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Mitch Albom
Born Mitchel David Albom
May 23, 1958 (1958-05-23) (age 51)
Passaic, New Jersey, United States
Occupation Novelist, journalist, columnist, screenwriter, dramatist, broadcaster, musician, philanthropist
Language English
Nationality Jewish-American
Ethnicity White/caucasian
Citizenship United States
Genres Young-adult fiction
Notable work(s) Tuesdays with Morrie
The Five People You Meet in Heaven
Have a Little Faith
Official website

Mitchel David "Mitch" Albom (born May 23, 1958) is an American best-selling author, journalist, screenwriter, dramatist, radio and television broadcaster and musician. His books have sold over 26 million copies worldwide. Having achieved national recognition for his sports writing in the earlier part of his career, he is perhaps best known now for the inspirational stories and themes that weave through his books, plays and films. He is also well-known for his philanthropic work in Detroit, Michigan where he founded three charities.

Contents

Family, childhood, and education

Albom was born in Passaic, New Jersey and briefly lived in Buffalo, New York before moving back to New Jersey as a child, where he attended a synagogue led by Rabbi Albert L. Lewis, the subject of his book, Have a Little Faith. After attending high schools in New Jersey and Philadelphia, including Akiba Hebrew Academy in Lower Merion, Albom went on to Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts to earn a bachelor’s degree in sociology. Pursuing his dream to become a musician, he worked after graduation for several years in nightclubs in the US and Europe. He discovered an aptitude for writing and eventually returned to graduate school, earning a Masters degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, followed by an MBA from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business.[1]

In 1995, he married Janine Sabino. They live in suburban Detroit, Michigan. They currently have no children. [2]

Work

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Early days as a musician

Albom’s original dream was to become a musician, and he played in numerous bands in high school and college. He studied jazz piano with several teachers, including a brief stretch with the well-respected Charlie Banacos at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1979, having graduated from college, Albom traveled to Europe and found work as a piano player and singer in a taverna on the island of Crete. [3]

Columnist

While living in New York, Albom developed an interest in journalism. Still supporting himself by working nights in the music industry, he began to write during the day for the Queens Tribune, a weekly newspaper based in Flushing, New York. To help build his portfolio, he wrote for local supermarket circulars. Sticking with it, his work there helped earn him entry into Mt. San Antonio College's prestigious Graduate School of Read 80. During his time there, to help pay his tuition he took work as a babysitter. In addition to nighttime piano playing, Albom took a part-time job with SPORT magazine, which kindled his interest in sports writing. [4] Upon graduation, he freelanced in that field for publications such as Sports Illustrated, GEO, and The Philadelphia Inquirer, [5] and covered several Olympic sports events in Europe – including track and field and luge — paying his own way for travel, and selling articles once he was there. In 1983, he was hired as a full-time feature writer for The Fort Lauderdale News Sun Sentinel, and eventually promoted to columnist. In 1985, having won that year’s Associated Press Sports Editors award for best Sports News Story, Albom was hired as lead sports columnist for the Detroit Free Press to replace Mike Downey, a popular columnist who had taken a job with the Los Angeles Times.[6]

Albom’s sports column became quickly popular with readers. In 1989, when the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News merged weekend publications under a Joint Operating Agreement, Albom was asked by his newspaper to add a weekly non-sports column to his duties. That column ran on Sundays in the “Comment” section, and dealt with American life and values. It was eventually syndicated across the country. Both columns continue today in the Detroit Free Press.[7]

Albom, during his years in Detroit, became one of the most award-winning sports writers of his era; he was named best sports columnist in the nation a record 13 times by the Associated Press Sports Editors, and won best feature writing honors from that same organization a record seven times. No other writer has received the award more than once.[8] He has won more than 200 other writing honors from organizations including the National Headliner Awards, the American Society of Newspaper Editors, the National Sportscasters and Sportswriting Association, and National Association of Black Journalists. Many of his columns have been collected into anthology books including Live Albom I (Detroit Free Press, 1988), Live Albom II (Detroit Free Press, 1990), Live Albom III (Detroit Free Press, 1992), and Live Albom IV (Detroit Free Press, 1995).

Albom also serves as a contributing editor to Parade magazine.[9]

Author

Sports books

Albom's first non-anthology book was Bo: Life, Laughs, and the Lessons of a College Football Legend (Warner Books), an autobiography of legendary football coach Bo Schembechler co-written with the coach. The book was published in August, 1989 and became Albom's first New York Times bestseller.

