Best-selling author, journalist, screenwriter, playwright and radio and television personality Mitch Albom joins Dr. Phil on this week’s Phil in the Blanks podcast. Albom, whose books include Tuesdays with Morrie and The Five People You Meet in Heaven among others, opens up about how writing Tuesdays with Morrie changed his life forever, his fascination with heaven, what he learned from Chika, a little girl he was raising as his daughter who died of a brain tumor, and more. See omnystudio.com/policies/listener for privacy information.
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
that Sunday magazine job he applied for Cynthia. You didn't get it on my shoulder and walk up and down the steps of the stadium going programme.
Was yearbook scorecard virus like because my voice and change, but I got to see
all the baseball games in the football games, which is pretty cool for Levin you're. Ok, no kidding, I was like king of this little
fishing village in Ireland where the resort was- and I can say, is moved react everyday. They didn't know well. This was so I was always like. I said about me
You know he didn't even know how much you touch me and how he would consequently touch the world gets off.
Been said that the more you do, the shorter the introduction and Mitch Album is a perfect example of that.
Guy has written a book after book and sold tens of millions of copies. You probably first discovered him two's.
Days with more than he is about to get really real and you're gonna get to know the real mitya album the way I do this guy's.
These warm he's real and
just a lot of fun to be around he's been a friend of mine for a long time.
Let's start talking to we're going, do that, what have you been
Wi Fi. Thank you for asking. Tell me what you been up to
Since I saw you last time and then Detroit for I don't know how long it's been an interesting time since the last time you came, you came when I put the book
have a little faith out and then, after that, a cup or the ones in you helped us open a medical clinic there with one of my chair at ease in Detroit. Ah,
We miss you and you need to come back
I saw you last. It's been a car to tumultuous for five years, a lost both my
parents and I lost a little girl who we were raising as our daughter from our orphanage in Haiti and to Canada in a sort of become parent lists and then become apparent,
in a short period of time was a real kind of flip.
For me yeah. That really is in your daughter that you
talking about is cheaper air who you buddy
did from year orphanage in Haiti what a spirit she was.
You said before, and I think you're right she had ranking
to write to her in her brain, and you said before
You don't think she ever knew. She had a bad deal right now. She didn't know she was sick. She had no, it was different. You know it's it's funny,
You imagine that, because a lot people I found out have different attitudes towards when kids get sick
Some of them tell them everything they need
came the tumor Timmy, the tumor he's
the brain is get. I didn't do anything I have to tell you.
I believe in children being children. She was five when she got this and for two years
so we ve got it all merit and basically adopted her travel around the world, trying to cure it, and I never said what it was. It was wrong.
With her and she never ass. Well,
Interesting was she said, Chateau the doktor, okay and she had to brain surgery reason she had all kinds of virtue,
Mensa Immunology treatments in Germany and treatments, slung catering in New York, and never
on said, what's the matter with me, just occasionally said when I'm gonna get better like all
do so I can go back and be with my friends and we cannot treat it like that which she self aware, to the extent that she could recognise that
She was different from other children in the way that she walk or could
manipulate yeah. Do things which you, where the difference when, when it physically manifested itself
at the beginning. She her face just drooped a little bit her eyes in her mouth and
she didn't really noticed the whole out there. Look in Haiti in life. I run an orphanage in Haiti where forty, seven kids,
some of those kids were abandoned in the woods left to die,
some of those kids their parents were killed in an earthquake in
seconds and their role. We have one girl who roamed around the country for almost two years, not knowing where she belonged until somebody brought it as they all come from different backgrounds. They all have different things so as not to
the mocking or poking fun or anything like that, their despair, excepting when she
to America, cheek ass. She was kind of a typical kin running around in doing all those things ass. She lost the ability to walk.
Anne and then talk normally and things like that. She began to notice that I think most poignantly. That was pointed out
was one day when she was. We should talk about getting married. She always put first five, six and seven year old. She talked a lot about getting married and
I want to fall in love like you, you know I, like you and Miss Janine did ok. Well, who are you gonna
who you a marry, knows this boy that she in a kind of new and who said how about him
she said. Oh, he would never marry me and we said well. Why not- and she said he won't marry a girl who can't walk.
And you know it just hit his liquor- a bricks me
We were aware that she was self aware, like that, Anna, that site
but we knew that she was aware that some must differ. That's pretty profound for her age, so get that and to also
checked it socially to have an awareness that that would be something that some one else would value were not value. That's per.
Amazing, actually here and heartbreak for sure
about her. A little bit
Janine doing with that loss, I think
mean struggles with it very constantly. Every day
There is some kind of tears, some kind of you know. I miss Chica.
For us, it was a little unique because we didn't have children of our own.
And now we have forty
up and down and eighty, but all the son who was one in our house and sleeping at the foot of the bed, and we went from not having chill.
