Mitch's mother influenced the characters in For One More Day in many ways. "My mom, like a lot of people of her generation, she had big dreams and plans. She was going to be a doctor. She was going to be the first person in her family to go to college—and her father died when she was 16 years old," Mitch says. From that point forward, Mitch says that taking care of the family became her number one priority. "I remember having a conversation with her once, saying 'I've got my career and all this and it's too bad—so sad that you didn't get a chance to do all these things.' And she said to me, 'I did do what I wanted to do. I was a mother.'" Mitch says he was floored by his mother's response and wrote the conversation into a scene in For One More Day.
The life lessons Mitch has learned from his mother are also sprinkled throughout, including the pivotal moment when Mitch's mother influenced him to become a writer. In a scene taken straight from Mitch's real life, a librarian tells Chick that 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is too difficult for him. His furious mother storms into library to confront the librarian. "Never tell a child that something is too hard for them," she says.
Mitch says his mother ended up getting the book for him. "We went home and I remember when I sat and tried to read it, the truth was, it was really hard," he says. "But because reading was obviously so important to her, I finished the book because I felt I owed it to her. And I always say that scene and that moment in my life was the day I became a writer, because you first become a writer by learning to love reading."
When it comes to the words people wish they could say to someone they have lost, Mitch has found that most answers are the same. "Well, I would say a hundred percent say they want to tell somebody that they love them," he says.
Mitch also says a missed apology seems to be a universal regret. "You always think you're going to have more time to fix it. You always say 'I'll go see my mother next Christmas' or 'I'll go visit the family next summer.' [Then] you get that phone call—'Come to the hospital.'—and all of a sudden those chances you thought you were going to have, you don't have."
Mitch says he thinks it is the everyday moments people miss the most. He begins For One More Day as an ordinary day—a mother cooking breakfast for her son. "Because those are the moments that everybody sort of really does want back, if you've got another day back with somebody," he says.
If Mitch could spend one more day with someone, he knows who he would chose—Morrie, from Tuesdays with Morrie. "I'd love to see Morrie again just to ask him about how everything has happened since then, and ask him am I doing a decent job representing him. That would be a great day."
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