Chapter 19 Summary
In “The Ninth Tuesday: We Talk About how Love Goes On,” the summer has ended and autumn has begun. Albom’s newspaper is still on strike and the process has stagnated. Meanwhile, televised news is still broadcasting depressing stories. The primary concern for most Americans has become the O. J. Simpson trial. Meanwhile, Albom explains that he had been trying to contact his brother in Spain. Morrie’s health has continued to worsen, and he now has a catheter in his penis, which allows him to urinate. While he cannot control his legs, they still give him pain. Finally, he can no longer move his head.
Morrie explains that Ted Koppel and Newsline are thinking about doing a third interview. However, Albom is irritated to learn that they want to wait a little longer before doing the interview. Morrie acknowledges that the show might be trying to create a little extra drama, but he is also using the networks to spread his message. He explains that he does not feel that he will be forgotten after his death because he has managed to reach so many people during his illness. In particular, he feels that as long as Albom can hear his voice, he will live on; this suggests that Morrie’s legacy is centered on his final message. Morrie shares that he has decided what he wants to write on his tombstone. Unlike Ted Turner, who declared that he did not want to have “I never owned a network” written on his tombstone, Morrie, would like to have “A Teacher to the Last” written on his tombstone.
The conversation turns to paying attention to people. Albom admits that he appreciates the way Morrie responds to his presence. Morrie explains that he believes in being fully present and engaged in his present company rather than being distracted. Albom recalls a Brandeis University class with Morrie, Group Process. At the time, the class had not impressed Albom because it did not seem important to learn how to pay attention to people. Now, with Morrie so close to dying, it would not be...
(The entire section is 530 words.)