Into having one every minute of every day she didn't go off to
go. She didn't go visit relative
someplace else. She was with us every minute of every day and to have them
then to have her. He knows,
sleeping in the bed between us in giggling and tickling, and all that kind of stuff and then to have gone, is very, very difficult him, while my wife Janine
Mrs Feur extraordinarily- and you know I am glad we have-
are with us right until the very end
We never put her in a hospital. You know or anything like that. She was at home when she passed away and we were on both sides of her in her little bed and
held her literally until her final heartbeat
and now I like to think,
that we didn't lose a child. We were given a child and I like to think
did she didn't lose
life. She was given one and at least in the last couple years she had what she always wanted, which was
echo mommy and daddy on both sides of the truth, is sadly when couples go through a walk
like that it has an effect on the relationship in a marriage and more often than not, it breaks a relationship
yes and a marriage. Has it put a strain?
in the stress on your relationship with Janine. Well sure
I mean a, but only because sadness is never a good ingredient
for the stew of a marriage in our, but now
not in any kind of threatening to the foundation way. We ve been together an awful long time and we
We feel the same sadness. I think what happens to couples it you're talking about is when one seems to get over it.
After than the other one,
like a why you taking so long to get over it, we need to move on more. How can we move on? What are you you're being insensitive you, but I think that's the kind of thing
in a word or sometimes they don't wanna, be together, because it reminds
too much of the happy times that they don't have, but we talk a lot about it and were constantly bringing it up
We're looking at pictures and we watch videos. We don't pretend it didn't happen as lots of pictures and sugar
the house and all that- and you know my
Work in my life is a lot about this. In fact, the loss of her
sort of what ended up in pushing me
it's a round us it's a constant theme and we talk about it but you're absolutely right. There is no sir,
it's a constant theme and we talk about it but you're absolutely right. There is now
strain like that, they say money breaks up in all couples more than anything else, except perhaps
something over the children and the loss of a child can really be tough, so were fortunate that it hasn't had that kind of an effect yeah. That's very fortunate. I did not expected it would have
that kind of effect because I know Janine, and I know you as a couple my goal in having
sit down with you is. I want people to learn something,
that's you that they may not know you're, one of those rare people that doesn't really like talking about themselves.
But this is gonna, be like getting a route canal for years now, just get ready for it so seriously people,
oh you're writing, but they dont particularly know you
and your history. In your background, which I think is really really interesting. So I just want to talk a little bit about that.
You originally are from where Philadelphia area, South Jersey filled.
How long were you in Philadelphia in New Jersey grew up there until
about sixteen seventeen went off the college and never went back. Did you like it? There is a good place to come from.
It wasn't, there wasn't my cards to go back when I left, I left,
still, you know, have an affinity for produce Dixon soft pretzels in whole geese and eagles as we call them, but but
that is my home town, but that's not where I built my life through water eagles, the Eagles
we say it. You said the youth,
old programmes. You knows my first job. I sold programmes
when I was eleven years old at that stadium were-
Fillies and Eagles would play games and I was so short and not particularly tall now, but back then I think I was like for foot nine and they gave me a bag, a sack of programme.
That way more than I did, and I ran around my shoulder and walk up and down the steps of the stadium going programmes. Yearbook scorecard virus
that is my voice and change
I did that for two years I was my first job go like travel all the way over there make four dollars and then turned round and go back home, but I got to see all the bay
for games in the football games, which is pretty cool for level?
Ok, no kidding when you
and out of their you anywhere
I went to college early. I was scared.
My senior year, so I was barely. I think I just turn. Seventeen one went off the college.
And I went to Brandeis University where I met a professor name, Morey Schwartz having no
idea he was a first professed first class. I took seriously that was your first client first class I took was freshman year for a semester
walked in here that you want to hear about the sliding doors so I signed up for the club
they had a time did know what it was.
