For One More Day is a book I may read again if I am encountering doubts on my relationship with my parents. It is a light read, which has a lot of heart. The book is a great reminder of the extent of a mother’s love no matter how unrecognized.
Snippets from “About the Book” by Amazon:
This is the story of Charley, a child of divorce who is always forced to choose between his mother and his father. A choice he made haunted him for years that led to family problems, depression and drunkenness.
One night, he decides to take his life. But somewhere between this world and the next, he encounters his mother again, in their hometown, and gets to spend one last day with her–the day he missed and always wished he’d had. By the end of this magical day, Charley discovers how little he really knew about his mother, the secret of how her love saved their family, and how deeply he wants the second chance to save his own.
Full description in the Amazon webpage.
For One More Day is a well written story by Mitch Albom. The narrative is fluid and I personally liked the anecdotes in between the chapters that alternately tells instances when Charley (who is fondly called Chick by others) stood up for his mother and times he did not.
The star of this story is Pauline “Posey” Benetto, Chick’s mother.
And I realized when you look at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know.
The reader gets to meet her both during her high and low moments.. she lived a difficult life but the magic in it was that there was never a sense of regret or shame for the things she did… For it was all for the welfare of her children. She endured and persevered for Chick and Roberta.
“Belief, hard work, love—you have those things, you can do anything.”
Chick’s relationship with his mom is not a good one. Partly, it may be because Chick lived with his mom at a time when divorce was not accepted. It resulted in a difficult environment for him and his younger sister Roberta, especially since he grew up as a Papa’s boy. A choice he made based on what his father said.
Maybe it’s like my old man said: You can be a mama’s boy or a daddy’s boy, but you can’t be both. So you cling to the one you think you might lose.
You see, here’s my theory: Kids chase the love that eludes them, and for me, that was my father’s love. He kept it tucked away, like papers in a briefcase. And I kept trying to get in there.
It was an on and off relationship.
“A child embarrassed by his mother,” she said, “is just a child who hasn’t lived long enough.”
Chick was very fortunate to have Posey, he just took his time to realize it.
So on the day he decided to take his life, Chick got the chance to spend another day with her somewhere between this world and the next. He actually needed it.
“When someone is in your heart, they’re never truly gone. They can come back to you, even at unlikely times.”
It will be quite a spoiler to go into the details. But the day with his mother allowed him to do one thing – forgive himself. Chick saw his mother’s life in a different lens and understood most of the difficult decisions she made while she was still alive.
At the core of the story is parenthood as captured by this quote –
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
Parenthood is definitely a lot of hardships and trials hidden behind smiles.
And, as the book reminds us –
But behind all your stories is always your mother’s story, because hers is where yours begins.
Definitely quite timely for Mother’s day coming up. I think I need to hug my mom soon.