11. For One More Day by Mitch Albom
While in residential treatment, I stumbled across the book The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. Right away, the story touched and captivated me. As soon as I could, I read more of his work. All of them are encouraging and uplifting as well as thought-provoking. I would recommend his writings to anyone. Although each of them inspired me, I decided to write on For One More Day because it spoke the most about recovery and helped me move forward.
Synopsis: Alcoholic and alone in the world, Charley is ready to end his life. His distancing from family and friends has lead to his own daughter not inviting him to her wedding. When he fails to commit suicide, he ends up in his old house face to face with the last person he expected: his dead mother. Years ago, he decided to be devoted to his father instead of his mother. After Charley’s dad left, the young boy blamed his mom. Now he is given the chance to spend one more day with this amazing woman who helps him to understand the past, heal the present, and have hope for the future.
Recovery Pluses: Mitch Albom’s books are tend to be inspiring, motivating, hopeful, and poignant. For One More Day is certainly not an exception. There are many positive messages in the book. Without giving away too much of the plot, I will highlight some of my favorite touching and helpful messages.
Charley had a difficult childhood without his father. Obviously, he could not help this. Many people have painful upbringings that continue to haunt them the rest of their lives. Yet, this book reminds us that we still have a choice about how to respond to that pain. Bottling it up is not healthy nor is dwelling upon the past. Through the day with his mother, Charley learns to mourn the pain but also move on to build up a better life. He does not need to let his father’s choices define him.
The pain caused by addiction is shown tastefully but honestly. Rightfully angry, Charley’s family wants little to do with him. Instead of caring for them, he has caused them great pain and struggle. However, the impact of his alcoholism on his own life is also brings him misery. Although he longs to change, he feels powerless to do so. Many people who I have met in treatment also long for recovery. However the path is difficult and ending an addiction takes great strength and help from others.
Charley’s mother is a beautiful example of loving others despite her own pain. Instead of shunning those with disabilities and problems, she opens up her heart to them. Even her son who blamed her for his problems is welcomed home gently. I was very inspired and touched by Mitch Albom’s portrayal of her gentle strength.
Without giving away the end, I will say that Charley does turn around his life. Turning away from addiction and pain is not easy. However, the novel reassures us that there is hope even for the most lost and broken. Charley is given a special chance to change and he takes the opportunity. His future will still be difficult but not impossible and certainly better than his past.
Cautions: I can remember very few objectionable elements of this book. It is tame in content but deep in nature. However, it does deal with difficult and mature topics such as suicide, abuse, addiction, family dysfunction, and more. Overall, I think this book is a must read for adults and teenagers but not younger children.
All of Mitch Albom’s books that I have read have left me feeling hopeful and passionate about living a better life. For One More Day also left me with these warm and inspiring emotions. However, it did more than just that. It also gave me hope for all who are struggling and who have dealt with painful pasts. Yes, the road to healing is rocky and filled with many struggles. Shining ahead, however, is a hopeful future. I firmly believe, as Mitch Albom seems to, that no one is beyond finding that wonderful life outside of their addictions and burdens.
- Mitch Albom Website
- For One More Day on the Mitch Albom Website
- For One More Day on Good Reads
- For One More Day on Amazon