Control. The sociology some class like that and I walked into the class and there were nine kids in the room and being a typical, fresh
enemies had. No, none of this is much too small that in oh, if I cut the class that they'll know I'm not here, I wanted what one of those big
your hawklike auxiliary. Fifty right, I was literally turning around to go, drop the class casino. He had two weeks. You could drop your class and he started to call role and one of the problems when your last name begins. With a
You cannot get out fast enough for her, and I heard him say you know Mitchell Album and I was in the doorway and I could have kept going as you now you wouldn't know it was me right and I could have kept walking to the registrar and if I did
I promise you. I would not be sitting here with you right now. I guarantee you that my whole life would have been different if I had kept walking but
guilt in me. You know I heard my name, sir, raise my hand- and I said here, and he looked at me and he said. Is it Mr Mitchell, which do you prefer
now you know it doesn't mean anything. Anybody was listening, I'm sure, but I have one those names that in our midst,
Richie Mitchell, you can call me all these different thing. So I said well Mitch, actually my friends call me Mitch and he submitted is and mitch- and I said yeah he said I hope one day, you'll. Think of me as your friend
that whole relationship with more which, of course, it spend all. Four years I took every class, he offered a major socio just because of him. I was now that interested in it to be honest, but Adam
class he offered a major sociology just because of him. I was now that interested in it to be honest, but I had all those cressets would have been a shame, the waste them and that
does that relationship. That became so special that many years later, when he
his dying from Lou Gehrig Disease would
suddenly pull me back draw me back
his final months of his life and literally turn my entire life. On its end, when I wrote the book to says with more how long between you taking for years of class
with him and you getting back into his last sixteen years since
seniors new without a word now, that's how I want, because you know you're gonna,
if I know you you're gonna, try to compliment me, so I'm gonna try to beat you to the punch because I don't deserve it from sick
team from the time I graduated and more
He gave me this big hug. I bought him a low brief case for his graduation. I join us. I never bought anything for teacher before those people,
the cheapest briefcase in the world, but I gave it to him and he
started the cry a little bit, which was an unusual for him and he gave his big hockey said Mitch, one of the good ones,
promise me you'll stay in touch, and I said: ok, I promise promise. I said
promise, say it in a sentence. Like I'm a kid I said, ok,
I promise I'll stay in touch you now and then
I and I went off into the world to become very, very ambitious, first, the music and then in in journalism, sports writing and I broke that promise. Every day we
month in year for sixteen years so before anybody thinks
I'm doing anything great by writing to save Morey I
We have seen him every year for sixteen years before
started seeing him the last sixteen tuesdays of his life
shame on me for not doing that, and it was only by happening to see him on television talking to TED couple about what it was like to die from lugubrious disease that I
found out that he was even sick, otherwise
maybe even known and again I wouldn't be here sitting with you,
so it was a mistake and a bad one. That led me ultimately to see him again. We'll come back to those sixteen Tuesday
but in the ensuing sixteen years, what did you do
First it was a musician. That's my first love
never wrote anything in high school or college. You know people who come up to me, so I want to be a writer, but I'm twenty one. I think it's too late has to act as though you were right. I will begin writing until twenty three twenty four and
was a musician. I wanted to be a record producer. I lived over in Europe. I once had a gig believe it or not in the island of Crete, in Greece-
where I was the future too?
Eric and singer and performer, and this was so far off the beaten path that I used to do like Elvis
presently songs and things like that, and I think they thought they were originals. Thank you.
That's pretty good! Who do we were to get this music from an eye
this amazing life over there for a brief period. A time where I was like king of this little fishing village, an island where the resort was an eye, concealment, moved, rediscovered ale, they didn't know well. This was so I was Elvis and
some crazy reason, I decided I have to come back to New York, because I wanted to start my career. I should just stayed there because once I eventually got back to New York, all I met were
two older musicians who said boy if I can ever get a job like an island some way, unlike o o
you did know you'd already know I had had it, and so I worked in the music business for two three years and I fail
I mean you know in terms of your measuring success- I never had any. I I wasn't into drugs and drugs were very big.
Nineteen eighty eighty one, eighty two during those years you couldn't really kind of
connections and get ahead. If you weren't partying and an economy left me out,
Actually after you know the love of my life, which was music and didn't work out,
I so well. I know I want to do something creative, but music is starting to become my enemy. He know like. I love
that so much and then all of a sudden I was resenting it and that's terrible and I've met,
wise people over the years have said. Maybe your vacation in your application should not be the same thing, so I decided
try something creative, but not music, and there was a local newspaper that they gave out in supermarkets him having to pick one up and said if you have
free time we could use some volunteers. Writing. I never wrote anything before, but I did have free time cause. I worked at night as a musician
so. I went over there and I was like the youngest personnel,
by thirty years and they said well. Can you do an assignment forthright story said: okay, what I said well, they're gonna raised
parking meter rates from five cents to ten cents on a hundred eighth street in Queens Glutton. Do a story about that. Never written anything Phil! Nothing!
and all I knew about journalism was the movie. All the president's men were heard, so I went there
the little no pad and I was like the most dog
kid reporter. Why are you raising the things zero dollars and five cents at one thousand and ten, since you know I did
a red and newspapers right, one little paragraph. It says what it is that you use a quote, and then you write more paragraph. Nine use another quote, so I
give it to them and they took it in the next week I was in the supermarket and I picked up the little weekly newspaper and there
my story on the bottom of the front page and with my name on it
I had one of Goose bumpy kind of feelings is like. While you know I created something, I wrote something. There is my name on it and I guess I was. I was hooked there were since, when did you Roger First Fort column?
That came a few years later
after I had you know I'll. Tell you a funny story about becoming a sports writer. Everybody thinks you know you killed to get into that profession right
oh yeah, who wouldn't want to be a sport. I want to be. As rapporteur, I had no desire to be a sportswriter I was I was.
