Chick Benetto is the person telling the story in "For One More Day." His story. Of the night he tried to kill himself.. the night his entire regretful life was unrolled, examined in the tender presence of his deceased mother, and then rolled back up with understanding. A mother he loved, though he often took for granted the love she so freely gave to him.
Chick Benetto was a flawed man with those unattractive feelings of patronization and toleration often present in family relationships. This book revealed that tendency to chase after the people in our lives that hold us at arms length, while we hold at arms length those who desire to be ever so close to us. Almost as though anyone who really loves us, loses value in doing so. Instead we try to earn acceptance from people who don't care about us.
These two quotes from the book impacted my family relationships.
"You see, here's my theory: Kids chase the love that eludes them, and for me, that was my father's love. He kept it tucked away, like papers in a briefcase. And I kept trying to get in there.
Years later, after her death, I made a list of Times My Mother Stood Up for Me and Times I Did Not Stand Up for My Mother. It was sad, the imbalance of it all. Why do kids assume so much from one parent and hold the other to a lower, looser standard?
Maybe it's like my old man said: You can be a mama's boy or a daddy's boy, but you can't be both. So you cling to the one you think you might lose."
“I realized that when you look at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know.”
Families can be complicated. Sometimes people throw away their families for their imperfections and assemble new "families" within a group of friends. We discard family relationships that don't meet our perceived needs and gather friendships that we never expect to meet our needs at all.
“Sticking with your family is what makes it a family.”
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