I don’t remember the last book that I read that made me cry. As in….really cry. I don’t remember. But this one…..huiyor! The ending was really killer….had me bawling like a friggin’ child for a bit. But Mitch Albom is known in the publishing world for doing that – digging into the human heart and makes you squeeze all the nasty juices out until you cry.
OK, that’s the summary of what I feel about ‘For One More Day’ by Mitch Albom. I totally dig it. The story is about a broken man, someone who did everything wrong, couldn’t live with his mistakes, cast aside and have given up, emotionally. Very common lah, right? Many antagonists in books are like that, right? He drinks like hell, gets sacked, is divorced and his daughter doesn’t invite him for her wedding because she was afraid he was going to embarrass her. What’s a man to do now that the tide is against him?
He decides that since life is no longer worth living, he should just end it.
The funny thing is that he fails at everything so successfully that he even fails to kill himself. Funny, isn’t it? But it is through this one action that his life is turned around. It’s simple. He meets his mother again. His mother is dead, for your information, but throughout the book, his mother is made to seem so real. We’re reading his dreams, the dream he was having while he was unconscious after the failed attempt (yeah, he DOESN’T DIE). You know how some people who go through near-death situations, describe the white light experience and being brought out of their own bodies and experiences strange things?
Yup, this is like that.
For Charlie, the antagonist, he met his mother, someone who gave him everything she had to give when he was young. There was a ghost inside of Charlie….something he couldn’t forgive himself for. An anger. Thousands of regrets. Moments when he saw but refused to see what his mother went through for him. Times when his mother did everything she could to make life easier for him and harder for herself which he ignored and brushed off.
During this moment, as he lingered between life and death, he made his peace with his mother. His mother knew. Knew everything about his life. He finally saw that parents would do anything within and beyond their power to hold their kids up above swirling angry waters. Sometimes, kids don’t see this because the parent is under the water and because of that, kids become resentful and angry. Parents get treated unkind and misunderstood even though they are trying to protect their kids. Charlie misunderstood his mother, made tons of mistakes and made his mother miserable.
“Am I a good mother?” his mother asks and he doesn’t answer even when he’s hanging between life and death.
Just when he thought he could die and spend the rest of his life repairing the damage that he has done to their relationship, his mother tells him in the dream to live.
“Live”, she says. But if he lives, he will lose her. His mother tells him, “You never lose your mother. I’m right here”
“Yes, you were a good mother”