhelming.

    • says

      It was horrible, Jen. Agonizing. And the long-suffering seasons of pain and sickness is really indescribable. BUT we somehow managed to survive. I honestly don’t know how… but we did.

  5. says

    I will sy even though Emma wasn’t sick with asthma, she had colic and I would sing Can’t Help Falling In Love with you. Sure she doesn’t remember it now, but back then it totally kept her calm in those crazy,colic moments. So, on that level can totally relate. Hugs to you Chris 🙂

    • says

      What a precious memory you have Janine! I just love that… I can picture you rocking your babygirl singing that song. Music is powerful- especially sung by a mother to her child, during those difficult trying and sometimes agonizing seasons of motherhood. We remember… XO

  6. says

    But YOU remember, lovely, and you remember for the two of you.

    This is brutiful.

    I have no other words, but huge, boundless admiration and respect for you. H.U.G.E.

      • says

        Yes. And Although I am seriously amazed that she doesn’t even remember this song- I have to thank God for protecting her from having to re-live all the trauma of her younger years. Apparently, He blessed her yet again with protection and peace. What an awesome God indeed. I always tell Cass that she’s God’s favorite. 😉

    • says

      I am SO glad I somehow managed to write letters to Cass during this time- and as I read them now, I simply can’t believe we somehow survived all the years of trauma and endless pain. Perhaps God graced her with no memory of it all. I am amazed that this song doesn’t trigger it for her, and I am realizing that God may have protected her from her horrible history for a reason. Wow.

  7. says

    Wow. Amazing. So happy that Cassidy doesn’t remember–what a great reminder of God’s sweet grace. Can’t wait to read more!

    • says

      God is threaded throughout this entire story Karmen. And although it was the most painful terrifying years of my life- God managed to help me survive… and bless Cassidy with amazing strength and beautiful faith along the way.

  8. says

    I love that song!! And, even if she doesn’t remember, the song got her (and you) through those tough days. I can’t even imagine the terror and pain you felt!!!
    Chris’s mom (my husband) was a dancer in her younger days (way before I knew any of them) and when she died that was one of the songs at her funeral.
    I never listen to that song without truly feeling very emotional and I’m sure that feeling is even more so for you. And, Cassidy will feel those same feelings at some point!!!

    • says

      That would be a perfect song to play at a funeral, Kim. I am just so sorry Chris had to lose his mother. Just awful.

      It’s been an emotional week, looking through my old letters to Cass during these years- and finding photos and emails about this long painful terrifying season of our lives. I think I am stirred because of this incident in the car, her graduating fifth grade and going to middle school- AND her birthday is next week. It’s all culminating into tearful reflections.

  9. says

    Oh friend, I am sobbing. This is just SO beautiful. And while she doesn’t remember, you do. And you always will. And that is what matters. Because you are amazing. And you are her mom. Forever.-Ashley

    • says

      It really blew me away that she didn’t even know this SONG! How IS that? Wow. And yet, perhaps it’s just another divine intervention from a God that loves His baby girl and decided to protect her from reliving the trauma of her early years. In that case, I am forever grateful for yet another blessing!!

  10. says

    I have only felt that heart-wrenching feeling of leaving a sick baby at the hospital without me once, and it was only for a few hours, but it was the hardest I’ve ever cried and the most scared I’ve ever been. My heart hurts terribly for parents who have sick children and have to leave them over and over again.
    I am so glad you were able to see God in the entire experience. I can’t wait to see how!
    And I’ll never listen to that marvelous song the same way again.

    • says

      Oh Christine, I am so touched that you get this. From one mom to another- and for all moms who have had it much worse than both of us… the intensity of pain and anguish can be earth shattering indeed. I honestly don’t know how any mother could bear it alone, without knowing and believing in God’s Sovereignty. When we are at the ends of ourselves… God is all we have to hold on to.

    • says

      A very traumatic ten years really… this is just a flicker of it all. BUT, it’s one of my most significant experiences because of the intensity of it all. Just weeks before she got sick- Cade was sick (3 weeks old with bronchiolitis) and right before Cade’s birth? Cass was sick. This was a season of great pain and total exhaustion and quite honestly- intense fear.

  11. says

    We worry so much that they will remember, and will be traumatized by things that happen when they are little, but sometimes there is comfort in not remembering. I say that from first-hand experience. 🙂 Beautiful post Chris.

    • says

      Thank you Meredith. You share such beautiful wisdom, and I am realizing that this huge timeline in her life- is missing for her. I still relive it’s vivid nightmare, and I thank GOD that she doesn’t have this traumatic imprint on her heart. It really amazes me, though. I am going to try to figure out what she does remember during those years… because there is SO much more that happened. I am truly intrigued!

