the Time Keeper, a novel by Mitch Albom
He quotes lines from Skeeter Davis's 1960's country/western hit, The End of the World,
"Why does my heart go on beating?
Why do these eyes of mine cry?
Don't they know it's the end of the world?
It ended when you said goodbye."
Who hasn't been there? Done that? Whoever you are, don't bother reading this book. It's not for you.
This is the first book that made me tear up in well over a decade. It isn't that I'm immune to life's sorrows, my impatience with a slow-moving clock became painfully, obnoxiously manifest in both professional and personal life. It's not that I'm hard hearted, I, too, have suffered a broken heart at the loss of loved ones.
On the other hand, best-selling author, Mitch Albom, conveys these polar-opposite, human drives with such stark realism that even the purest, most callow readers may indeed be able to glimpse these emotions, if not feel them reverberate within the depths of their innermost beings.
The first man to ever track time passing is punished with good health until heaven and earth meet again. He lives eternally with memories of his love for his wife, love for his children, love for the life he lived and regret that all is lost until he is returned to earth 6,000 years later.
An old man desperately wants time to stand still while he searches for immortality. He is dying of cancer. Successful in business, he seeks a way to cheat death. His plan is to escape to the future, leaving his wife behind but with his worldly wealth secured as his when he is revived fully cured.
A young teenaged girl desperately wants to die when she realizes she is unloved, unwanted by her chosen one. Failing miserably at finding love, she can find no reason for her to keep on living. She has the motivation, and soon plans the when and how of her death.
The first time keeper works his hour glass in order to slow time enough that he finds the old man and the young girl moments before their bodies are irretrievably damaged. With great effort, he stops time. Even as his age begins to creep up on him, he leads the two into the future so they can see for themselves the immediate and long-term results of their planned actions. They are then allowed to return to that critical moment before death, including the time keeper who already knew what he was giving up in his first life.
I highly recommend that everyone read this book, before they think about dying.