Kimberly Williams-Paisley was beaming at the altar, marrying the love of her life after playing a bride in the movies. She had pulled off the wedding of her dreams, surrounding herself with the people she loved, including her mother. She had no clue how life was going to change in the years after that wedding.

Welcome to the first post in our new book club selection: Kimberly Williams-Paisley’s book about her mother’s primary progressive aphasia called Where the Light Gets In.

First Moments

There may have been moments beforehand, and there were certainly moments after, but the first time primary progressive aphasia made its presence known to Kimberly Williams-Paisley was at her wedding.

Her mother was tasked with reading a poem, and she stumbled over the title and words as if there were typos on the page and she was frustrated to get an imperfect copy on such an important occasion.

This is how the book opens, marking the before and after. The before where her mother was an adventurous, no-nonsense sort who nudged her children to explore the world and everything it contains. And the after where her mother was unable to find the words to understand herself or that world around her.

Primary Progressive Aphasia

It’s emotional to mark the moment where everything changed. Of course, with primary progressive aphasia, it wasn’t the abrupt type of change that occurs with a stroke or traumatic brain injury. It was a slow loss that required the family to keep coming to terms with the situation again and again.

For the next weeks, we’ll be exploring this story of primary progressive aphasia, loss, and love. We hope you’ll grab the book from your library or bookstore, and join in the discussion. We want to hear your primary progressive aphasia story, too.

Image by dodge challenger1 – Kimberly Williams-Paisley, CC BY 2.0,