Eldridge Toney lost his wife, Anna Cardwell, nearly two months ago, but he continues to make an effort in order to remain close to her children.
As The Ashley previously told you, the 29-year-old Mama June: Family Crisis star passed away in December following a nearly year-long battle with cancer, leaving behind two daughters– 11-year-old Kaitlyn and 8-year-old Kylee.
Eldridge– who quietly married Anna in March 2023, shortly after Anna was diagnosed with stage 4 adrenal carcinoma – is not the biological father of either child.
Following Anna’s death, Kylee went to live with her father, Michael Cardwell, while Anna’s mother, Mama June Shannon, was preparing to take custody of Kaitlyn. However, Michael, who has been a consistent father figure to Kaitlyn despite the two not being biologically related, is currently fighting June for custody of the 11-year-old.
Despite the ongoing custody battle between June and Michael, Eldridge recently revealed to People that he has been able to maintain a relationship with both of his step-daughters.
“Yes, yes I have been seeing them as much as I can,” he said. “I’ve been staying really persistent on seeing both of them.
“It’s easier now to see Kaitlyn than it is Kylee, just because Kaitlyn is right up the road,” he continued. “And I pretty much know June and [her husband] Justin [Stroud]’s schedule. But as far as Kylee, I don’t get to see her as much, but I still do see her as much as possible.”
While Eldridge does not have custody of either child, he said he always intended to remain a father to both Kaitlyn and Kylee.
“You know because I’ve been with Anna so long, we’ve had these conversations where I’ve sat down with Michael and Anna, and Michael looked at me like I was going to be another father to his daughter and he was OK with that,” he said. “I am making sure I stay true to the promise I made to Anna. I love watching the girls grow up.”
In the time he’s gotten to spend with the girls in recent months, Eldridge has already begun to notice some of that growing up happening.
“One thing Anna always messed with Kylee about was her hair would never grow long,” he said. “Even at 7 years-old, she had like, really short hair. Barely passed her ears type thing.
“And just now seeing her hair is starting to grow so long, it’s already past her shoulders, and it’s in those moment I really think about Anna and how she would smile, so big, just seeing that her hair is actually starting to grow,” he continued. “It’s just little stuff like that.”
Shortly after Anna’s death, Eldridge told People that he made a vow to his wife to keep her memory alive for her daughters.
“The day before she passed, we had our talks and said our goodbyes,” he recalled. “Her dying wish was for her girls to grow up knowing who their mother way. And I promised I would do right by the girls always. I will spend my life doing what is right by Anna and the girls.”
Eldridge also said at the time that he planned to maintain the close relationship he has with Kaitlyn and Kylee.
“Those are my girls,” he said. “I promised Anna I would do right by them and make sure they remembered their mama. And that is what I will do.”
(Photos: Instagram; Facebook)