Farmer's Wife: Sharing lessons from 'Tuesdays With Morrie'


It does feel like Fall! For sure. I heard the furnace click on during the night, and the temperature here in Lincoln was in the 40s! So far, it looks like very good weather for harvest. I do understand there is rain in tonight's forecast, and an inch would go a long way to settle the dust.

I confess I'm a book lover; you probably knew that. And for years, I collected them. The two bookshelves in my bedroom are full, there are some in the shelves in the living room, and I know there are some boxes in the store room that still have books in them. 

I did do a purge last winter. Someone on the NeighborWorks site was looking for used books, and I immediately called her. I think she got half a dozen boxes by the time I was through. And I still have too many. 

But the ones I've kept now are the ones I don't think I can do without. The Mitford series, for instance. Every once in a while I have to renew acquaintance with Father Tim. I think I've read the first five about five times. Also, all the books by Bess Streeter Aldrich. I indulge in them again and again, also.  

And, I confess, I have a shelf full of the Chicken Soup books. Since they are composed of short chapters, they are easy to pick up and digest a few stories whenever the mood strikes.

Sunday eve, after watching Call the Midwife, I pulled out Tuesdays With Morrie. I read it many years ago; it was published in 1997, and thought I could use a refresher. It's a short read, but FULL of wisdom. Some of you may know the story; Mitch Albom, a sports writer for the Detroit paper, sees a former professor from his college days on TV, on Nightline with Ted Koppel.

The prof, Morrie Schwartz, now has ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Lou Gehrig's disease.  It slowly robs us of neuromuscular function, while the brain and intellect stay intact. It's terminal. There are ways to postpone death; Steven  Hawking showed us that. He utilized breathing assistance, feeding tubes, and a computer that responded to his eyes and head tilts. Most folks choose not to go that route.

Anyway, Mitch calls and arranges to visit, on a Tuesday, and he keeps going back, because Morrie is teaching his last class; how to die. As I reread, I found all kinds of lines I had underlined. I'm going to share a few today. By the way, Morrie had not learned these things because of his diagnosis; he had always known them. This was just a good way to share them.

For instance; Love each other or perish. Without love, we are birds with broken wings. And, There is no experience like having children. If you've found meaning in your life, you don't want to go back. You want to go forward. If you're always battling against getting older, you're always going to be unhappy, because it will happen anyhow.  

Do you see what I mean? Here are a couple more. You can't substitute money or material things for love or for gentleness or for tenderness or for a sense of comradeship. And finally, devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.  Important advice, and available just for reading a book. A good one!  I highly recommend it. And it went back into my bookshelf.