Wednesday, December 28, 2016

#3 of 2016 - Where the Light Gets In by Kimberly Williams-Paisley

25852857Where the Light Gets In: Losing My Mother Only to Find Her Again by Kimberly Williams-Paisley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Published April 5th 2016 by Crown Archetype

Many know Kimberly Williams-Paisley as the bride in the popular Steve Martin remakes of the Father of the Bride movies, the calculating Peggy Kenter on Nashville, or the wife of country music artist, Brad Paisley. But behind the scenes, Kim was dealing with a tragic secret: her mother, Linda, was suffering from a rare form of dementia that slowly crippled her ability to talk, write and eventually recognize people in her own family.
Where the Light Gets In tells the full story of Linda’s illness—called primary progressive aphasia—from her early-onset diagnosis at the age of 62 through the present day. Kim draws a candid picture of the ways her family reacted for better and worse, and how she, her father and two siblings educated themselves, tried to let go of shame and secrecy, made mistakes, and found unexpected humor and grace in the midst of suffering.

Ultimately the bonds of family were strengthened, and Kim learned ways to love and accept the woman her mother became. With a moving foreword by actor and advocate Michael J. Fox,
Where the Light Gets In is a heartwarming tribute to the often fragile yet unbreakable relationships we have with our mothers.

The One That Made Me Think About Life

Six years ago I read the book If I'd Known Then: Women in their 20s and 30s Write Letters to Their Younger Selves, which has a letter written by Kimberley Williams-Paisley (one of the main reasons it caught my attention in the first place) and in the short review I wrote for it I said:

Most of us usually compare our lives to the perfect lives we think these women have, but now we learn that they had some pretty hard times too...
This book is for young woman to realized that they are not alone in what they're feeling or going through.

And that's kind of what Where the Light Gets In is too; the story of someone who has this public image that we never really think to look past of.

It's also a book to let anyone in a similar situation know that they are not alone.

This was written for those people in a similar situation; who probably do feel alone and lost I did see a lot of moments where it's obvious that she felt alone in this. Even though she had her father, siblings and husband; she still had her moments of absolute helplessness. And considering this book was written in hind-sight it made it more heartbreaking because there were probably a few "What ifs?" going through her mind.

I can't even begin to imagine everything she felt. There are so many moments where you can really understand what she was thinking, but even then it's just the tip of the iceberg. Because the rest is something only someone in this situation would wholly understand.

She shares so much of what the entire family went through and all the things they tried to do for her mother. All the things she wished they had done.
Throughout I just kept thinking "This is what it's like to be a daughter/child isn't it?" One day the person you looked to will be looking for you.

Then to decide to share it with the world.

It's simply beautiful, heartbreaking, thought-provoking, inspiring and so much more.
It's life.

8 Months Later:

I'm surprised I managed to get all that out in my review. I said everything I could about this book.

5 Favorite Quotes:

“This is what I came up with: My mother is not only presenting me an opportunity to love unconditionally, she’s also allowing me to practice being comfortable with what is uncomfortable. To grieve and also embrace what is broken. To know that some days I can receive who my mother is now and some days I struggle with it. To allow that two opposing thoughts may exist in my head at the same time.”  

“What’s this like for you?” “It’s hard,” she said, and paused to think for a moment. “But I often find that messy, complicated situations bring people closer than we would be otherwise.”  

“My mother was teaching us not to shy away in the face of a challenge. Not to shrink from what was uncomfortable.” 

“Seek out adventures, she told us. Come back with stories.”  

“Ride the horse in the direction that it’s going.” Instead of wishing for things to be different, choose to embrace the life in front of you.”  

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