As another Mother’s Day ends, it’s always nice to find a story that reminds us to celebrate our moms all year long.
Earlier this month, Georgia UPS worker Kelly Ridings posted two Facebook videos of him singing with his 88-year-old mother. Dressed in his work uniform, Ridings performs adorable duets of country songs in beautiful harmony with his mom, while she strums away on her guitar. The two barely take their eyes off each other during the moving performances.
What makes these moments extra special is that Ridings’ mom suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.
Alongside the videos, Ridings sweetly writes, “Mom is 88 now. She’s in assisted living and has Alzheimer’s but she can still play and sing better than anyone in my eyes.” He continues by sharing that this is the first time he’s ever recorded them singing, and ends with a bittersweet statement, writing, “Most days I miss her, but she always comes back to me when we sing.”
The videos have made a lasting impression on every person who has witnessed them — with over 388K likes and 555K shares on the post. One of the videos even received over 39 million views and thousands of overwhelmingly supportive responses from all around the world.
One person remarks how touching the video was, recalling her own experience with a family member who had Alzheimer’s.
“How marvelous she remembers how to play the guitar and sing!! Brought tears to my eyes. I took care of my aunt with Alzheimer’s for 10 years and certain things from the past would key her memory,” she wrote.
Another person shares:
“Reminds me of my mother’s singing around the house. Gosh I miss her, but I felt her today through your video. Thank you so much for sharing.”
While others have also experienced the power of music. One writes:
“Music truly can be a lifetime gift that continues to bring us back into the fold, even if only for a short time now and then.”
Ridings was so moved by the outpouring of love for his videos that he made sure to share more duets. In one follow-up Facebook post, he writes, “I’m so touched by all of your stories. Alzheimer’s is the worst disease I can imagine. I hope these videos have offered you all some comfort.”
And in another post, he writes about his mother’s adorable reaction to playing more songs with him.
“I visited her yesterday and tried to explain just how much of an impact she has had on so many people around the globe,” he shares. “Although she couldn’t quite grasp the scope of her influence, she was more than eager to play and sing again. She even smiled for the camera this time!”
But the journey to embracing his mother’s Alzheimer’s has been a challenging one for Ridings. Back in 2016, he took to Facebook and publicly revealed the painful journey he’s had to accept with his mother’s heartbreaking situation. He vulnerably writes about how her move to an assisted living facility has greatly affected his life.
“With this all happening by surprise, I’ve had no time for anything or anyone else, including my wife, my children, and my brother who just lost his wife to Alzheimer’s.”
With so many families impacted by this tragic disease (namely 5.5 million Americans, according to the Alzheimer’s Association), a video like this proves that hope can show up in unexpected places.
As helpless as so many people may feel in caring for someone with Alzheimer’s, love is always a powerful and tangible action. Ridings and his mother’s tender bond show that love can be expressed beyond words and memories. And if his mom’s performance is any indication, she is feeling that love deeply with every single song they play together.