Monday, May 31, 2010

For One More Day - Mitch Albom

I recently went to the funeral of a 20-year old woman, which in itself is a tragic and devastating thing. One of her sisters gave a beautiful eulogy in which she talked about having a vivid dream during which she and her sister had a conversation. The dream was so real that she woke up feeling content - happy that she had that extra time with her sister, and hoping that the coming years would bring many more of those dreams so she would have even more time with the sister who was taken from her far too soon. That idea - of having just one more conversation with the person you love is something I think anyone who has lost a loved one can related to. Just that chance to see them laugh again, to tell them you love them, to ask them about their day and tell them about yours - it's a really powerful and real need. Albom's book is about just that. When former major league baseball player, Chick Benetto, tries to commit suicide, he comes face to face with his mother - who died eight years earlier. What follows is an account of Benetto's relationship growing up with his mother. There are a series of heartbreaking vignettes about the times his mother stood up for him, and conversely the times he failed to stand up for her, as Benetto comes to realize the importance of their relationship and the meaning of events that seemed incidental to him as a child. Albom's books, while simplistic on one level, are often difficult to read on an emotional level - they are a reminder of the mistakes we've made, and an urging to fix them before it's too late. As with Tuesdays with Morrie and The Five People You Meet in Heaven, this was one that took no time at all to read, but has kept me thinking long after I finished.

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