“Praying and Believing” — a re-post for Michelle DeRusha


I am not writing online about my journey with my mom these days. I’m trying to gather it all into something approaching a book, so after the new year, much of my time and energy will be devoted to that particular kind of gathering. 

My connection to my mother is deep and important and our time together is complicated, lovely, difficult and an ongoing part of my daily life. She is still a heroine to me, even in the throes of dementia. Why? Because what remains of my mother is beautiful. Quite stunning, actually. And that is a gift. Yes, I wish she had her memory. Yes, I wish we could enjoy the kinds of deep conversation and belly laughter that we once did. But as we walk this path, I am struck by the ferociously glorious light that shines out of her face and her spirit. 

As I said, what remains is beautiful.

So when my friend, Michelle DeRusha, wrote and asked if she could re-post my contribution to her “Faith Heroine” series, I said yes. Because sometimes it’s good to remember what was.

You can find that piece by clicking here.

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  1. Left a comment at Michelle’s site!

  2. “What remains is beautiful” My dearest MIL was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 1985. No one had heard of it back then. It was so hard, there was no support; friends thought we were cruel to place her when life became unsafe.
    BUT. Her spirit was alive and her smile continued to shine brightly even after she lost her words to us. We knew we were loved, even without our names when her face lit up and she looked at each of us around the table with delight. It strengthened us for the long journey through that time.

    Thank you for sharing this, it is a gift to your readers. Last night, I viewed a video that a friend had reposted to FB. It will be a blessing to you. Memory bridge.org, is the site, the clip is “Gladys Wilson & Naomi Feil “. Sing, Diana, you Mom will love it.

    • How difficult that must have been for all of you, Elaine. And we do sing, my mom and I. Not as much as we did about a year or so ago, but we do. I’m amazed that she has hung onto many words from old gospel songs, even through this terrible time of losing herself, bit by bit.