Trying in I end up going back to journalism school, I went to Colombia got my masters there and- and I wanted to write like Tom Wolf in all the big
feature pieces about american life and all the rest. That's that's what I wanted to do, but I needed to help pay. Might
wishing, so they had a little thing on the job Board and one of the things was
Work is like an internet sport magazine, so I took it. I got
I went down there in every little piece I wrote was in about sports.
At the end of the year, when you're done that you have your clips. Clips are like your little resume right, sir.
I was reading these advertisements and
There was an ad in the publication called editor and publisher, which was the Bible then of the industry.
Said wanted a Sunday magazine writer Fora South daily in that's exactly the job. I
on one of those big pieces. So I sent my Reza may and
I really had worthy sports clubs, so I sent those clips. Ok, I don't hear anything for a couple weeks. I
I want a freelance assignment
pay my own way to go to Finland for the Helsinki fin them for the world track and feel championships, because I got it. I could do a freelance for the track and field magazine in Finland in this little hotel room
phone rings, and I in the hotel phone I didn't, have a phone. You know, we'd have and its I say hello and is, as a matter of em,
This is Fred turn on the sports at all. With the Fort Lauderdale NEWS and Sun Sentinel said, yeah is, as you know,
at Sunday magazine job he applied for Cynthia. You didn't get it. I said your call,
on me in Finland. To tell me, I didn't get a job so well the guy,
looking at that. He saw you sports glimpse any bottom over to me and I read home and I think they're pretty good, and if you want a job as us,
what's right, I you know I might higher. So I came back to
American. I went down a forlorn, I got the job and I was in sports ever since well
so that was in what year, ninety three
even though that they offer thirty years thirty plus years. You like it now sports writing there. You have to say yes
I always like writing about sports, because I try to use sports a sort of tell other stories and bigger stories, but the industry is not as much fun as it used to be because
However, reality has their own twitter account, and so they don't really need to talk to sports writers and now all the news, as you know, by the time a newspaper comes out its such old news that there no point
writing about the game. Everybody's seen the game analyze, the game broken the game down tweeted about the game, but you you look like you're the last guy to the party, all the time, so in a column is fairly safe because you're offering opinion or analysis
it's like that and I still enjoy. You know the big games but icy fill. You know.
When you live long enough, you do see that sports, her just sports sports in you know
hard for me to get as excited as, let's say, the people who paint their faces, green and white and put cheese on their heads and go out and say. I often look at that and I got that
the little more than I wanna, be into something that you write about the people inside the game
What the gay means beyond the game,
was defended that you know sometimes people say ouch, just sports authorities
sports, you say that's just politics has just business is just whatever you know: people get passionate about sports, their winners or losers of people overcome all kinds.
Think you can tell every story about life on sports pages and I've I've tried.
Do that and I've always written more about the losers to be
understand the winners cause, I think, they're more interesting and the small stories versus the big ones I've covered as sportswriter. How I mean
Cupboard World Series is and to propose a million times, but the most interesting things were like when I covered the. I did a rod, dog sled race and went through the whole thing for seventeen days in Alaska.
Ran with the bulls in Pamplona in our did these oddball things and found,
This little small stories that nobody else wrote about it, it's the human side of it. That makes what you write about sports, interesting and I have to say
I played football in grade. School junior high school in college and coaches would always say, come on man teachable.
Life and we always roller Isley come on, but I
I have to say in retrospect
when you get out in life and you get married, you get a job you get in your career, you hit adversity, you do think back to
Fourth quarter a minute ago. Its fourth and
free and somehow or another you wind up when
a game, and you go right over
you know, you'd, never give up. You.
We do learn about teamwork, leadership, perseverance, there's a lot more to force the engine
random down a field job. There is, but one year
Talking about is participation, which I think is absolutely true. Vandam, I'm not sure, teaches you that no not quite the same way. Anyhow. No, I don't think so, but being part of a team does in leadership.
Been able to count on somebody in be counted on and all those things near persevering.
Learning to lose and get back up. I mean those things matter, noses things you talk about, so that's interesting, how'd, you wind up in Detroit
was workin for lottery. For a couple years, I started to write a com. I won some kind of
national award and it got me on the radar of places that were looking higher
people, and it just so happens that a guy in Detroit Name might Downy who ended
about here. In LOS Angeles writing. For the only time he took the job to come to LOS Angeles, leaving a spot open
Detroit and there was a big newspaper war going on in Detroit at the time. You know that's when that none of the error of two newspapers, one town there
afternoon paper. The news in the morning paper, the free press and somehow they both called me
in like an hour asked
me too, come up for an interview further their job,
they all knew. I guess what the other one is doing. So in fairness, ay, I told them that they, the other one, had called and B. I flew up. I let one of
no, they fly up soil. One of em pay me pay for my ticket to go up and the other one to pay my ticket to go back
and I stayed in a hotel room and the first day when I interviewed with one I stayed, then I checked out and check back in the same room so that it would be totally fair and don't you know that
I interview with both the one I went back home and they call me within
few minutes one another both of more for me, the job with the exact same money. Now, how cannot possibly be there's some kind of collusion in or whatever going on, and I took the one with the morning paper. The Detroit Free Press, which was turned out in hindsight, is absolutely the right move out good place for me.
