Monday, August 6, 2012

Mitch Albom - My Favorite Author

As I've been organizing my bookshelf this weekend, there are some books that I am ready to donate. Others, I want to hold onto because I enjoy the author's writing style and the book.

One of my favorite authors is Mitch Albom. My first introduction to this author was through a made-for-television movie The Five People You Meet in Heaven based on the book by the same title. It was a very emotional and thought-provoking movie.

It made me want to read the book so I could see how the movie version differed from the book version. Once I read the book, I knew I wanted to read other books by Mitch Albom.

It is from this book that I took an excerpt in the eulogy I wrote for my brother-in-law's who died unexpectedly at age 38 years old from a dissecting aortic aneurysm. In the book, the following quote was said by Eddie's wife who died:

“Lost love is still love, Eddie. It takes a different form, that's all. You can't see their smile or bring them food or tousle their hair or move them around a dance floor. But when those sense weaken, another heightens. Memory. Memory becomes your partner. You nurture it. You hold it. You dance with it. Life has to end," she said. "Love doesn't.”

I thought it was an appropriate quote for my sister to hear.

There are more quotes from The Five People You Meet in Heaven on Good Reads.

The next book I read was Tuesdays with Morrie after watching the movie version of the book first.  I liked the movie version better, but the book provided the quotes I needed to read - and re-read - at a difficult time in my life.

When I read the book and wrote a review about it, it was about two weeks after I brought my father to a nursing home because his Alzheimer's Disease had progressed to a point where he no longer could be cared for at home. He ended up spending the rest of his life at the nursing home (less than three months later he died).

As I wrote in the review about Tuesdays with Morrie:

Although Morrie had ALS, both Alzheimer's Disease and ALS slowly eat away at one's body or mind. Both diseases can transform a person who was independent, brilliant, and giving into a person who is dependent and trapped in a body that no longer represents who they were at one time.

Despite being limited in body or mind, both my father and Morrie continue/continued to teach and impact lives...each in their own way.

One of the quotes I liked from Tuesdays with Morrie is:

So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they're chasing the wrong things. 

The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.

My dad exemplified exactly what Morrie was talking about in the second part of his quote about devoting oneself to caring for others. My goal is to live a life like this as well.

Girls with Grandparents at County Fair
Sophia and Olivia with their grandparents,
(my mom and dad) at the county fair 4 years ago.
It was a lot of fun for us all to spend time together.
(Photo taken on July 31, 2008, 
when the girls were 5 and 7 years old.)

After my dad's death, I was going through his book, and came across one that I gave him at Christmas one year. It was from Mitch Albom, and it is called For One More Day. The book explores one central question: What would you do if you could spend one more day with a lost loved one?

I'm writing this post on the day before it will go "live"...on August 5th. Today marks the seventh month since my dad died. I took the book from the shelf so I could write a description about what it was about since I haven't yet read it.

In the book, my dad kept the gift tag that was on the present. He had it on page 5. At the bottom of this page the main character was talking about his mother's death. He described how he acted and felt after her funeral and the months following her death. This was this quote on page 5 which I found quite relevant to how I feel:

...she wasn't around, and that's the thing when your parents die, you feel like instead of going into every fight with backup, you are going into every fight alone.

I think the timing in finding this book is a sign that it is time to read it. It seems like the other books I've read by Mitch Albom have been at times when they were the most meaningful for me.

Mitch Albom has a new book out next month called The Time Keeper. I'll be stopping by the bookstore that day to get a copy; and look forward to the message of that book. If it's anything like the ones I have read so far, I'll be both comforted and inspired.


Nicole GF said...

It's great how we can make what we read relate to whats going on in our day-to-day lives. I'm glad yours was able to help provide comfort.

Shannon said...

I have heard such great things about that book. Some day I may get around to reading it.