Set in 1979, Massachusetts, after graduating from college, Mitch saying good-bye to his professor promises to stay in touch. Mitch knew something was wrong in 1994 when Morrie - who ALWAYS danced, suddenly stops, developing asthma in his 60s. Through time his health just worsened. After batteries-and-batteries of tests were ran, Morrie was diagnosed w/ ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), saying good-bye to simple everyday ordinary things. With troubles apparent, he could no longer keep this secret.
Since Morrie knew he was going to die, he used himself as a final project. Walking the line between life-and-death, Morrie would narrate the trip. As his health BECAME worse-and-worse, visitors came ALOT and Morrie listened to everyone else's problems, because that's what he did - he listened!
Meanwhile, after Mitch graduated, life wasn't what he thought! He was nothing but a slacker. Then after his uncle's death, he STRAIGHTENED UP AND GOT HIS LIFE TOGETHER. Mitch finished more school, got multiple jobs, met a girl, Janice, married her, promised children. Over the years, his old school would send him things. Thinking they were for donations, just always threw everything away. It would've just stayed that way . . . had he not flicked channels one night and something caught his ear . . .
After refusing to let the worst get to him, Morrie kept mentally everything, writing everything down. One friend sent his stuff to a Boston Globe reporter who did a feature story . The article featured Morrie on 'Nightline'. When the interview aired on a Friday night, a thousand miles away Mitch heard the name Morrie Schwartz - and went numb.
When Mitch arrives he waits a minute and this is sighted by his professor that he had not seen in 16 years. After the initial pleasantries, Mitch unknowingly has just walked into his last class. Being w/ his professor and marveling at his idol, he/Mitch wondered what happened to the person he used to be? Seeing his professor throughout lunchtime, he seen what troubles his professor went though daily. But his professor, Morrie, was just so accepting. At lunch, something creepy got at Mitch, Morrie taught him a trick - that still haunts him to this day!! - When it was exactly Morrie was going to die.
Going through a HECTIC day, thinking about what Morrie had said about life around you, Mitch packed up and left. Calling Morrie in a hectic state of confusion, the only thing Morrie responded was "We'll talk Tuesday". Sophomore year Mitch takes 2 more of Morrie's classes while still attending sessions. That First Tuesday, they talk about the world and current politics. The second Tuesday was even more pleasurable - as were more Tuesdays that followed. On this Tuesday, after some conversation, Morrie had to go to the bathroom and as he was done, Mitch volunteered to help his professor get back in his chair and REALLY seen the shape this man was in, realizing that time was running out.
While the interview was going on on TV, Morrie is reminded of his childhood as a kid. On the forth Tuesday, going in as normal to speak w/ Morrie, Mitch sees that Morrie now needs oxygen to help him breathe better. Teaching Mitch one final lesson which was "once you die, you learn how to live" . Meanwhile, thanks to the 'Nightline' interview, letters started pouring in.
On the fifth Tuesday, Morrie and Mitch discuss family. On Morrie's bookshelf was a photo of his family and in discussing them, he shares that there is NOTHING better in the world than your family. In talking about his brother who, from birth, was a COMPLETE opposite from whom Mitch was traveling the world, living in Spain, he received the one thing Morrie feared he would, same as their uncle, pancreatic cancer. Not one who wanted family around, Morrie understood the reasons why!
On the sixth Tuesday, going over to Morrie's as usual, Mitch sees Morrie with his wife Charlotte and finds out that ALL OF THE FOOD Mitch had brought him since day one wasn't touched. Morrie couldn't eat it due to it being too hard to swallow. Only eating soft things and liquid drinks now! Still coughing HARD and worsening, Morrie still finds time, in his worsening state to teach Mitch a life lesson. After that came a HUGE coughing spell from Morrie that you could tell scared Mitch. Officially realizing he wanted to die peacefully and NOT in a sudden panic like the one they just experienced.
One thing about Morrie as a professor was that he was the one that the kids came to and the one they idolized. The one they wanted to be when they grew up! That seventh day discussed Morrie lost his battle and was now dependent for everything. Already an independent person, he enjoyed the help he received. Looking at Morrie, Mitch suddenly knew why he enjoyed it . . . human touch.
When it came time for the third/final interview w/ Ted Koppel, Morrie stated "For me Ted, living means I can be responsive to the other person. It means I can show my emotions and my feelings. When that is gone, Morrie is gone". Sharing his last aphorism "Don't let go too soon, but don't hang on too long". Morrie, talking about forgiveness, relived a story he described where he, his wife, his best friend of 30 years ago parted ways and his friends' wife going to NY and a sculpture was done trying to get it right. Awhile later, Morrie and his wife, who was having surgery. His friend, Norman, and his wife whom they knew of the situation never contacted them at all. Although trying over the years . . . years later Norman died w/o reconciliation. Morrie also tells Mitch if he had another son, he wished it was one like him - Mitch.
After talking, Mitch promised to visit Morrie every Tuesday, cause their Tuesday people, coming to his grave - even if it's just to talk. Morrie had come to terms w/ life in order to prepare for death. In all of the time that Morrie was sick, he was REALISTIC to a fault. Before he left, Morrie wanted to bring up a tough subject for Mitch - his brother. After discussing it, Mitch & Morrie realize that one day he would find and re-connect w/ his brother. Hey, he found Morrie didn't he?
On the 14TH Tuesday, going to Morrie's as usual, Mitch is told by Charlotte that his final days are arriving. Still adamant about finishing this interview, going as normal only to see that Morrie was as small as a child, Breathing very hard, telling him that it's good-bye and Mitch hugged him. Saying he would be back Next Tuesday. Morrie is crying like a baby. Kissing Mitch closely. Okay then said back-and-forth blinking back the tears, his professor had finally made him cry.
Morrie died on a Saturday morning. having died peacefully w/ family in another room, the way he wanted it on purpose. He wanted to go serenely and that's how he went. Morrie was right about everything. The funeral was on a Tuesday.
In 1997, a TV movie was made of this story featuring Jack Lemmon as Morrie and Hank Azaria played Mitch Albom.
Here's MY opinion:
This book/story just goes to show you what is TRULY missed between the generations. Doesn't matter what the relationship is!
Did you ever have that kind of teacher in your lifetime?