Albom's next book was Fab Five: Basketball, Trash Talk, The American Dream, a look into the starters on the University of Michigan men's basketball team that reached the NCAA championship game as freshmen in 1992 and again as sophomores in 1993. The book was published in November 1994 and also became a New York Times bestseller.

Tuesdays with Morrie

Tuesdays with Morrie book cover.jpg

Albom’s breakthrough book came about after viewing Morrie Schwartz’s interview with Ted Koppel on ABC News Nightline in 1995, in which Schwartz, a sociology professor, spoke about living and dying with a terminal disease, ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease). Albom, who had been close with Schwartz during his college years at Brandeis, reconnected with his former professor, visiting him in suburban Boston and eventually coming every Tuesday for discussions about life and death. Albom, seeking a way to pay for Schwartz’s medical bills, sought a publisher for a book about their visits. Although rejected by numerous publishing houses, the idea was accepted by Doubleday shortly before Schwartz’s death, and Albom was able to fulfill his wish to pay off Schwartz’s bills. [10]

The book, Tuesdays with Morrie, was published in 1997, a small volume that chronicled Albom’s time spent with his professor. The initial printing was 20,000 copies. Word of mouth grew the book sales slowly, and a brief appearance on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” nudged the book onto the New York Times bestseller’s list in October 1997. It steadily climbed, reaching the No. 1 position six months later. It remained on the New York Times bestseller list for 205 weeks. Now the bestselling memoir of all time, [11] Tuesdays With Morrie has sold over 14 million copies and has been translated into 41 languages. [12]

Oprah Winfrey produced a television movie adaptation by the same name for ABC, starring Hank Azaria as Albom and Jack Lemmon as Morrie. It was the most-watched TV movie of 1999 [13] and won four Emmy Awards. A two-man theater play was later co-authored by Albom and playwright Jeffrey Hatcher, and opened off-Broadway in the fall of 2001, starring Alvin Epstein as Morrie and Jon Tenney as Mitch.[citation needed]

Tuesdays With Morrie is regularly taught in high schools and universities around the world and Albom started a private foundation with some of the proceeds, The Tuesdays With Mitch Foundation, to fund various charitable efforts.

The Five People You Meet in Heaven

MitchAlbom TheFivePeopleYouMeetInHeaven.jpg

After the success of Tuesdays with Morrie, Albom's next foray was in fiction. His follow-up book was The Five People You Meet in Heaven (Hyperion Books) published in September 2003. Although released six years after Tuesdays With Morrie, the book was a fast success and again launched Albom onto the New York Times best-seller list. The Five People You Meet in Heaven sold over 10 million copies in 38 territories and in 35 languages. In 2004, it was turned into a television movie for ABC, starring Jon Voight, Ellen Burstyn, Michael Imperioli and Jeff Daniels. Directed by Lloyd Kramer, the film was critically acclaimed and the most watched TV movie of the year, with 18.6 million viewers. [14]

The Five People You Meet in Heaven is the story of Eddie, a wounded war veteran who lives what he believes is an uninspired and lonely life fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. On his 83rd birthday, Eddie is killed while trying to save a little girl from a falling cart. He awakes in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a location but a place in which your life is explained to you by five people who were in it who affected, or were affected by, your life.

Albom has said the book was inspired by his real life uncle, Eddie Beitchman, who, like the character, served during World War II in the Philippines, and died when he was 83. Eddie told Albom, as a child, about a time he was rushed to surgery and had a near-death experience, his soul floating above the bed. There, Eddie said, he saw all his dead relatives waiting for him at the edge of the bed. Although the real Eddie survived the surgery, Albom has said that image of people waiting when you die inspired his concept of The Five People You Meet in Heaven [15]

For One More Day

Albom's second novel, For One More Day (Hyperion), was published in 2006. The hardcover edition spent nine months on the New York Times Bestseller list after debuting at the top spot. It also reached No. 1 on USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. It was the first book to be sold by Starbucks in the launch of the Book Break Program in the fall of 2006. [16] It has been translated into 26 languages. On December 9, 2007, the ABC aired the 2-hour television event motion picture "Oprah Winfrey Presents: Mitch Albom's For One More Day," which starred Michael Imperioli and Ellen Burstyn. Burstyn received a Screen Actors’ Guild award nomination for her role as Posey Benetto.

