Daughters, Dolls, and Doctor Who

Today I am sharing another post from the archives of posts written from the throes of motherhood. My writing community was the saving grace for me then and I continue to be thankful as I remember the support and encouragement I received trhough this particular community during those years.

I am trying to find the courage and strength to share more in the days ahead but it seems, right now in this early stage of loss, each day is enough to get through. As we continue to mourn the loss of our precious daughter and learn as we go, we continue to trust in God for all the things we cannot know now. We hope in Him for what only He knows, and remain confident in His gracious, merciful, compassionate, longsuffering and loving character.

Meanwhile sharing memories and some of the writing from archives is what I am doing …until I find new words to share again.

My daughter sits on the floor, cross legged, brushing a doll’s hair while watching an episode of her latest favorite Science Fiction series, Doctor Who. Six dolls surround her as I capture her with my camera. She huffs her disapproval, “Really, Mom!” I watch and wonder where the time has gone.

This TV series she loves is almost prophetic in message to me. The main character plays a Doctor who is also…well, kind of immortal and pretty much king of the Universe. He is a “Time Lord”, meaning Lord of all time, so the story goes. Hmmm…sounds like someone I know. And just as this Doctor is often on some time altering misadventure in the galaxy, I sometimes feel like her childhood has been fast forwarded. I see her, not as she is, but in a series of snapshots, captured in time, held in my memory.

Is this all life is?
Moments captured, images snapped in time.
Snap. I am rocking her, she is but one eye peeking up at me, contented at my breast.
Snap. She straddles the crib, determined to get out, while I peek through door cracked open, amazed at her early rebellion, humbly determining my next parenting strategy.
Snap. The doll whose hair she now brushes I see then escorting her to the bus stop, 2nd grade.
Snap. She is driving off with Daddy in his Volkswagen Bug for the first Father-Daughter Dance.
Snap, Snap, Snap. I can’t make it stop, yet I want to slow it down. Make it linger. This precious time. Yet, as quick as the shutter clicks, our moments turn into memory. She had six dolls but saved only one. She decided to part with the rest, let them go. She doesn’t play with them anymore and after careful consideration resigns to release them to make room for the new.

Snap. How can it be that my daughter understands now what I am still learning. That when we are unwilling to let go, release the things we have outgrown, we limit God’s ability to give us the new. God wills that we remain sensitive to Him, in the present moment. Love has open hands, does not cling tightly to that which must be loosed. We can’t stop time as it seems best to us. It cannot be controlled nor should we allow it to control or drive us or our intentions. All must be yielded to the One True Lord of Time, and that time lord is not the good TV Doctor but the Great Physician who was and is and is to come.

We must let go of our past expectations, desires, and plans so that we don’t miss what God has for us and our children right here in the present moment. (Isaiah 43:18-19).

It pains me that my little girl is growing faster in many ways than I’d like. But God has a plan for her, beyond what my own expectations, desires and plans for her might be. I will still try to capture her sweet smile and curls with my camera, parent her lovingly (by His grace) despite her objections; but more than ever as she grows and continues to become who she will be, I will acknowledge and seek the One who knows all, and who can be trusted with time.

Snap. He’s got this.

April 8th, 2021– Though I’m not so SNAPPY, Lord, I still believe. You alone have the final word on all of our moments, every snapshot we hold dear, now and forever. May all of my moments find me – and all of us – satisfied in you. Amen.

Thank you for prayers and for grace during this time. God is faithful.

Published by enthusiasticallydawn

Dawn Paoletta is the author of Journaling for Discovery and Delight. Her writing is included in several anthologies and her poems have been included in the Wickford Poetry and Art Exhibit and Books. Dawn is currently working on her next book. Inquiries at dawn.paoletta@gmail.com

6 thoughts on “Daughters, Dolls, and Doctor Who

  1. When I read your words I am transported to see them as if I were your eyes. So honored to have had the chance to spend some time with her. And you.


  2. Hi Dawn, I am angry at myself for not checking your blog in recent months as you are walking through this awfullness. I’ve been praying for you, but did not check for your heart on the blog. Of course writing would be your place to heal. I love you.


  3. Thank you, Dawn, for giving us another wonderful glimpse into the memory book of time with your precious daughter. Oh how we wish we could somehow rewind the film and make it all come back alive again…relive those precious moments with our dear child and pay more attention to what they were saying and doing…linger longer on each thought and word and deed. But yes, time marches on and life happens, and then all too suddenly life as we know it is over and we cannot go with them to their new life. We can’t see now what they see and hear. But someday it will be our turn, and we will know for all eternity what they are now experiencing with much joy and delight. I cling to that hope and that reality. Your precious daughter and my precious son are both enjoying all the beauty of heaven and walking and talking with Jesus…face to face! When I think about that I wouldn’t want to snap them back here for even a second. They wouldn’t appreciate it and they would only say to us, Oh, please…let me go back! You just won’t believe what I am seeing and doing now…and someday it will be yours as well! But please, let me go back! And we would have to let them go…but perhaps just knowing that that is what it would be like for them makes me happy for them…and I can let go…yes, a bit reluctantly, but with that knowledge that one day we will all be together for eternity kind of helps me have a little more patience to wait it out. God knows best. He sees what we couldn’t possibly understand just yet…but He definitely knows best. My heart breaks with you, Dawn. Our photos and memories in our heart are all we have left of them now, but remember the story about the dessert fork? The dinner where they told the people to save their fork…because the best was yet to come? Well, we are holding our forks and waiting, because the best is yet to come…and it will be forever and ever. (((hugs))) to you today dear friend. I loved this post.


  4. Dawn: This is so beautiful. We have a nephew who lost his second daughter this past month. My heart goes out to him and to you during this time of grief. Thank you for sharing these thoughts with us. Blessings on you and Angelo.


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