And I am still there- I still I don't write very often, but I'm still their high cholesterol,
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Heart dot com and talk to your doktor about finding the right step for you. Let's fast forward the course radio. This is
been a huge peace right radio. I was one of the first guys in sports writing to go on radio- and I remember Tony corn Heizer, for example, who you now see on pity. I and all that would rib me unmercifully. Oh,
Mr Radio, you know in Attica, gonna at sea, because that does time, if you were irresponsible purist, you just right. New derailed
but I was young and I said what what's the matter with being on the radio and then
everybody was on the radio all of a sudden and then Mr Television, as I did he espionage than then everybody was on television. Now, I'm way behind all of them. They everybody has a show in her, but as a radio show- and I just dabble in a little bit. But yes, sports is very explosive thing and I was I rode that wave you'd I've been friends for how
a long time right, yeah long time like this, it's her efforts
along that you can't remember than its along like dollar twenty years, yeah media, because I have to say with more: it came out of more than twenty years ago, so yeah yeah yeah long time we ve come to Detroit. I came to New York with you a couple things we will. Even you ve been very, very gracious to.
You ve. If help me far more than I have helped you once in a while. You asked me to help you a little bit on somethin here there when you were coming up with new shows itself. I was so happy, thank God,
Do something for you, but not true! You ve done a great deal for me. Well, we ve been good friends it of odd
because we ve been in kind wide, orbits stuff, but
somehow another week connected and have grown up,
ship over here years and your wife and my wife. They love each other. That's for sure, let's fast forward to those sixteen Tuesdays,
because you have riding that deals with death and dying what it means and life after death
you deal with all of that and that cycle. So you see TED couple talking to your old professor
What made you get back in touch guilt? Was he surprised to hear from you.
When I was in college, I used to call Morrie coach that was like a sports affectation and by the time, sixteen years of PS, I totally forgotten that.
So when I saw him on Nightline, I looked up as numbers the listed I dialed it a nurse
third I asked for him. She hands either the phone like gonna being dropped. Whenever then he picks up hello and the
first thing out of my mouth was professor.
What's my name is Mitchell Albom. I was a student of yours in the seventies I dont know. If you remember me, the first thing out of his mouth was: how come you didn't call me coach.
So. Needless to say, by the end of that conversation, I was going to visit him because guilt is a very powerful motivator Phil.
And you know so what I thought would be a one time phone call then
but while I go visit, I'm gonna be a one time visit
and you know, even in the driving their and again I want to tell people I was it was not Magnum only I was I was thinkin I'll be here for one. I was looking at my watch and when I rented the car back in the
text, people that have cell phones for you could rent them and I rented a car with a cell phone. So I could talk to ESPN I drove into Morey's neighborhood. It was a warm day. I remember, and he had his nurses carry him out in the wheelchair to wait for me, unbeknownst to me cuz. He wanted to greet me like
the curb you know and I come driving down the street, I'm on the phone with the S pm talk about something or another that couldn't possibly matter now, and I see him kind of up ahead and I hit the brakes and, of course, the proper thing to do.
To throw the cell phone out the window and run out and give him a hug right and I'd like to say that that's what I did I would like to.
That's what I did, but I did not what I did was stopped a car and slide down under the dashboard
making like I was looking for my keys and I laid on the floor that rental car for three or four minutes finishing that conversation with ESPN, because at that point my life, you know, work came first and everything else could wait even a dying old man. So before anybody
many compliments about tourism. More that's who I was when I first went to see him right. You did pull up a virtually after. He led him to cook in the sand.
Yeah he was cooking in the sun was in a wheelchair and I went in and I saw him and I was so taken fill in that meeting. It was like gone back in time. I would say this to people, but you know if you had a really good teacher in your life any time you see them again. You become
pupil in their your teacher you're, like sitting in a little desk. All of a sudden, I don't care for sixty years. All you see your kindergarten teacher, your sixty, you are back in that little desk and they are your teacher, miss whatever MR, what
and I went back to sort of, but sitting with him. I was transported back to being student and I guess in hindsight I was
Better person when I was a student in now I hadn't had
This ambition, I hadn't, done all this chasing of accomplishments and things, and I liked myself when I was sitting with him and he
he didn't know this new me. He just knew the old college version of me and,
ever asked about how much money I may never ass about my job. He just ass. Like are you happy with your life? Have you found
buddy who you can share your life with. Are you involved with the community and by the time this visit was over, which was supposed to be one hour and went on for, like four hours
have to go home. That night- and I said you know, you're thirty, seven years old, you're, perfectly healthy, he's seventy eight years old and dying from Lou Gehrig's disease, and he seems ten times happier and more content with his life than you are and something the matter with this picture and that's why
go back the next to his next Tuesday, all the tuesdays that he had left in his life? I was really true,
how get the answer to you know? What do we realise when we're looking death in the face? Really looking and not the abstract death, but I'm gonna be dead in six months kind of thing. That really puts everything into perspective and we were able to do like this last class together, where, every week we bring up like one topic, marriage forgiveness, money career, you know and an he would talk about it through the eyes of some one who is very close to death, and he would say this matters. This doesn't matter
you think this matters, but when you get to where I am and we'd always stop and say- and you will get to where I am- you know it's not going to matter and that's what that great last class was about. You know- and I was absolutely blessed to have that experience and to think that he only had months left and he gave me every Tuesday.