For One More Day is about a son who gets to spend a day with his mother who died eight years earlier. Charley “Chick” Benetto is a retired baseball player who, facing the pain of unrealized dreams, alcoholism, divorce, and an estrangement from his grown daughter, returns to his childhood home and attempts suicide. There he meets his long dead mother, who welcomes him as if nothing ever happened. The book explores the question, “What would you do if you had one more day with someone you’ve lost?”

Albom has said his relationship with his own mother was largely behind the story of that book, and that several incidents in For One More Day are actual events from his childhood. [17]

Have a Little Faith

Have A Little Faith.jpg

Have a Little Faith, which was Albom's first nonfiction book since Tuesdays With Morrie, was released on September 29, 2009 through Hyperion publishing, recounts Albom's experience writing the eulogy for Albert L. Lewis, a Rabbi from his hometown in New Jersey.[18] The book is written in the same vein as Tuesdays With Morrie, in which the main character, Mitch, goes through several heartfelt conversations with the Rabbi in order to better know and understand the man that he would one day eulogize. Through this experience, Albom writes, his own sense of faith was reawakened, leading him to make contact with Henry Covington, the African-American pastor of the I Am My Brother's Keeper church, in Detroit, where Albom was then living. Covington, a past drug addict, dealer, and ex-convict, ministered to a congregation of largely homeless men and women in a church so poor that the roof leaked when it rained. From his relationships with these two very different men of faith, Albom writes about the difference faith can make in the world.

Radio host

Albom began on radio in 1987 on WLLZ-Detroit, a now-defunct classic rock radio station. He worked on the station’s morning program as a sports commentator, and started a Sunday night sports-talk program, The Sunday Sports Albom in 1988, believed to be one of the first sports talk shows to ever air on FM radio.

In 1996, Albom moved to WJR, a powerful, 50,000 watt clear-channel AM station in Detroit. His five-day a week program is a general talk show with an emphasis on entertainment, writing, current events and culture. He has been honored numerous times by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters as the top afternoon talk show host, and was voted best talk show host in Detroit by Hour Detroit magazine. In 2001, the show was televised nationally in a simulcast by MSNBC. Albom continues to do the show from 5 to 7 p.m. ET.

Television

Albom appears regularly on ESPN's The Sports Reporters (airs Sunday mornings from the ESPN Zone in Times Square at 10 a.m. ET) and SportsCenter. He has also made appearances on Costas Now, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show, CBS’s The Early Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, Dr. Phil, Larry King Live, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and most recently appeared as a guest voice on "The Simpsons" on the episode Thursdays with Abie.

Playwright

On November 19, 2002, the stage version of Tuesdays with Morrie opened off-Broadway at the Minetta Lane Theatre. Co-authored by Mitch Albom and Jeffrey Hatcher (Three Viewings) and directed by David Esbjornson (The Goat or Who Is Sylvia?). Tuesdays with Morrie starred Alvin Epstein (original Lucky in Waiting for Godot) as Morrie and Jon Tenney (The Heiress) as Mitch.

Albom’s follow up to the stage adaptation of Tuesdays were two original comedies that premiered at The Purple Rose Theater, in Chelsea, Michigan, a theater started by actor Jeff Daniels. Duck Hunter Shoots Angel (The Purple Rose’s highest grossing play as of 2008) and And the Winner Is have both been produced nationwide, with the latter having its West Coast premiere at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach, California.

Musician

Albom is an accomplished songwriter and lyricist. In 1992, he wrote the song "Cookin' For Two" for a television movie, Christmas in Connecticut, directed by Arnold Schwarzenegger. The song was nominated for The CableACE Award. [19] He also wrote the song "Hit Somebody (The Hockey Song)", which was recorded by singer/songwriter Warren Zevon, with David Letterman on backup vocals. The song was released as a single in Canada and will be adapted into a film by director Kevin Smith, which Albom is co-writing[20]. He currently performs with the Rock Bottom Remainders, a band of writers that also features Dave Barry, Stephen King, Ridley Pearson, Amy Tan and Scott Turow. [21] Their performances raise funds for various children’s literacy projects across the country.

Charity work

The Dream Fund

"The Dream Fund," established in 1989, provides scholarship for disadvantaged children to study the arts.

A Time to Help

In 1998, Albom started a Detroit volunteer group called "A Time to Help". Every month, the group (affiliated with Volunteer Impact) does a project to help serve and improve the Detroit community. Projects have included work at homeless shelters, food banks, senior citizens homes, and a school for the underprivileged or handicapped. Albom and radio co-host Ken Brown lead each project and try to use the group as a catalyst to increase volunteerism.

