“Oh, Holy Night…

Life with Mom

—-This is a story of a life shared with Mom after her diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease.—

 …the stars are brightly shining…”

I’ve been listening to Christmas Carols in my car for over a week now.  The reason:  A friend told me a long time ago that when she’s feeling anything but good, she plays Christmas Carols.  She said they calm her and raise her spirits.  She’s right; they do.  I found that out during this past week.

“Come, they told me, Pa, rum, pa, pum, pum…”

Brian and I moved last Saturday.  We moved in with my mother, which we had been planning since last July.   It finally happened, and was/is a lot of work.

But, two days before the move, I brought my mother to see a Neurologist to have her evaluated.  We’ve all noticed a change in her memory and ability to engage in complicated tasks that require judgment and problem solving skills.  After about an hour, the physician swung her chair around and gently broke the news that Mom has early stage Alzheimer’s disease.  It was a shock, and it wasn’t a shock.

“Said the night wind to the little lamb, do you see what I see?  A star, a star, dancing in the night…”

On the way home, I was struck by Mom’s bravery.  We talked a little about the diagnosis and where we go from here.  My father died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease almost 9 years ago, so we’re no strangers to this fate.  As is true of a mother, she thought first of her five kids and what this means to us regarding both of our parents having this life changing disease.  She also mentioned that she doesn’t believe in hiding, and gave me her permission and blessings to tell her story.

“Silent night.  Holy night.  All is calm, all is bright…”

So, yes.  The Christmas music I’ve been playing this past week has had a profound effect on my well-being.   The way it does during the Christmas season.

I feel a little like Cindy Lou Who and the Who’s from Whoville.

“Fah who foraze, Dah who doraze, Welcome Christmas, bring your light…”

Why?  Because we have hope.


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18 Responses to “Oh, Holy Night…

  1. ShawnElizabeth Tarof Recore says:

    You, Brian and your mom will be in my prayers. If there is anything we can do, please let me know. I give to our love and prayers and anything else.

  2. mafarckle says:

    Diane, you are courageous as your mom is.  I am sorry for that diagnosis, but they are coming out with new ideas.  Did her doctor talk about anti-inflammatory medicine, like ibuprofen?  I don’t want to suggest that she take it.  It would depend on her doctors.  They has been recent research on delaying progression.  Love, Mother Patti


  3. Diane Fiore says:

    Mother Patti, She didn’t mention the ibuprofen, but I will now know to ask. Thanks for the info. Arming ourselves with current knowledge will be the key. BSF.

  4. Helen Tarof says:

    Dear Diane, Thank you for sharing your beautiful thoughts of you and your Mom with her illness. You are more of a Christian than I am as you face this difficult journey again with your precious Mom, without Malice or Anger. May God Bless you richly as you travel this difficult journey. I want you to know how blessed I feel to have you for a daughter-in-law.

    With much Love from your Outlaw Mother-in-law Helen


  5. Glynny Schiavoni says:

    I copied down a verse from my Bible this morning because for some reason it spoke to me and I do not remember ever reading it before. Must be it was so I could share it with you, dear Diane. The words were just part of a verse in Zephaniah 3:17 and they say, “He will quiet you with his love…”
    Coincidence?? I think probably not. I’ll be adding your Mom to the prayers for your safety in your travels for work.
    Hang in sweet girl.

    • Diane Fiore says:

      Glynny, How wonderfully inspiring. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for connecting this to me and my family. I will not forget these special words.
      With love and admiration, Diane

  6. R.J. Fedler says:

    I’m sorry your fears were confirmed, Diane. I hope that at least knowing now provides some relief to the uncertainty of before. Keep on with your Christmas music — the lyrics placed throughout this piece were a nice touch.

  7. Diane Fiore says:

    Rebecca, Such sweet comments. I value feedback from such a gifted writer. Hope to see you soon. Diane

  8. Helen Tarof says:

    Dear Diane, I just read your incredible story. God Bless You and your Mom with your sharing of your personal family problems with others.  You are truly an inspiration to ME and I’m sure many others as you travel this difficult road called LIFE.  Your BEAUTY in the Faith you have as you travel this difficult path.  My prayer is you never loose this beauty of faith that you show (You truly are a beautiful person), and I am so Blessed to have you as a daughter-in-law.



  9. maria wulf says:

    Diane, Once again your writing has touched me deeply. Not an easy thing to do to share something so personal and emotional. You do it all with such strength and vulnerability at the same time. You are an inspiration.

  10. Ann says:

    Im sorry things turned out this way.Who knows what tomorrow will bring,Diane. Hope and faith and love are always here for us. You have been so wonderful to me these past months,as I’ve dealt with my Mom’s dementia. I’m grateful to you. Let’s hold hands and across all these miles take care of each other, whatever tomorrow brings.

  11. Diane Fiore says:

    Ann, My hand is extended westward, and I can feel the warmth of yours. What a lovely thought and gesture. Yes…whatever tomorrow brings, we have the gifts of hope, faith, love, and each other.

  12. Diane

    I wish you the very best as you now travel this journey with your mother. I have had the same situation with both my parents in the last few years, and my husband has early onset dementia as well.
    I am enjoying your blog. Keep writing!

    • Diane Fiore says:

      Jackie, Your experiences with your parents may be what guides you with your husband. I wish you also, the very best as you travel this road with him. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  13. Margi Fiore says:

    Diane, I’m just getting caught up with your posts and learning about your mom’s diagnosis. I’m so sorry to hear the news because I know very well (as you do) how this goes. At the same time though I feel so grateful that your mom has you and Brian with her to take this journey. She is a kind, wonderful, brave, gracious lady. And, you are very much like her in all of those respects. I will share the news with my dad and family.
    Much love,

  14. Diane Fiore says:

    Margi, Yes, you know all too well what this diagnosis means. But, we’re having fun. It’s so good to be close to her. We have plans to stay busy and live well! Please do let your family know. I appreciate that. Love ya! Diane

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