It’s hard to believe that I’ve lived a complete life without reading a book by Mitch Albom. I’ve managed to value my loved ones, contemplate the nature of life and death, and cry at sappy Hallmark moments, all without ever reading the likes of Tuesdays with Morrie or The Five People You Meet in Heaven. With the release of his newest book, For One More Day, I wondered to myself: what have I been missing? Could my understanding of the world deepen, become more profound, if I just read something by this internationally recognized “feel good” author?
I’m being tongue-in-cheek here – hopefully that’s obvious. I’ve looked down my spectacle-saddled nose at Albom and his four-hankie books for a while now, but my curiosity really did get the better of me, and I did read. And you know what? It wasn’t so bad! I’m feeling a little repentant now.
For One More Day is the story of Charles “Chick” Benetto’s rise to Major League stardom (using that term loosely) and his fall to shabby drunk. And all the people he hurts in between. The slim book focuses on Chick’s attempt to utterly demolish himself, and the redemption he receives at the side of his dead mother. Yes, his dead mother. Chick admits that this could be some kind of ghost story, but it really isn’t. It’s about what remains when someone is gone, it’s about pain that can be healed, it’s about choosing to repair what can be repaired, while we can.
I enjoyed this little book, and I confess that I did shed a tear or two. I also laughed quite a bit, specifically at two categories that Chick reflects on a good deal: Times My Mother Stood Up for Me, and Times I Did Not Stand Up for My Mother. I laughed because some of the situations were funny, but mostly because they were so familiar. We don’t often think of the ways we could have stood up for our parents, honored them for all they have sacrificed for us. In short, I think we don’t often think of our parents as people at all. In For One More Day, Chick gets an awesome opportunity to see his mother’s life through others’ eyes, and understand the value of the person that she was. It ultimately inspires him to understand better the person he himself could be.
*Disclosure: Amazon affiliate links included.