12+ I'm posting a #bookcovers and #firstsentences series on Instagram of fiction and nonfiction from my bookcase. The posts have brought back many pleasant memories of dusty books I haven't read in years. And the other day I posted one of my favourite tear jerkers to Instagram, Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom (1997).
I wrote about Tuesdays with Morrie in an earlier blog post, The Last Book That Made You Cry (August 2017). In it, I commented how I read the book while being “Mr Mom” for my then toddler son. At the time I worked as a consultant from a home office and planned to catch up on project work during my son’s morning and afternoon naps.
However, my son’s morning naps stopped happening, and he wouldn’t settle for his afternoon nap unless I pushed him around the block in his pram. And then I couldn’t get the pram back in the house without waking him!
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In the end, I gave up trying to squeeze in work in the afternoons and instead pushed his pram to a local park and enjoyed an hour or so reading. And it was during this period I discovered Tuesdays With Morrie. As Albom comments in the first sentences of his book:
The last class of my old professor's life took place once a week in his house, by a window in the study where he could watch a small hibiscus plant shed its pink leaves. The class met on Tuesdays. It began after breakfast. The subject was the Meaning of Life. It was taught from experience.
I enjoyed reading Albom's tale of his Tuesday classes with Morrie, but as I drew closer to the end of the book, I wanted to avoid its "inevitable conclusion”. So when I got to the final chapters, I put the book aside and started reading another one instead.
Over the next few months, I read several books on my afternoons in the park with my son asleep in his pram. And then one afternoon, I decided it was time to brave Tuesdays with Morrie again.
I had been right to hold off reading about the death of Albom’s old professor and "Coach". But sitting on the park bench on that day, it felt good to finish the book and to shed tears finally over Morrie's passing. And when I closed the cover, I was ready to move on and push my sleeping son home.
Or so I thought! Because when I took down the book for my Instagram post, I re-read the last chapters and the tears started again. Though maybe this time it was a mixture of sadness at Albom's account and nostalgia at the memory of reading Tuesdays with Morrie when my son was in a pram - he's now a strapping sixteen-year-old and towers over me!
Do you have similar memories of reading a favourite book? If so, please share them in the comments below. Or why not share your writing on Tall And True?
© 2018 Robert Fairhead
A middle-aged dad and dog owner, Robert Fairhead is an editor and writer at Tall And True, and blogs on his eponymous website, RobertFairhead.com.
His favourite pastimes include reading and writing, walking his dog, and watching Aussie Rules Football with his son. He is also a part-time dog trainer and runs classes at his local dog training club and through Robert's Responsible Dog Training.
Robert has worked as an electrician, a computer programmer, and a sales and marketing consultant, and he is the principal copywriter at Rocher Communications.
His book reviews and writing on dogs have appeared in newspapers and online. And in 2020, he published a collection of short stories, Both Sides of the Story.
Robert has also enjoyed a one-night stand as a stand-up comic.