Every family is a ghost story ...' As a child, Charley Benetto was told by his father, 'You can be a mama's boy or a daddy's boy, but you can't be both.' So he chooses his father, only to see him disappear when Charley is on the verge of ...
adolescence. Decades later, Charley is a broken man. His life has been 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 makes 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.
Mitch Albom is one of my favorite authors. His stories are innovative, easy to understand and yet inspiring.
In the book, Charley Benetto told his story about previous attempts to commit suicide, and the subsequent encounter with a ghost who was
..."o was actually his mother died eight years ago. Charley decided to give up his life, all because of the burden of guilt and anger. They came from can't-getting-along-well with his wife, not being invited to the wedding of his daughter, his short and not-so-successful baseball playing career, his all-time attempt in vain to please his runaway father, and most of all, his lie to stay away from his mother's seventy-ninth birthday and hence his absence during her having the fatal heart attack. All of these had broken his soul.
It was just one more day that Charley lived and hang around with his mother. But it is always the most precious when you can recast some ordinary moments that you have long lost, especially with the lost loved one. This very one day let Charley discover the secret of his family, the reason of his father running away from home, the sadness and hardship that his mother had endured the rest of her life, all on her own and solely for her children. That one day had saved Charley's life, not only in the physical sense but it also relieved him from his burden. He managed to survive from the car crash, forgiving himself and the others.
I found the two lists "Times My Mother Stood Up for Me" and "Times I Did Not Stand Up for My Mother" the most touching parts. It was some pieces of Chick's life that you could strongly feel a mother's unconditional love, or those old times when you looked back, you otherwise would not have done so because it looked so unkind to her. There were really numerous such moments that could be easily found in our own life.
"A morning wind shook the trees and brought a sweep of yellow leaves, like a small, fluttering rainstorm."
"She loved me falling off a swing set. She loved me stepping on her floors with muddy shoes. She loved me coming and going, at my worst and at my best. She had a bottomless well of love for me... Her only flaw was that she didn't make me work for it."
"It's such a shame to waste time. We always think we have so much of it."
"Suddenly, details seemed extremely important. Details were something to grab on to, a way to insert myself into the story."
"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."