S.A.Y. Detroit

S.A.Y. (Super All Year) Detroit is an umbrella program that funds shelters and cares for the homeless. It began in 2006 in reaction to the city’s plan to provide temporary shelter for Detroit’s homeless only during Super Bowl XL weekend. Albom spent a night in a shelter to call attention to the issue, and as a result was able to raise over $350,000 in less than two weeks. [22] It is now a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that funds numerous homeless shelters throughout the Metro Detroit area.

In the spotlight

In the mid-1990s, during a hotly-contested strike at the Detroit Free Press that gained national attention, Albom crossed the picket line and returned to work.

In 1999, Albom was named National Hospice Organization's Man of the Year.

In 2000, at the Emmy Awards, Albom was personally thanked by actor Jack Lemmon during his acceptance speech for his Emmy for Best Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries for Tuesdays With Morrie. It would be Lemmon’s last major acting role.

In February 2003, Albom was called to testify at Chris Webber's perjury trial. Webber had been a member of the University of Michigan's basketball teams of the early 1990s. He was a member of the "Fab Five" players, the subject of a book by Albom. Webber and three other Wolverines who played in the 1990s were alleged to have received over $290,000 in improper loans from a man considered to be a booster of the University of Michigan, although amounts were never verified. The four other Fab Five members were not implicated and the school was cleared of any direct involvement or knowledge of the loans, which were made to players and their families. [23]

In 2005, Albom and four editors were briefly suspended from the Detroit Free Press after Albom filed a column that stated two college basketball players were in the crowd at an NCAA tournament game, when in fact they were not. [24] In a column printed in the Sunday, April 3, Albom described two former Michigan State basketball players, both now in the NBA, attending an NCAA Final Four semifinal game on Saturday to cheer for their school. The players had told Albom they planned to attend, so Albom, filing on his normal Friday deadline but knowing the column could not come out until Sunday – after the game was over - wrote the players were there. The Detroit Free Press also suspended the four editors who had read the column and allowed it to go through to print. But the players' plans changed at the last minute and they did not attend the game. Albom was in attendance at the game, but the columnist failed to check on the two players’ presence.

Albom issued an explanation regarding his misreporting and apologized in print. The Detroit Free Press launched an investigation, and a probe of over 600 columns involving five investigative reporters ultimately concluded that there was no evidence of any other such incidents in the course of his career in Detroit. [25] In his return article, Albom again apologized for the mistake and thanked his supporters. [26] “I think I’d be a liar if I said it was easy to have people checking on everything you’ve done,” Albom told a Detroit TV station, “It hurts to have your integrity questioned, especially when you’ve been at a place for 20 years and tried to make a career of having some integrity…But sometimes it’s healthy to be humbled a little bit. I’m a smarter person because of it.” [27]

On November 22, 2005, Albom was the sole and final guest on Ted Koppel's farewell appearance on ABC’s Nightline. Koppel had gotten to know Albom through his broadcasts with Morrie Schwartz and the final program dealt with the legacy of those shows and Albom’s book.

In October, 2006, Albom’s third novel, For One More Day was chosen as the first book to be sold in Starbucks. At Albom’s request, one dollar from each book went to Jumpstart, a charity created to aid literacy in underprivileged areas. On a single day, October 26, as part of the promotion, customer-led book discussions were held in stores in 25 major markets, and Albom spoke, via phone, with all of them. [16]

On October 22, 2007, Albom appeared with former New York Governor Mario Cuomo and Tony Bennett in “An Evening with Tony Bennett” to honor the release of Bennett’s Tony Bennett In The Studio: A Life of Art and Music, for which Albom wrote the foreword. The event was held at the Barnes & Noble Store in Union Square, New York [28]

On May 30, 2008, Albom delivered the commencement address at his nephew’s high school graduation in Nice, France. In July of that year, Amazon released the speech exclusively on Amazon Kindle. Albom’s shares of the proceeds were donated to his charity for the homeless, S.A.Y. Detroit.