That's a remarkable act of generosity than you had no intention of writing a book when you know ruinous this. No not at first knew now he made me take
Odin and events. I bought a tape recorder assists at when we're fine
I want you to write a thesis about this and I didn't have the heart to see
you know I'm not enrolled ignited visas, I'm not in college.
Don't you have the girl you just sit around right faces
So I had all these notes and I don't know about a quarter of the way through. I asked him innocuously tell me what you fear the most with your death thinking that he would say you know I'm going to choke to death or I'm going to do you know whatever, and he said I fear the dead. I'm going to leave my family house. The first thing out of his mouth is: what do you mean? He said? Well, I've been
like this. You know for almost two years and these things are covered by insurance. You know you at home must cease
round the clock carried and have that even have very great settlement from his life is a professor, and he said when I die
I have to sell the house and I'm gonna die twice. First, the eye
any of my leaving and then the dead I'm gonna leave my family. There was
We me them at this idea, came in a back in my head. I didn't say anything to him. How can I help him? You know that was my. It was probably the first time my instinct kicked in like how can I help someone who would help me all the time, and I got the idea to maybe
write a book. I didn't tell him about it because I didn't want to fail at enough will go in, but I had written a couple of books that had done pretty well sports books. They had both been on the New York Times, bazaars this whenever so, I put together this little cap idea about talking to an old man about what's important life when he's dying, and we went to the publisher of those two books that had done really well, we said: would you would you consider publishing now now it's not about sports, come back when you got another one about sports literally, they said there
we try to go round to other places, now boring you're, a sports writer, its depressing who wants to read what you have to say, one guy, I won't say the publishing house, but the its well known
please stop me like right in the middle of my tell him what was going on and he said it wasn't him. You know I'm going to save you some time
I don't think you even know what a memoir is want. You come back in twenty years and maybe you'll be prepared to write. It
Literally, that was a reaction I gotta remember, leaving their and almost in tears. I said the my little age was with me, so I can't they just say no of equal treatment with what the ripping you to shreds. You know has slap you
sloppy other way. So I honestly Phil I would have given up enough enough people tell you some was a bad idea. You start to think maybe they're right if it wasn't for the fact that this was for him not from me. So I kept pushing and three weeks before he died. We found a publisher double day and I went to him and I said he Morey
remember this Tuesday said I got some good news. So what I said you know this thesis that you're having me right here, yeah, I said. Well, I got a publisher book publishing gonna published a book about really who I said Doubleday. He said who I heard them. He was I used to be published by
is little tiny college presses and so will not only that, but I asked them to give us the advance money up front and I want you to take all the money and pay off your bills in now, so you won't have to die a second death
and he cried in? You know I probably cried a little bit too and that to me fill was the
end of Tuesdays with Morey for me
like I had finally done one nice thing for this old man who had done so many nice things from me and that was it the writing of the book and everything
came afterwards was for the rest of the world. For me, I
finally learn how to put somebody else ahead of me in, and it was a nice lesson to
change him dead, unburden him, oh yeah, oh, he was astonished, I mean you know, and his and his family to we didn't know, was gonna become this other thing in our, but that was enough in our and we ain't, nobody thought nobody thought that book was gonna, do anything that they public.
Twenty thousand total copies total cop road air when it came out- and I was planning just go back to being in our sportswriter and all that
what it very simply. You know that was the whole goal, which is in fact it would also be a three hundred page book when I turned it in they call me up and publish said hey. We got a problem. I said what they said. What we pageant aided this is like a hundred, and seventy pages I said, will
not the more, to tell I told the whole story and they said well. I will just make it a small book and if you ever see chooses
it's like a little it's a little book will. That was the reason, because if they made it a big bug, your little look like a comic book in over so thin. They promise twenty thousand
of these. I thought I'd have him in the trunk of my car for the rest of my life and then something happened. Erica
because it's its total now worldwide for eighteen million or something
eighteen million copies something like that.
