Alzheimer’s is a cruel disease. But as painful as it can be, those living with the infliction constantly remind us to focus on life’s amazing moments. Just take Kelly Ridings and his mom, for instance.
Ridings recently posted about his 88-year-old mother’s struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. She lives in an assisted living facility now and, like many patients, enjoys her good days and her bad days. But, as you’ll soon see, it’s always a good day when the pair bust out the guitar.
Because something about music just completely flips the switch for Riding’s mom. Her face lights up and she effortlessly sings and strums away at her guitar. Naturally, the pair create a truly sweet harmony together.
Ridings and his mom usually play together, but rarely tape it. One day, he decided to change that. “She can still play and sing better than anyone in my eyes,” Ridings says in a Facebook post. “I realized while I was singing with her tonight, I had never videoed us singing together, so I captured a couple of songs for posterity. Most days I miss her, but she always comes back to me when we sing.”
As you can see, the videos really hit home with a lot of people. The most popular one soared over 39 million views and inspired tons of comments. Many just wanted to let them know how beautiful the song sounded. Others shared their own struggles with Alzheimer’s and how music helps.
Neither Ridings nor his mom are professional singers (he’s a UPS worker, as you can tell by his uniform), but they sure make some sweet music together. He says his mom doesn’t fully understand the grasp of their viral success, but she doesn’t need to. Just put a guitar in her hands and she’s happy!
The whole ordeal feels reminiscent of country legend Glen Campbell, who also suffers from Alzheimer’s. Despite a deteriorating condition, Campbell took to the road for a farewell tour in 2012. Every time he stepped on stage, he miraculously recalled every note and lyric to his many hits.
Music can be a beautiful bright spot, even in the otherwise dark times of dealing with Alzheimer’s.