Author: Mitch Albom| Genre: Fiction | Pages: 197
Charley Benetto is a broken man, his life destroyed by alcohol and regret. He loses his job. He leaves his family. He hits rock bottom after discovering he won’t be invited to his only daughter’s wedding. And he decides to take his own life.
Charley takes a midnight ride to his small hometown: his final journey. But as he staggers into his old house, he makes an astonishing discovery. His mother – who died eight years earlier – is there, and welcomes Charley home as if nothing had ever happened.
What follows is the one seemingly ordinary day so many of us yearn for: a chance to make good with a lost parent, to explain the family secrets and to seek forgiveness.
Some books aren’t for a specific age because they have something for everyone who dares to dive into their ocean of mindful thinking. Mitch Albom’s ‘For One More Day’ is that book.
Charley Benetto is a depressed man, on the verge of a desperate suicide. But his last wish – a ride down the memory lane through his old house – changes everything for him.
“Behind all your stories is always your mother’s story. Because hers is where yours begin.”
One last day with his late mother helps him foray into her life, bringing him face to face with instances when they stood for each other, and times when he failed to be there for her, and that is all Charlie needs to look back upon life, perhaps, with not so many regrets, as he is.
“You can be a mama’s boy, be a daddy’s boy, but you can’t be both. So you cling to the one you think you might lose.”
This book is short, simple, stunning, and a powerful eye-opener. Like a soda bottle that oozes effervescence with much gusto is the kind of feeling you live with this book. The book etches all over your conscience, a very thoughtful message –
Do you spend enough time with your parents while they’re still around? Do you really know them as much as you think you do? Have you been around them in their moments of joy and grief? Do you know their most troubled secrets?
The characters, Charlie and his mother are adorable. You feel them both through their sagas. You live the pride Possey feels for raising a son with all her love and care at the same time as you feel Charlie’s incapabilities in his capacity as a son. But I realised, through Charlie’s flaws as a son, you begin to love him more.
“I hope you never hear those words. Your mom. She died. They are different than other words. They are too big to fit in your ears. They belong to some strange, heavy, powerful language that pounds away at the side of your head, a wrecking ball coming at you again and again, until finally, the words crack a hole large enough to fit inside your brain. And in so doing, they split you apart. ”
The writing is as simple as it can get and that is something I have always admired about Albom’s books. He creates a whirlwind of a sensation; leaving the readers exhilarated, with the usage of the simplest of words and phrases.
“Have you ever lost someone you love and wanted one more conversation, one more chance to make up for the time when you thought they would be here forever? If so, then you know you can go your whole life collecting days, and none will outweigh the one you wish you had back.”
There is little peculiar about this story but the bountiful of emotions the son-and-mother story shares with the readers, and that is what will change the way you look at your parents, the extent to which you are involved in their lives, the intensity with which you care for them. There is so much to learn from this tiny little nudger but most importantly this – To never take one’s parents for granted and to love them just as unconditionally as they love you.
“and that’s the thing when your parents die, you feel like instead of going into every fight with backup, you are going into every fight alone.”
Having lost my father recently, I am now fully able to understand Charlie’s plight and pleasures upon this chance encounter with his mother he lost eight years ago. I wish all of us could get just as lucky as him.
If you happen to read ‘For One More Day’ or have already read it, do share your thoughts below.