Just a lot lives now, let's also taught in lots of
dual systems around the world, which is very, very pleasing to maybe there's gotta be gratifying
Furthermore, I mean you know he always told me he want on his tombstone a teacher to the last and its
really beyond that a teacher yet and still she should read a teacher yet and still because he's being taught Everywhere- and you know Phil, he never read. A word
I have to say more really, never read a word and that's what I always tell people. You know you think he allowed that actually became part of what the five people mean. Heaven, which was my next book, was the pro basis of all these people. Thinking they don't matter, they don't count, you're, not doing anything with their lives, and I would say you know, look at Morey. He took time is dying. Days took two to tee,
the wayward student on Tuesdays, with no idea anything was gonna come out of it. He died before he ever saw word written and yet he's alive all over the world
Oh millions of millions and millions of people, school children have have read his his words. So
never know where the ripples from your pebble in the pond gonna go
and he rescue this family, which gave him the peace that he needed to leave this world in peace. Yet you can duck in ways that you gave him a hell of a gift. Now you ve written novels, including
This novel, the next person you made in Heaven, which is kind of a sequel to the fire,
people you made in Heaven here as a kind of a seat
because there's a through line to this end,
the systematic and message to people and
this we were talking earlier. This is like
changing in the fact that its provocative in making people stop and think about.
What they're doing now, what their priorities are and what they invest their life energy into. That's what you want right,
what's your hope for the impact of this book, the next person you meet in Heaven,
I'm not the similar to what I hoped would happen with the five people you meet in Heaven. That was inspired. My first
I've, always it was inspired by an old uncle of Mine Eddie, who was eighty three,
all were to that guy talk like this in our grizzled New Yorker.
And he always thought that his life didn't matter, and I adore him and I were safe corset matters. Uncle nine have done nothing to never been no when of a window and he died thinking that he was in the.
Body. So in that book and eighty three year old man named Eddie dies thinking he's a nobody by working, an amusement park, reason mechanic and
dice pushing the little girl out of the way of a falling cart from a ride that breaks and he pushes her away.
Feels or too little hand in his, and then the world goes black. He wakes up and he's in Heaven. He doesn't know if he saved a little girl and he meets five people from his life. He finds out that the first stage of heaven,
meat, five people from your life, some of whom you might remember, some of whom you know, and each of them tell you about one more:
but the change them forever and changed him forever and by the time his life is over. His of time is over with the five people he finds out. The disliked that he thought was so insignificant actually was extraordinarily significant,
fact at all these people, and he finds out in the end that he did save this little girl. But there was a reason for, and the point of that book was to try to send messages to people like my
there's no such thing as a life. It doesn't matter does notion,
thing is nobody. Everybody touches somebody like us it about Morey,
But you didn't even know how much you touch me and how he would consequently touched the world. Everybody does that all of our as long as life is with people Europe
both in the pond are Gunnison ripples through it. With this book, the next person you mean Heaven, it follows Annie the little girl that he pushed out of the way this
what happened to her when she grows up and she
Don't even remember the incident that happened she kind of black did out. All she remembers is going to the amusement park.
Bring home life, had kind of changed her mother.
It is a shame that the fact that she left her alone and got her in trouble like that moves them away to another part of the country
Changes their name and she basically
lives and anonymity doesn't even know why she just feels weird about something happened in her life, but it sets or on this path, which she thinks she just makes mistakes all the time she
embers bakery it. Something happened with my fault and everything then for the rest of her life is kind of shaded. With it's my fault, I did something wrong. I did something wrong. She dies at again at the start of this book and,
young she's married and she dies the morning after her wedding thereon, where those balloon rights in all the sunrise, balloon rides
Something goes really wrong and by the way, have her from balloonist all over the place. You know
This doesn't happen. A lot like that. I now move. I also heard from people in the amusement park business when I wrote that book saying that rolling
there's a safer, you know that
dino. I always acknowledged that this is a crazy thing that happy, but she dies and she also meets by people, one of whom of Courses Eddie and along heard journey. She's comes to find out that only sings it. She thought were mistakes and there the kind of mistakes that we all make. Actually there was a reason that they happen. They lead to something else in her life and she didn't even see it and that's my hope for this book to just as the first one kind of help people felt they were no, but
is, I hope this one helps people who think that everything I touch goes bad. Every time I get involved goes the wrong way. Maybe not, maybe you just look at it that way. This is kind of like grew exemplar or work,
examples of ecclesiastical three eleven everything as a season
God has a plan that man can
understand, but everything is beautiful in its own time. That's right, there's a purpose for everything we just don't see it. This is just such a working example of all of that and how
all comes to fruition. You just bring it alive with.
Betty in any real people and real lives here. What do you think.
The experience will be and the lesson that will be learned when you see Chica in Heaven- that's it.
