Kimberly Williams-Paisley recently opened up to Redbook about her mother Linda Williams’ primary progressive aphasia diagnosis, writing details in an essay for magazine on her struggle to cope, and how she learned to love her “new” mother, according to a Feb. 6 People Magazine report.
“I've watched a passionately joyful woman, a devoted mother, an engaged listener and friend deteriorate and transform into someone almost unrecognizable. It's been agonizing to slowly lose her,” Williams-Paisley, who is married to country music star Brad Paisley wrote in “How I Faced My Mother's Dementia.”
The actress’s 61-year-old mother’s diagnosis is a rare form of dementia that has made it difficult to write clearly or say her grandson Jasper’s name, among other things.
According to ABC News, things deteriorated so much that long term care was the only viable option for the family. "The move was the hardest change my tight-knit family has ever had to endure," she wrote. The visits were to her mother were very difficult for the 42-year old, who could not get the image of the “fading picture of who she used to be” out of her head.
“I usually broke down after I got home, sobbing so uncontrollably that I was sore the next day," she added. "Then, unexpectedly, I discovered a kind of healing. At a party, I found myself talking with two women whose parents suffered from dementia.”
Eventually, there was a shift in the way Williams-Paisley saw her mother. She evolved into a “new” mother. She wrote the change took place during one visit. “It took a few moments. But when she saw me, her eyes opened wide. Her mouth lifted into a wide, happy grin, as though I was one of the greatest surprises of her life. We sat like that for a while, smiling at each other.... I focused on this new person in front of me, in many ways a stranger. She radiated a peace that comes from having little self-awareness.”
The duo is now enjoying their new connection. “In the living room of my mom's new home, I wrapped my arms around this changed woman,” she wrote. “Then I got up to get her some juice and a straw. When I came back to her, she had forgotten me. But joy spread on her face as she discovered me for the first time all over again. We both cheered.”