The song of the week, that’s what it is. Each week, when I take my Mama out to lunch, she sings a song of one kind or another. About a month ago, it was, “I Don’t Know Why I Love You Like I Do.” Two weeks before that it was, ” Life Is Like a Mountain Railway.” I never know what tune will show up and it is always intriguing to see how often she sings it during our 90 minutes together twice each week.  

Do you remember it? I didn’t, until she started to sing it. And she got all of these words, too:



My oh my, what a wonderful day
Plenty of sunshine heading my way

Mister bluebird on my shoulder
It’s the truth
It’s actual
Everything is satisfactual

Wonderful feeling
Wonderful day

— by Allie Wrubel and Ray Gilbert, for Disney’s 1946 film, “Song of the South”

I’m telling you, friends, you haven’t lived until you’ve heard a lovely, frail 95-year-old, dementia-stricken woman singing that song with all her heart, especially that line about the bluebird. Something about the word ‘satisfactual‘ spilling out of her just undoes me.

Because so much of her life is anything but satisfactual, isn’t it? At least, as we are trained by our culture and our own life experience to understand what a satisfying life looks like.

I miss so much about the mom-that-used-to-be — I miss sharing good books and conversation, I miss making fudge when we’re feeling in need of a pick-me-up, I miss watching her ride the southern California waves on a boogie board, I miss her sharp insights into people and situations. Yeah, all those things are no more. That is true.

But. BUT. As hard as it is to walk this road, as tired as I frequently get by the constant repetition and confusion (as this post loudly attests), beauty remains.

Snippets of today’s conversation:

“Oh, I am so glad you called on me and are taking me out for a drive!”
“Isn’t this a beautiful city?”
“I just love to go driving!”
“Do you think I might bring my parents here someday? (
Meaning her caregivers, I have finally figured out!)
“You are such a wonderful person, so kind to me and so beautiful, too.”
“Thank you, thank you so much for this beautiful day!”

And in and around it all was that gloriously silly song.

Kinda made my day.

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  1. I remember that song. I sing it sometimes.

    This kinda made my day, too. And for what it’s worth–you ARE wonderful and kind and beautiful. ❤️

    • Thank you, friend. Praying for you as you enter into this last, demanding piece of your long journey to leave your home and establish a new one. I sincerely hope you can a little R & R once you’re there!!

  2. This long, bewildering road has so many twists, does it not? You speak with such clarity of the pain – and of the songs. Your mom seems to be given a gift of some, perhaps occasional, but remarkable joy and sweetness. She remains physically beautiful and vital. My SIL is completely silent and usually quiet and still, except at night when she roams the halls of the unit. I look for the day when they both will be restored to their gifted minds and you and Mama can talk again about the great mysteries. Your care for her inspires me, Diana. God be near.

    • Thank you, Sue. My MIL was much like your SIL — non-communicative, sometimes combative, totally different person. Totally. What remains for my mom is some of the best of who she always was, and for that I give deep thanks.

  3. So lovely. You do so well at sharing the light and shadow of this long, painful walk with your beautiful mama. I’m so glad for you that this visit had more light. Love your posts, and always read them, even if I don’t comment! xoxo

    • Love you, Donna, and am praying for you as you walk the chemo road. I do so with deep hope that you will come out the other side clear of disease and shaped in beautiful ways by your suffering.

  4. What a wonderful visit (and yes, I know that song well). I don’t doubt you will treasure this memory and hold it close to help get you through some of the more difficult times.

  5. music
    like magic
    brings people back
    to themselves
    for even one shining moment
    and we can only look on, amazed
    even refreshed enough
    to carry on
    my, oh my, what a wonderful day

  6. Satisfactual … Gets me, too


  7. Deanne Moore says

    “My, oh my….”so thankful to read of this grace-drenched day with your beautiful mom.

  8. This is lovely, Diana. And, I agree wholeheartedly, “…beauty remains.” Absolutely!

  9. Beauty and a gloriously silly song. Who could ask for anything more?! (Another ancient song with a snappy tune and lyrics!) Actually, God, I do ask for more: strength and wisdom for my blogger-friend, Diana. In the name of Jesus.

  10. I’m all in favor of the Glorious/Silly!

  11. Kinda made my day too, Diana. I’m so glad you wrote this. So very sweet – in the midst of the sometimes bitter. You’re a blessing dear one.

  12. I loved this post! I myself have been known to break out into song. Ha! A few months before my father was moved to heaven, he had been moved physically to a new facility. While visiting him, he told me about taking a ride out into the countryside with some of the people from the facility. I thought it was just some wild tale. The next day one of the caregivers asked me if I had heard about the outing they had recently taken him on. Keep on sharing, Diana. It is so meaningful to those of us who have already been through this.

    • Carolyn — I just today thought to head over to the comments list in the back of my blog and am finding several different ones that have been waiting for a while for my attention. Thanks so much for your kind response and your encouragement to keep on telling the stories of this hare and yet wonderful journey! My mom often surprises me with what she will occasionally remember, as if out of thin air. But then, I guess that’s a pretty accurate description, isn’t it?

  13. That silly song has such great spirit. The kind that indeed puts a spring in your step. I pray your dear Mom has that spark coming from a happy place in her heart, in spite of all that she struggles with. And you Diana, I always stand amazed at how you continue your loving care of your Mom. And she knows it too and it comes out in sweet confusing ways. Bless you both as these days move so slowly to the final release for both of you…Loving you, and your precious Mother, Gwen

  14. Yes! What a wonderful day, and such a wonderful Mom!
    Blessings, Diana!