Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

January 3, 2018

Death. Fear. Aging. Greed. A meaningful life. What are they? What do they mean? How do you characterize them? Everybody tries to answer these questions, but very few ever succeed. Morrie Schwartz is one who certainly has. In the book “Tuesdays with Morrie”, Morrie explains to a special student his views on these things. There is one complication: Morrie is dying. Diagnosed with ALS, a terminal disease, he teaches one last class to a previous student named Mitch Albom.  With a tape recorder and a notebook, Mitch recorded everything he learned and compiled it into an inspiring book: “Tuesdays with Morrie”.

A professor. A student. A goodbye. A reunion.  These are all crucial things in Morrie and Mitch’s story.  It begins at a graduation. It is 1979.  Finally, through much time and effort, Mitch Albom is graduating from college It is both a happy and sad occasion.  He is leaving a teacher that is like none other, one who gives A’s to students so they won’t be drafted to go to a war they don’t believe in, one who loves to dance and sing and cares about the non-materialistic things in life, one who is a kind caring man who gives comfort where it is needed. That professor is Morrie.  The goodbye is hard, but they both need it. Gifts are exchanged, tears shed, but in the end, it comes out all right with promises to stay in touch, promises that don’t work out.

It is 1994, the summer.  Morrie had been having problems for a while: asthma, trouble sleeping. He sits with his wife in an office.  A doctor sits in front of them.

‘“How did I get it?” Morrie asks.
Nobody knew.
“Is it terminal?”
“So I’m going to die?”
Yes, you are, the doctor says. I’m very sorry…’(Tuesdays with Morrie, Pg. 7) Morrie has ALS.

It is March 1995. Morrie’s disease has developed to the point that he always needs a wheelchair. A headline has caught the attention of Ted Koppel, the anchor for the “Nightline”. In Morrie’s living room, cameras are rolling.  On the other end of the film, a certain person is flicking through channels. He goes numb when he hears four words. “Who is Morrie Schwartz?” Who is watching: Mitch Albom.

Later that same year Mitch is driving down a road. He see’s something, slams on the breaks spilling his coffee on his lap. He is there, Morrie’s home.  Morrie is in the driveway. When Mitch gets out of the car, he is met as if he hasn’t been gone at all, as if those 16 years without any contact never happened. Inside the house, they enter a dining room and sit. Food is laid before them.
“Mitch... You know that I’m dying”
I knew
“All right then…. Shall I tell you what it’s like?”
What it’s like? To die?
“Yes,” he said. (Tuesdays with Morrie, P. 29)
This is the beginning of the last class Morrie will ever teach.

“An old man, A young man, and life’s greatest lesson”(Tuesdays With Morrie, Cover). This is the perfect description of the book ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’. This true story tells of the slow death of a college professor, and his reunion with an old student to teach one last class. In Morrie’s study, because Morrie says “When you’re in bed, you’re dead”, Morrie and Mitch discuss life and the important things in it, bad and good. It would be a perfect reunion for Mitch with his teacher, if not for Morrie’s ALS. At first, the reunion does seem perfect, but over the first few Tuesdays, Tuesdays because they say “We’re Tuesday people”, Morrie’s disease is becoming more obvious. Soon he is not able to eat hard food, next he can’t move his legs at all. In the end, he can’t move his hand higher than halfway up his stomach.  But none of these things stop Morrie from teaching one last class with Mitch; Morrie, a dying professor, and Mitch, a student at the peak of his life.

There are millions of books in the world, but only a handful of those million teach a real lesson.  ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ is in the palm of that hand. It teaches the values of a healthy life, and a life full of love. It teaches the reader to appreciate what you have and to fill your time in life with happiness and affection. Most of all, it teaches the importance of a life full of relationships. Relationships are everywhere and they are what keeps many a person going through the day. They are certainly what kept Morrie happy and upbeat all the time through ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’. His relationship with his family, his caretakers, and Mitch are what helped him stay positive in his slow death. Relationships are the thing that ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ teaches us to have. A five-star book to me and many other readers, ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ is a book full of important lessons, no matter the reader.

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