Selected books

References

  1. ^ “Anything is Possible” Radio Interview with Mitch Albom by Jack Krasula. WJR-760. May 28, 2006. Anything is Possible Retrieved August 15, 2008.
  2. ^ “Mitch who? He wrote Jack Lemmon's favourite role” TheJC.com [1] Retrieved January 20, 2010.
  3. ^ Ammeson, Jane. “Do The Write Thing.” Nwa WorldTraveler Magazine. September 2007
  4. ^ Ammeson, Jane. “Do The Write Thing.” Nwa WorldTraveler Magazine. September 2007.
  5. ^ Pennsylvania Center for the Book (2008). Mitch Albom. Retrieved March 4, 2008.
  6. ^ Albom, Mitch. Live Albom I. Detroit Free Press, 1987. pp. 3.
  7. ^ French, Ron and Bunkley, Nick. “News, Free Press Change Owners in Three-Way Deal.” Detroit News. August 4, 2005. Online. Internet. Available: Detroit News Accessed: August 17, 2008
  8. ^ Associated Press Sports Editors: Contest Winners Archive. Available: Associated Press Accessed: August 17, 2008
  9. ^ www.parade.com
  10. ^ Struckel Brogan, Katie. “Writing a Best Seller with Mitch Albom.” Writer’s Digest. September 2001.
  11. ^ Irvin, Woodrow. “Festival to Toast Literature.” Washington Post. Thursday, September 20, 2007. PW03. Online. Internet. Available: Washington Post
  12. ^ Mouth Public Relations. Tuesdays with Morrie tip-sheet. http://www.mouthpublicrelations.com/news.php?item=22
  13. ^ Keenan, Catherine. “The Truth About Morrie: Interview with Mitch Albom.” Sydney Morning Herald. September 1, 2001. Spectrum. pp 16.
  14. ^ de Moraes, Lisa. “Hello, Brian; Goodbye Diana?.” Washington Post. December 8, 2004. Style. pp.C07
  15. ^ About The Real Eddil. Mitch Albom Official Website.
  16. ^ a b Starbucks and Albom Fight Illiteracy. CBS News Morning Interview. October 26, 2006. Available: CBS News
  17. ^ “Hot Type” Interview with Evan Solomon. November 4th 2006. CBC. Available: Hot Type Interview
  18. ^ One-on-One with Author Mitch Albom (2009-10-20); http://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/2009/10/20/art-literature/fiction-poetry/oneonone-author-mitch-albom.html
  19. ^ Mitch Albom: Columnist Biography. Detroit Free Press. Online. Internet. Available: Detroit Free Press Accessed August 17, 2008
  20. ^ http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2009/05/14/exclusive-kevin-smith-making-hockey-movie-with-mitch-albom-based-on-warren-zevon-song-hit-somebody/
  21. ^ Rock Bottom Remainders
  22. ^ “What’s Next? How Detroit Stays Super.” Mitch Albom. February 8. 2006. Detroit Free Press.
  23. ^ Hagy, Alyson, "Webber's World", nytimes.com, February 23, 2003.
  24. ^ Johnson, Peter, "Will Albom's woes taint journalism?", usatoday.com, April 13, 2005. Online. Internet. Available: USA Today
  25. ^ Zeman, David, Jeff Seidel, Jennifer Dixon, Tamara Audi. “Albom probe shows no pattern of deception.” Detroit Free Press May 16, 2005.
  26. ^ Albom, Mitch. “Even the Dark Times Bring Enlightenment.” Detroit Free Press. May 1, 2005.
  27. ^ Albom Interview on NBC-local Detroit TV station. May 2005.
  28. ^ “An Evening with Tony Bennett.” Barnes & Noble in Union Square. October 22, 2007. Online. Internet. Available: Barnes & Noble

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Mitchell David Albom (born 1958-05-23) is a sportswriter, novelist, newspaper columnist for the Detroit Free Press, syndicated radio host, and TV commentator.

Contents

Sourced

Tuesdays with Morrie (1997)

  • "Do the kinds of things that come from the heart. When you do, you won’t be dissatisfied, you won’t be envious, you won’t be longing for somebody else’s things. On the contrary, you’ll be overwhelmed with what comes back."
  • "You know what that reflects? Unsatisfied lives. Unfulfilled lives. Lives that haven't found meaning. Because if you’ve find meaning in your life, you don’t want to go back. You want to go forward."
  • "When you learn how to die, you learn how to live."
  • "Death ends a life, not a relationship."
  • "The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in."
  • "Sometimes you cannot believe what you see, you have to believe what you feel. And if you are ever going to have other people trust you, you must feel that you can trust them, too - even when you’re in the dark. Even when you’re falling."
  • "When you're in bed, you're dead"
  • "Death: the only true emotion felt in an apathetic world"
  • "Love wins. Love always wins."
  • "As you grow, you learn more. If you stayed as ignorant as you were at twenty-two, you'd always be twenty-two. Aging is not just decay, you know. It's growth. It's more than the negative that you're going to die, it's the positive that you understand you're going to die, and that you live a better life because of it."
  • "Love each other or perish."
  • "Love is how you stay alive, even after you are gone."
  • "Don't hang on too long, but don't let go too soon."
  • "Without love, we are birds with broken wings."
  • "Is today the day? Am I ready? Am I doing all I need to do? Am I being the person I want to be?"
  • "If the culture doesn't work, don't buy it."
  • "If we can remember the feeling of love we once had, we can die without ever going away."
  • "What is it about silence that makes people uneasy?"
  • "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."

