The Mystery Remains


Once again, I am overwhelmed by your response to a post about my journey with my mom. It never ceases to amaze me how great an epidemic this is in our land, how many people are walking this hard, painful road through the death-by-inches and loss of self that is dementia. Thank you for your kind words and your stories — they mean the world to me, and to everyone who reads through that long comment thread.

This week has been one of gradual healing, slowly regained mobility and living right smack dab in the middle of deep wells of gratitude. I’ve spelled out a few reasons why in today’s newsletter (you can subscribe at the bottom of this post if you’d like), but I will just say here that the human body is both fragile and miraculously resilient and I am celebrating the gift of my own body in ways I never have before.


I have abused this vessel for many years, in many ways: too many calories, too little exercise, too much stress. Slowly, slowly, I am learning to appreciate how very well it has served me over my life and I am living more fully in it than ever before. That is no small gift for a little girl who hated her height/skin/hair/self and always felt awkward and clumsy. 

The bruises from my time with mom on Mother’s Day are healing as well. I dropped off some supplies two days later and as she saw me, her eyes welled with tears and she said, with great hesitation,”Are you still mad at me?”

I almost wept again.

Somewhere in the confusing tunnels of her brain, she knows that she has upset me. And she is sorry for it.

I am sorry, too.

A trusted friend and counselor said to me this morning, “You know, Diana, your letting go of that Coumadin is a strong metaphor for the way in which you must let go of everything else that makes you bleed.”

Everything else that makes me bleed.

Well, wow.



I must continue to learn how to let go of these old wounds, to offer them to my Savior as a means of grace, to say ‘thank you’ for the good gifts first and forever, to release my mother’s ultimate care and safety to Another.

I am not now, never have been, and never can be responsible for her health and happiness. That is the lie that she and I have believed for far too long and it must be jettisoned. It must be.

We cannot, any of us, be ‘the answer’ for another human person. It is not possible, nor is it desirable. We can be instruments for healing, we can be companions on the way, we can laugh and cry and worry and wonder with one another. But we cannot, we must not, we dare not ever try to fix one another.

We don’t have that power. Thank God.


There is only one source of Healing in this universe, and it pours out on us all day after day, in mess after mess, through trial after trial. It shows up in medicine, psychology, friendship, good marriages, good parenting, healthy politics (is there such a thing?). But the Source is the same. Everything  that is good and right in this universe comes from God alone.

Not me.

Not you.

Through me, hopefully, yes. And through you, too.

But we do not have to generate it, invent it, or even package it. We simply have to allow it. That is all. 

So I am learning again to say, “YES.” With as much of me as I now know, I say, “Yes.” 

And I say, “Thank you.”

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  1. LOVE these words. Thank you, Diana.


  2. “I must continue to learn how to let go of these old wounds, to offer them to my Savior as a means of grace, to say ‘thank you’ for the good gifts first and forever.” Amen Diana. Isn’t that the way we’re all meant to live but oh so rarely do? I love your words, your wisdom and the way life’s journey is shaping you. Keep on pouring them out, We need to read and receive them. Thank you. Xx

  3. Thank you, Diana, for your freedom-laced words, reminding us that it’s not possible or even desirable to be ‘the answer’ for someone else. Our job is to simply allow the Spirit to work his healing, wisdom, encouragement, etc. THROUGH us).

    Help me remember that, Lord!

    • I’ll join you in that prayer, Nancy! Help me to remember, to release. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  4. So much beauty in this, Diana. The “letting go” seems to be a life-long process. I thought I’d done a fairly good job of doing just that, but I realized last week that I’d let some of it form a pool at my feet that in a vulnerable moment, I stepped into and even wallowed a bit.

    As our dear Ann says, “it’s all Grace.”

    Love you, friend.

    • Yeah, those pools can really make a mess, can’t they? Add in fatigue, pain, confusion–and the mess increases exponentially. Thanks for your encouragement, lovely friend.

  5. I read your piece about your Mom while in Anchorage, visiting my own dear parents. It deeply resonated with me, and I told myself that I should re-read once I was no longer traveling, which I plan to do now. I appreciate you sharing from the heart these encounters with your Mom.

    Oh, the power of saying Yes to the Almighty. And of course, thanks.

    I’m reminded of another writer’s words about the best prayers: Help, Thanks, and Wow. so true.

    Grace and peace to you, Diana.

    • Yes, indeed, Annie’s words are profound and helpful, as always. Hope your trip was a good one, Susan. Grace and peace back to you!

  6. This touched me in a deep place today. Knowing that we are not responsible for any other human should give me a sense of relief but it also makes me realize that I do it so often. I take on things that are not mine and God has not asked me to do this. I appreciate you and your wisdom in this journey. I am visiting you from Joanne’s where she shared this post also at The Weekend Brew. Blessings!

    • We all do it, don’t we? We take on god-like dimensions without even realizing it. Thanks for your thoughtful response, Mary. Glad to know of the share!

  7. I have been waiting to read these posts about you and your mother….waiting until I could click over and sit with you…knowing that I would most likely wear your shoes, share your tears and frustrations, wrestle from trying to “fix” what cannot be fixed by me. Today, I take the Healing poured out for today, trusting Him for tomorrow. I just heard the doctor say her “brain has shrunk”—-she has early onset dementia. She is my mother. She turned 70 in January. I am sad today. I would appreciate your prayers. We are really on the beginning of this journey (maybe we are…. only God knows) but if you have any advice for me, I would appreciate it. Thank you for this wise advice in post above. It may be the first lesson I must learn as I lose my sweet momma piece by piece.

    • Oh, Dea!!! That just hits WAY too close to home. I turned 70 in January and this disease is one of my greatest fears! I do Lumosity games daily, read, write, walk. Those are the things I know to do to stave it off as long as possible. And please do the research and find out what you and your mom can do to help delay things. They’re finding out more every day – #1 = 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 5Xweek. WALKING. And then there is the SAIDO site – lots of good one-on-one brain work helps. Oh, dear Dea. I am more sorry than I can possibly say. Praying for you and for her this morning. Do not hesitate to write, ever. Also check out the website “The Alzheimer’s Reading Room.” We cannot do what this man did (give up his entire life to live with and care for his mom the last few years of her life!), nor should we. But he gathers great info, uses experts well and follows current studies. Many, many blessings.

  8. Oh, Diana, your words really speak to me. My mother is 92 and still living alone, and out of my two brothers and me, I am the one who lives near her. I can so identify with your relationship with your mother. This really spoke to me: “I am not now, never have been, and never can be responsible for her health and happiness.” And this is so true: “We cannot, any of us, be ‘the answer’ for another human person. It is not possible, nor is it desirable.” Sometimes it almost seems like it all depends on us, but we can’t do everything. I’m trying to find a balance with what I do for her and for the rest of my family. I’m learning to trust God more for her and not feel guilty if I can’t do everything. God is so faithful and good and does work through each of us, not with our strength, but His. Thank you, Diana, for sharing this. I’m visiting from #GiveMeGrace. I’m late to the linkup.

    • We tend to believe (and sometimes I think our mothers encourage us to believe it!) that we alone are responsible for their personal happiness and well-being. And it is such a hard ‘idol’ to give up! I’m not sure I understand all the psycho-spiritual pieces of it all, but I surely know it when I see it. And it sounds like you do, too. Thanks for your encouragement here. And let’s both commit to releasing the guilt, okay? It does absolutely NO good at all.

  9. ” . . . the way in which you must let go of everything else that makes you bleed.” Wow.

    And we can’t be the answer for another… or even fix another. I’m late getting here, but I think I needed this today.

    Walking with you… with love.