Of question. I already know the lessons that she taught that she could taught me on earth. In fact, I incorporated them a lot into this. The next person you meet in Heaven because she died just before I started writing this, and, in fact, in truth, I wanted to write about her. I really wanted to write about her. It was self all my emotions were about this little girl, and some people, close to me said, is too soon for you to be writing about
that it's just weeks and months after weight and get some perspective and battle against that? But ultimately I kind of put that emotion into this book, and so those who have read this book,
we'll see that there is a lot of first of all to bad a little girl who grows up then one of the mistakes that she makes in her life mistakes, as it should
involved with a guy to Young she gets pregnant, has baby and then the baby dies. After just a couple of days
and so not only should feel like she had an mistake, getting pregnant potential
feels like she wasn't really a mother, because after all the baby
We live three days and her emotions about not being able to protect the baby was exactly how I felt when she passed away and in our arms and despite the fact that she lived almost two years with a brain tumor that normally takes children after five months. So she in a like, quadrupled the odds. I can't tell you fill the feeling of total abject failure that I felt when she breathed last
stayed with me, still stays with me, no matter how many people tell me it's a disease, it wasn't. You know you didn't give her the brain. I know all that intellectually, but you still feel like you failed and to me that's my like a mistake, and so I
that sort of an anti life and blessedly in Heaven.
Without I cannot do want to ruin some of the poor people who read it, but let us say
she gets to find out the answer to her question. Your version of you question. You asked me about what are you going to do when you see 2K again? She gets that moment and heaven- and I hope I have that
too well, and I think that moment will be inspirational for people.
It's amazing to me. We all think that where prepared particularly when you see it coming- and you know it's coming and I always tell
People do not let the sun set on you another day without saying to the people in your life, what you need to say
or doing with the people in your life. What you need to do, because you don't know
whether you or perhaps they will be taken before the sun sets on this day. You can think
That you ve said everything and done everything, but
there's no way we can be prepared for the finality that
I'm you could think I've known, as is common. I knew it. I know it but when that last breath is taken, it's like wait a minute,
wait a minute wait, wait! Wait! I didn't say this leave me another minute. Give me another day your hand. I think, for many people this book is that other day. I think this
will give people the ability to realize that
maybe they're not gone, maybe they're just waiting. Now
and that they will have that other day.
It was you know my my uncle who inspire the first one. He taught me immigrants. What's your concept of Heaven, I say only have one personal experience with that was my uncle. He claimed that he died during an operation, an open, hard operation.
And he said he floated above his body and he looked down and he saw his body on the operating table in the doctor's appointment and then at the end of the table or all of his dead relatives, and they were waiting for him
Now, in his case he was a salty World WAR Ii, veteran so of course, kid routes at what you do Uncle Edward you do it. He said. Do I do
get the hell out of here. I'm not ready for you yet and apparently scared them.
Back to Heaven, and then we went back in his body may live a little longer. But to me that was heaven because that you know you only trust, only trust stories about Heaven from
well, that you trust right to discuss a preacher somewhere says. Is that what you never sure? But if a relative tells you so, I always believe the people are waiting for you
and then I kind of modified. That's a water for not just your relatives worth of people who interacted with you at some point or another, but that whole idea of getting a chance to see somebody again and saying what you do, one of the people and it's not going to ruin anything for the people in the book of one of the people that Andy gets to meet in the next person you meet in Heaven. His her mother, interesting way of the first book Eddie got to meet his father, although he never really spoke to him cuz, they didn't speak, but he saw him in this book and it gets to see her mother was such an integral part of her life and she hated her resented. Her
because you see smothered her with protection all her life, she was. She felt bad that you have had this accident when she was eight years old and when she caesar- and Heaven knows, is one moment where after them
her mother explains to her everything why she did what she did in which it didn't understand about her life, which, of course, we could all stand to have with our parents right, because, whatever resentments we have with our parents who profit
we never really understood what they went through. We always look at them is just mom and dad
had we not look at them as human beings and when she explains at all to her
I'll. Your mother says to her hum
so. Can you say that you forgive me and
and he says on mom, you don't need to hear me say those words to you and she says. No, I don't, but you do he now Anne and its true in out exactly what you said. You need to make that peace, preferably while you're here
when you get there costs, I can guarantee that this is the way that it works or do I have to say this book does not come with a guarantee in our its promise to hope, but it ain't a guarantee, but if it works out that way, it's a good trade. Yet I hope so I hope with the
hope it's uplifting and into its not a sad book and is an out and out at all uplifting word. You can't finish this book
have a warm feeling inside my hope.
Had you wrote it and I'm glad you brought
with you when you came to see me, I really appreciate spread to see better. Thank you. Thank you enter
Robin and everybody else
your family, thanks for your friendship, talk to you soon. If you would like to watch the video of this entire interview, please go to Dr Phil's Youtube Channel and subscribe it's free and you will find this interview and a whole lot more
Transcript generated on 2020-01-24.