I recently read "For One More Day" by Mitch Albom. I have to say I was impressed with Albom's writing skills and storytelling abilities.
Normally I'm not the book review type but I wanted to write about this book in particular because it really touched my heart.
My synopsis of the book:
"For One More Day" delves into a mother and son's relationship. Charley "Chick" Benetto was a young boy when his father spoke words he would never forget: "You can be a mama's boy or you can be a daddy's boy, but you can't be both." Chick always received what he needed and wanted from his mother who was all too happy to love. But Chick was eager to win his father's approval, love, and praise which was not easy to obtain. Chick does everything he can for his father. He swiftly became the daddy's boy.
When Chick is 11 his father leaves the family. He is embarrassed to have divorced parents - which was definitely not the norm in those days.
Chick struggles - he struggles with his mother because he doesn't understand what she has gone through to raise Chick and his sister. Years later, Chick is a man that has given up. His being is shattered into pieces and he cannot get passed the alcohol and regret following his mother's death. His life crumbles - it's broken.
In the midst of trying to kill himself Chick miraculously sees his mother - he is gifted with one more day to spend with his mother. One day to learn about her and what she endured after Chick's father left. Chick remembers times he did not stand up for his mother and he recognizes that she stood up for him multiple times over.
With this one precious, God-given day will Chick be able to forgive himself? Piece his life back together?
(An additional synopsis and reviews can also be found on Amazon: Mitch Albom's "For One More Day")
While reading "For One More Day" I surfed through a tumultuous wave of emotions.
It was a quick read but the many sensations Albom integrates into his words are heavy and permeating.
I felt wistful. Depressed. Angry. Hurt. Sad. Lonely. Faithless. I experienced, through Chick Benetto, what its like to simply give up on your life - to give up on you - to let regret take over your body and soul. On the other end of the spectrum, I also felt grateful. Lucky. Empathetic. Glad.
I think what disturbed me the most was how real the story felt. I wonder how many people suffer similar situations.
In the end, after crying too many times to count, I loved this piece from Albom. It reminded me how precious loved ones are. It shook me by the shoulders and yelled that time will not always be on my side.
Don't waste what you have. Don't waste the present which in itself is a gift. And be sure to mind your words, specifically the cruel ones. You may not know how your words will effect when you speak them but the person who receives their sharpness will feel it all the way through.
Lastly, I learned from Chick and his mother's story that you should never assume that you truly know what a person has gone through or what sacrifices they have made.
My favorite quotes from the book and their corresponding page numbers are as follows:
- "One day can bend your life..." (Pg 4)
- "What is it about childhood that never lets you go, even when you're so wrecked it's hard to believe you ever were a child." (Pg 16)
- "She had a bottomless well of love for me. Her only flaw was that she didn't make me work for it." (Pg 33)
- "I don't know what it is about food your mother makes for you, especially when it's something that anyone can make - but it carries a certain taste of memory." (Pg 60)
- "A child embarrassed by his mother - is just a child who hasn't lived long enough." (Pg 90)
- "And I realized when you look at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know." (Pg 174)
- "Sticking with your family is what makes it a family." (Pg 183)
- "You can find something truly important in an ordinary minute." (Pg 193)
- "One day spent with someone you love can change everything." (Pg 197)
If you read or have read "For One More Day" I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts.
Thanks for reading.