Hope memories alice ciara hope
Credit: Images: Paul Skipper/JPI; Jill Johnson/JPI, NBC

Sorry, but we’re just not ready to let the legendary performer or character go yet.

When it comes to Days of Our Lives’ Hope, everyone has a favorite moment. Maybe it was watching the rebellious teen try and seduce older guy Bo, or the two finally consummating their love at a plantation in New Orleans. Perhaps it was the legendary wedding that the couple eventually shared. (We’re talking about their nuptials in London, although we suspect many viewers have fond memories of Hope’s marriage to Larry… especially the part where the “bride” was revealed to be a cigar-chomping Howie!)

Yes, everyone has a favorite Hope moment. Some, however, are lucky enough to also have crossed paths with Kristian Alfonso and gotten to know the smart, funny, talented woman who brought Hope to life. Personally, I’ll never forget watching Alfonso share time with the late Frances Reid — who played her grandmother Alice, the very heart and soul of Salem — at the events surrounding the 2004 Daytime Emmy Awards in New York City.

More: Kristian Alfonso’s co-stars struggle to say farewell

This would be a very special occasion for Reid, who was among 10 legendary daytimers who would receive Lifetime Achievement Awards during the ceremony. She would be joined on stage by co-star and fellow recipient John Clarke (ex-Mickey), but at the various events leading up to the big night, there were two people by Reid’s side: her granddaughter and Alfonso. The bond shared by the two actresses was evident, the genuine affection shining in their eyes.

“I just loved her so much,” Alfonso would tell Soap Opera Digest upon Reid’s death in 2010. “There was just so much about her to love. It’s so rare that someone has so much to say with their eyes. They were just so bright, and she was just so sharp and fun and worldly and a live wire. I would do scenes with her, and I knew that we were acting, but I knew that she loved me and I loved her.”

More: So wait… that’s how Hope exits? 

So while I’ll always have fond memories of Alfonso’s run as Hope — with the Cruise of Deception storyline being my personal favorite — it’s her connection to Reid that will stay with me. Because we should all have people in our lives who love us that deeply not because they are family, but because they feel like family. And perhaps just as importantly, we should make sure those people know how much they mean to us. Watching Alfonso and Reid together, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that each knew exactly how the other felt.

days kristian alfonso peter reckell hope bo gallery

In 1996, Hope Brady (Kristian Alfonso) turned away from the kiss of true love Bo (Peter Reckell)… but in the sexiest way possible.

Credit: NBC/Courtesy of the Everett Collection

In some ways, that need for connection is why all of us are so deeply feeling Alfonso’s Days of Our Lives exit. She wasn’t the first Hope, but she was the last, and she was the one who we watched grow up on screen. I suspect that like me, you have family members you don’t know as intimately as you do Hope. (Most of us probably didn’t watch our relatives lose their virginity to their one true love… ) So it’s inevitable that as we try and say farewell to both the character and the actress, we hold out hope — no pun intended — that both will come back one day despite Alfonso’s insistence that she’s unlikely to ever return to Salem.

More: Roles Kristian Alfonso would be perfect for

As we head into this first week of episodes without Alfonso, why not take a moment to share your own personal favorite memories of the actress and/or her much-loved character in the comments? Should your memory need a bit of jogging, visit the gallery below in which we revisit some of the many, many highlights of Hope’s life.