  12. Marcia says

    I am so blessed by your retelling of these horrific experiences, thank you for sharing your beautiful story and your strong faith! Love you and that special angel of yours 😉

    • says

      Thanks love. I honestly couldn’t believe she didn’t remember this song! It was mind blowing really… all the history, and she has no recollection of it all. Definitely a blessing of protection for her, and perhaps added puzzled relief for me.

  13. says

    While she may not remember the specific words, I’m positive that she remembers the feeling of love and protection from you, her mother. Is it also possible that she has been given the gift of NOT remembering because it’s tied to a traumatic experience? Also, I loved what Lizzi said about you remembering for the both of you.
    Chris, I’m so so glad these days are behind you, my friend.

    • says

      YES Kristi!!! I am now realizing through this new development that God may be actually protecting her from such traumatizing memories!! This just blows me away… WOW. I am so grateful for that. I am going to figure out when she actually starts remembering… the medical messes went on and on for years, so I wonder where it all starts to form a memory, ya know? Stay tuned!

  14. says

    I’m glad she can’t remember. Because that means she can’t remember the pain either. Poor mama. It’s so difficult to watch a child suffer – and you had to do it with a newborn. I hate that you went through that. You are so very, very strong. love you!

    • says

      Thanks Alexa. I am finding this to be just one more added blessing in her life… that she doesn’t remember. But I will never ever forget. I celebrate our survival now, though!

  15. says

    What a gorgeous photo – whoa! And a gorgeous song.

    I’m glad she can’t remember. Even if she could, well..I guess she CAN in some way only remember your comfort and your voice and this song. Somewhere in her heart. I think it speaks over any bad memories.

    Ah these kids. I have been there – but never for the extent of time you were “there”. And I’m glad you’re here now.

  16. says

    It’s interesting what they do and don’t remember. Something that we found comforting or traumatizing, often is a forgotten to them, or a faded memory if at all. My youngest does remember more about all his hospitalizations than I would like…but I would guess it’s more faded than my memories of the events were. Thank goodness she was ok! That’s a wonderful blessing!

  17. says

    b e a u t I f u l
    Post, as usual.

    we played this at Kay’s funeral & I play it at the cemetery LOUDLY when I visit Kay.

    every single time.

    I crank it up and allow the words to soak thru me….

    This cd was in her car when we cleaned it out.

    OMGOSH, I love this song so so so much.

    how did you know?

    where did you come from?


    • says

      Heart stopping, breath taking, OHMYHEART! I can picture you there at the cemetery… cranking up this glorious song… Precious Kay doesn’t have to imagine. She’s there right now. And I bet she glows a little brighter every time you play it.

  18. says

    When I saw the title of this post, I thought it was going to be about a good memory that Cassidy doesn’t remember because she was too young. I was sad she didn’t remember. But now that I know, it’s a blessing that she doesn’t remember. All the anguish that you experienced isn’t a part of her memory, and that is truly a blessing.

    • says

      I think it really is an amazing act of God’s protection for her sweet sensitive soul. I know most people can remember their young years- and she doesn’t remember so so much of it all…even into pre-school and kindergarten! I wonder how that is… especially because of the trauma- but yet again, maybe it’s because of all the trauma, the medicines, the lack of sleep and rest. Whatever it may be, I thank God for delivering her from those awful memories.

    • says

      Yes- somewhere deep within her, she knows it all. And perhaps it may be in the fibers of her heart, but not in her mind. I find that God spared her the trauma to relive over and over again- I’m sure it would be too hard to manage for her. I love that her ‘vision’ seems to gain more clarity in her recent years, as her health as slowly changed . Interesting to me how that happened. 🙂

    • says

      Do you know THIS was supposed to be linked up to PYHO last week and it just got so crazy busy, I missed it! Ugh. Maybe I will link up this week with this same post… MISSING YOU!


  19. says

    Chris, this story breaks my heart. I’m glad she can’t remember. I’m sure you can still feel the desperation. That never really leaves us all the way, does it? The nice thing is that you can hear that song whenever you want to and make better memories with it 🙂

    • says

      You know what? I actually like keeping the old memory with that song… it reminds me how far we’ve come and it is proof that victory over adversity CAN be done!

      SO many stories through those years- that I will treasure. Both with anguish and with gratitude.

      (Sorry this is SO late Sandy! I am just seeing your comment now. Sigh…)

  20. Tammy says

    I am so beyond grateful that she is doing so well now! a swimming champ! And that beautiful voice of hers…SO beautiful! What a tough time for you guys to have to come through!…but joy comes in the morning ; ) and it’s YOUR morning sister!

    • says

      So many memories to hold, some more powerful than others. I find the hardest ones are the most powerful really. How can we NOT honor them and hold them tightly in our hearts!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *