Just finished reading For One More Day by Mitch Albom. It is such a warm and touching story. There can be wonderful moments in an ordinary day, like the Mom says. Why wait till that day to deal with the questions, problems and misunderstandings? We have a life with our loved one. Isn’t it long enough?
The story is like this:
As a child, Charley Bennetto is told by his father, “You can be a mama’s boy or you can be a daddy’s boy, but you can’t be both.” So he chooses his father, and he worships him right up to the day he disappears. An eleven-year-old Charley has to turn to his mother, who bravely raises him and his younger sister on her own, despite Charley’s embarrassment and yearnings for a complete family.
Decades later, Charley is a broken man. His life is miserable with alcohol and regret. He loses his job. He leaves his family. He hits bottom after discovering that his only daughter has shut him out of her wedding.
And he decides to take his life.
He makes a midnight ride to his small hometown, with plans to do himself in. But after failing even 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.
He spends one “ordinary” day, which is a chance so many of us yearn for, to make good with a lost parent, to explain family secrets, and to seek forgiveness, forgiving himself.
There can be precious moments even on an ordinary day. Charley finally makes peace with himself and finds the balance of his life. His final thoughts are quite touching:
“I feel ashamed now that I tried to take my life. It is such a precious thing. I had no one to talk me out of my despair, and that was a mistake. You need to keep people close. You need to give them access to your heart…..
I’ve thought a lot about that night. I believe my mother saved my life. I also believe that parents, if they love you, will hold you up safely, above their swirling waters, and sometimes that means you’ll never know what they endured, and you may treat them unkindly, in a way you otherwise wouldn’t.
But there’s a story behind everything. How a picture got on a wall. How a scar got on your face. Sometimes the stories are simple, and sometimes they are hard and heartbreaking. But behind all your stories is always your mother’s story, because hers is where yours begins…”
We need to learn to forgive. Forgive the people who did us wrong, forgive our enemies, and mostly forgive ourselves. “Forgiveness is a virtue of the brave.- Indira Gandhi” “Forgiveness is the final form of love. – Reinhold Niebuhr” When we forgive, we will in no way change the past, but we sure can change the future.
Unload the burden of hatred and blame, give yourself a lift for your soul, and you will be on your way to fulfillment.