Anna Cardwell's Husband Eldridge Toney Says He Feels Like 'Another Father' to Her Two Daughters (Exclusive)

Cardwell died in December and is survived by daughters Kaitlyn and Kylee

<p>Anna Cardwell Instagram</p> Anna Cardwell and Eldridge Toney.

Anna Cardwell Instagram

Anna Cardwell and Eldridge Toney.

Anna "Chickadee" Cardwell's husband is sharing an update on his relationship with her daughters.

In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE, Eldridge Toney reflected on the first few months since the death of his wife in December, which came less than a year after she was diagnosed with stage 4 adrenal carcinoma.

Cardwell and Toney began dating in 2017 following Cardwell's divorce from ex-husband Michael Cardwell, with whom she welcomed daughter Kylee Madison, 11. Cardwell is also mom to daughter Kaitlyn Elizabeth, 8.

“Yes, yes I have been seeing them as much as I can," Toney tells PEOPLE of Cardwell's daughters. "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. And I pretty much know June and Justin’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.”

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Related: Anna 'Chickadee' Cardwell's Husband Promised to 'Spend My Life' Sharing Her Story with Her Daughters (Exclusive)

Though doesn't have custody of Cardwell's daughters, Toney says he still feels like another father to her girls.

“You know because I’ve been with Anna so long, we’ve had these conversations where I’ve sat down with Michael [Cardwell] and Anna, and Michael looked at me like I was going to be another father to his daughter and he was OK with that," Toney shares.

“I am making sure I stay true to the promise I made to Anna," he adds. "I love watching the girls grow up."

"One thing was Anna always messed with Kylee about was her hair would never grow long," Toney remembers. "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 like already past her shoulders, and it’s in those moments I really think about Anna and how she would smile, so big, just seeing that her hair is actually starting to grow. It’s just a little stuff like that.”

In the days after his wife's death, Toney shared with PEOPLE the promise he'd made Cardwell regarding her two daughters. "The day before she passed, we had our talk and said our goodbyes," Toney told PEOPLE at the time.

"Her dying wish was for her girls to grow up knowing who their mother was. And I promised I would do right by the girls always. I will spend my life doing right by Anna and the girls."

“Those are my girls,” Toney said of Cardwell’s daughters. “I promised Anna I would do right by them and make sure they remembered their mama. And that is what I will do.”

Cardwell and Toney married in Wilkinson County, Georgia, on March 4, shortly after her diagnosis because they knew they "knew time was limited."

On Dec. 9, 2023, the Here Comes Honey Boo Boo alum died at age 29. While announcing the death on Instagram, her mother Mama June Shannon shared a family photograph and wrote, "With the breaking heart, we are announcing that @annamarie35 is no longer with us. She passed away in my home last night peacefully at 11:12 PM."

"She gave one hell of a fight for 10 months she passed away with her family around her like she won’t and we will be updating y’all with more information as we get it today," continued Shannon.

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