Actress Kimberly Williams first caught the eye of Brad Paisley when he watched her star in the 1991 film, Father of the Bride. Years later, when the couple got engaged in 2002, Kimberly was excited to finally be a real-life bride. She couldn't wait to share the news with her mother, Linda, but her reaction was not what she expected.
When Kimberly told her mother that she was going to get married, instead of cheering with excitement, she was unusually quiet, but Kimberly really didn't think much of it at the time.
But after Kimberly and Brad married in 2003, she started noticing some other odd changes in her mother's behavior. She was mispronouncing words, was often confused, and even ran her car into a store after she used the accelerator instead of the brake.
Kimberly and her family could tell something was wrong, and in 2005 they learned that Linda, who was 62 at the time, was suffering from a rare form of early-onset dementia. With no known cure, Kimberly and her family made the decision to place Linda in a long-term care facility in 2012, where she remains today.
At first, Linda asked her family to keep her condition private, but now Kimberly is opening up about their evolving relationship in a new book, titled Where the Light Gets In: Losing My Mother Only to Find Her Again.
"I see my mom and me in a different frame now. I believe we're healed in ways we couldn't have foreseen," Kimberly writes in the book, which is due out on April 5. "I continue to learn from her, in profound ways."
The book also includes a list of resources for those going through similar situations. Kimberly, who is a spokeswoman for the Alzheimer's Association, says that making those resources available to others is what motivated her to write the book above all else.
As for the role Brad played in helping Kimberly come to terms with her mother's condition, Kimberly told People he has been a huge source of support.
"He's been amazing," she said. "More than anything, he keeps me laughing. That’s the best. He's got this dry sense of humor."
To learn more about how Kimberly has helped care for her mother, check out her interview on The Real Story in the video below.
We can't imagine how heartbreaking the past few years have been for Kimberly and her family, but we will be keeping all of them in our prayers.
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