Rita Wilson has opened up about her mother Dorothy Wilson’s devastating Alzheimer’s diagnosis in a touching Instagram post about the effects of the disease.

Rita, 63, shared a photograph of her mother’s hand clutching hers tightly after Dorothy stopped being able to communicate with the family due to the disease.

“My mothers hand. This was taken when she could no longer speak from Alzheimer's. How many times did she hold my hand? Walking me to school, going to church, comforting me at bedtime,” she captioned the Instagram photo.

“There comes a time when the tables are turned and the daughter becomes the mother. The lessons she taught now are given back. How can one ever thank a mother enough?” she said.

“When I had the idea for 'Where's My Country Song'? it was about honouring all women, not only mothers, but women who nurture and care for others, for the work they do and for the love they give sometimes without acknowledgement but always with grace.”


Rita opened up about how the family coped after receiving the diagnosis on May 12th to Health. 

“It is one of the hardest things families go through. Even in the closest of families, it creates a lot of tension and anxiety. This person that you love, that raised you, doesn't recognise you anymore, and you are losing them every day, little by little,” Wilson said.

“I learned so much from my mum — even through her Alzheimer's. You learn about yourself, about your family, about grieving and letting go. You learn about what's important and what's not. That disease is not something you'd ever wish on anybody, but I try to find the beauty in it, too.”

This article originally appeared on Over60.