The Five People You Meet in Heaven (2003)

  • This is a story about a man named Eddie and it begins at the end, with Eddie dying in the sun. It might seem strange to start a story with an ending. But all endings are also beginnings. We just don't know it at the time.
  • No story sits by itself. Sometimes stories meet at corners and sometimes they cover one another completely, like stones beneath a river.
  • How do people choose their final words? Do they realize their gravity? Are they fated to be wise?
  • In the stories about life and death, the soul often floats above the goodbye moment, hovering over police cars at highway accidents, or clinging like a spider to hospital room ceilings. These are people who receive a second chance, who somehow, for some reason, resume their place in the world. Eddie, it appeared, was not getting a second chance.
  • It might have seemed ridiculous to anyone watching, this white-haired maintenance worker, all alone, making like an airplane. But the running boy is inside every man, no matter how old he gets.
  • "Ah." The Blue Man nodded. "Well people often belittle the place where they were born. But heaven can be found in the most unlikely corners. And heaven itself has many steps. This, for me, is the second. And for you the first."
  • "Your voice will come. We all go through the same thing. You cannot talk when you first arrive." He smiled. "It helps you listen."
  • "There are five people you meet in heaven," the Blue Man suddenly said. "Each of us was in your life for a reason. You may not have known the reason at the time, and that is what heaven is for. For understanding your life on earth."
  • People think of heaven as a paradise garden, a place where they can float on clouds and laze in rivers and mountains. But scenery without solace is meaningless.
  • Young men go to war. Sometimes because they are have to, sometimes because they want to. Always, they feel they are supposed to. This comes from the sad, layered stories of life, which over the centuries have seen courage confused with picking up arms, and cowardice confused with laying them down.
  • Sacrifice is a part of life. It's supposed to be. It's not something to regret. It's something to aspire to.
  • Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you're not really losing it. You're just passing it on to somebody else.
  • All parents damage their children. It cannot be helped. Youth, like pristine glass, absorbs the prints of its handlers. Some parents smudge, others crack, a few shatter childhoods completely into jagged little pieces, beyond repair.
  • Before he can devote himself to God or a woman, a boy will devote himself to his father, even foolishly, even beyond explanation.
  • Parents rarely let go of their children, so children let go of them. They move on. They move away. The moments that used to define them - a mother's approval, a father's nod - are covered by moments of their own accomplishments. It is not until much later, as the skin sags and the heart weakens, that children understand; their stories, and all their accomplishments, sit atop the stories of their mothers and fathers, stones upon stones, beneath the waters of their lives.
  • Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from inside. We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do, we do to ourselves.
  • Lines formed at Ruby Pier - just as a line formed someplace else: Five people, waiting, in five chosen memories, for a little girl named Amy or Annie to grow and to love and to age and to die, and to finally have her questions answered - why she lived and what she lived for. And in that line now was a whiskered old man, with a linen cap and a crooked nose, who waited in a place called the Stardust Band Shell to share his part of the secret of heaven: That each affects the other and the other affects the next, and the world is full of stories, but the stories are all one.
  • "Strangers are just family you have yet to come to know."
  • "Life has to end." Marguerite said. "Love doesn't"
  • "All the people you meet here have one thing to teach you." Eddie was skeptical. His fists stayed clenched. "What?" he said. "That there are no random acts. That we are all connected. That you can no more separate one life from another than you can separate a breeze from the wind."
  • "Fairness doesn't govern life and death. For if it did, no good man would ever die young."
  • "It is because the spirit knows deep down that all lives intersect. That death doesn't just take someone, it misses someone else. And in that small distance, lives are changed."
  • "One withers, another grows."
  • "Each affects the other and the other affects the next, and the world is full of stories, but the stories are all one."
  • "No life is a waste," the Blue Man said. "The only time we waste is the time we spend thinking we are alone."
  • "That's what heaven is. You get to make sense of your yesterdays."

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