Reflections : for one more day by Mitch Albom.

22 05 2009

DO YOU EVER  think while something is happening, about what’s happening someplace else? My mother, after the divorce, would stand on the back porch at sunset, smoking a cigarette, and she’d say, ” Charley, right now, as the sun is going down here, it’s coming up someplace else in the world. Australia or China or someplace. You can look it up in the encyclopedia.”

“It’s a big world,” She’d say, wistfully. “Something is always happening somewhere.”

She was right about that. Something is always happening somewhere. So when I stood at the plate in that Old Timers game, staring at a pitcher whose hair was gray, and when he threw what used to be his fastball but what now was just a pitch that floated in toward my chest, and when I swung and made contact and heard the familiar thwock and I dropped my bat and began to run, convinced that I had done something fabulous, forgetting my old gauges, forgetting that my arms and legs lacked the power they once had, forgetting that as you age, the walls get farther away, and when I looked up and saw what I had first thought to be a solid hit, maybe a home run, now coming down just beyond the infield toward the waiting glove of the second baseman, no more than a pop-up, a wet firecracker, a dud, and a voice in my head yelled, “Drop it! Drop it!” as that second baseman squeezed his glove around my final offereing to this maddening game – just as all that was happening, my mother, as she once noted, had something else happening back in Pepperville Beach.

Her clock radio was playing big band music. Her pillows had been freshly plumped. And her body was crumpled like a broken doll on the floor of her bedroom, where she had come looking for her new red glasses and collapsed.

A massive heart attack.

She was taking her last breaths.

I don’t think I think about what is happening at the other end, while I am so focussed on my end. I like to believe that I do, but in reality I don’t. While I am too busy thinking about myself, I hardly think of what the other person is going through in the very same moment.

I ask myself this :

How often have I missed out on complementing my mom for a nicely cooked meal, kept hot specially for me, just because I had a bad day? While I simply say “I’m busy”, do I ever think of the moments waiting for me on other side? The moments which I actually long for, I make myself busy for them. I take pride in being ‘accessible’ to the world for my ‘so called’ ideas and advises, but I fail to think of a 5 minute attention which my grandma might be yearning for? How many times, occupied with my saturday night plans I  have missed out on knowing about my mothers headache? Just because I thought I am doing some creative work, I have not thought of giving due attention to a waiting customer. While holding onto someone so much, I never really think of those who are holding on to me. I seldom think of friends who I don’t attend to, while I am busy craving for someone else. While I am pretty much engrossed in my phone, I miss out the smile that the friends around are giving to me. Just because I am busy discussing ‘important’ things till late night, I forget that someone important might be losing out on her sleep.  How easily I vent my anger/frustration out on the one who loves me, without even thinking how his/her day was?  I often get hang ups when my expectations are not met, but do I even know why they weren’t met? Hasn’t it occured that I easily change the rules of a relation, and not even thinking what it means for the other person involved? While I am working on things to seek the pride of the world, I just forget to think of what would make my father proud?  So many times haven’t I missed out on cuddling my nephew, just because I was too occupied with my next blog!?

“I am so smart and intelligent in living my life, in making my choices; that I hardly take time out to think of all of those, for whom I am a part of life.”

Something is always happening somewhere.

While being engrossed in a chase which I essentially understand as life, I miss out on so many of life filled tiny moments.

“You can find something truly important in a minute,” she said.

Going at this pace and in this direction all I would find myself in is shame and shadow, and regrets and frustration.

“I wanted it to stop, Mom…this anger, this guilt. That’s why…I wanted to die…”

I lifted my eyes, and, for the first time, admitted the truth.

“I gave up.” I whispered.

“Don’t give up,”  she whispered back.

I buried my head then. I am not ashamed to say it. I buried my head in my mother’s arms and her hands cradled my neck. We held each other like that, just briefly. But I cannot put into words the comfort I drew from that moment. I can only say that, as I speak to you now, I still yearn for it.

Charles “Chick” Benetto was lucky. He got one more chance to make up for the time he had missed out to spend with his dead mother. He got that conversation with the one he loved. He got a ONE MORE DAY.

But, not all are as lucky as him to get that day back. Even if I get it, why should I wait for that day, while I can still live that moments with the one I love and for the ones who truly and eternally are concerned for me.

If I don’t, then I know I can go my whole life collecting days, and none will outweigh the one I wish I had back.

write up includes excerpts from Mitch Alboms best seller for one more day.




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