ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: For One More Day
Author: Mitch Albom
Year publish: 2006
Place of publish: United States of America
ISBN No: 978-0-7515-3753-6
Page: 202 pages
“This is a story about a family, and as there is a ghost involved, you might call it a ghost story. But every family is a ghost story . The dead sit at our tables long after they have gone.”
This is a beautiful, haunting novel about the family we love and the chances we miss. It explores the question, “What would you do if you could spend one more day with the ones you love?” The story covers a conversation Charley Benetto has with a sports writer. Throughout the conversation he goes back and forth between the one last day he had with his mother and the important events in his life, sharing his feelings– both past and present– about them. I particularly enjoyed the way he shared throughout the book little vignettes of the times his mother stood up for him and the times he didn’t stand up for her. As a mother myself, I couldn’t help wondering if someday my own children would be able to look back and see with clarity the sacrifices I have made for them. Throughout the book I ‘heard’ some of the same things from the young boy Charley that I hear from my own children. It was rewarding and brought hope to see him come to a realization of how his interpretation of the events had been inaccurate and skewed by emotions in the moment. Perhaps my children will also understand someday–
As a young boy Charley Benetto makes the choice to be a daddy’s boy and does everything his father asks him to. Then his father disappears, leaving a broken family and an embarrassing situation for the young Charley to endure. Being raised by a single mother has it’s challenges and plenty of embarrassment, many that Charley takes out on his mother.
“So he chooses his father, and he worships him- right up to the day the man disappears. An eleven-year-old Charley must then turn to his mother, who bravely raises him on her own, despite Charley’s emabarrassment and yearning for a complete family.”
”Decade later, Charley is a broken man. His life has been crumbled by alcohol and regret. He loses his job. He leaves his family. He hits bottom after discovering his only daughter has shut him out of her wedding. And he decides to take his own life.”
“He makes a midnight ride to his small home-town, with plans to do himself in. But upon failing to do that, he staggers back to his old house, only to make an astonishing discovery. His mother- who died eight years earlier- is still living there, and welcomes him home as if nothing had ever happened.”
“What follows is the one ‘ordinary’ day so many of us yearn for, a chance to make good with a lost parent, to explain family secrets, and to seek forgiveness. Somewhere between this life and the next, Charley learns the things he never knew about his mother and her sacrifices. And he tries, with her tender guidance, to put the crumbled pieces of his life back together.”
I related to this story on many levels. As a single mother myself I could relate to many of the experiences described and gained insight into what my children may be experiencing as a result of events they have no control over. As a daughter who has at times experienced a strained relationship with my own mother, I gained valuable insights into my own childhood memories and interpretations and was reminded, again, that there is much more to the story that I do not completely understand. And as always– the betrayal revealed in the end made the recent and painful betrayal of my own life seem small and insignificant in comparison.
This clever story, told in Mitch’s masterful storytelling style, has left me with a new appreciation and understanding for those I love and has motivated me to be more intentional in valuing and cherishing the relationships I enjoy with those I love so that I will not be left with regrets for the experiences and the love lost. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has ever been a part of a family, who has ever lived with regrets, and who has ever questionned the value of their very existence.