I’m sure you remember Mitch Albom’s best selling memoir, Tuesday’s With Morrie. In that story, after 16 years, Mitch reconnects with a beloved professor of his from Brandeis University after he saw him being interviewed on tv. Morrie had ALS, and Mitch went to visit him every Tuesday until the disease took him. During those visits, Mitch learned many lessons about living and dying and his book was a beautiful tribute to his friend and mentor.
Well, life is a journey and there is always more to learn. In Finding Chika: a little girl, an earthquake, and the making of a family, Mitch Albom shows his heart in the telling about a beautiful Haitian orphan he welcomes into his life.
And So It Begins…
In 2010, after a devastating earthquake in Haiti, Mitch Albom orchestrated a trip to deliver supplies and see how he could help. The damage was massive and he, along with a group of handy men from Michigan made multiple trips to rebuild an orphanage. That is where he met Chika, a young Hatian who was brought to the orphanage after her mother died. Chika unexpectedly developed a medical condition that could not be treated in her country, so Mitch and his wife, Janine, took Chika in as family. Despite having no children of their own and already in their mid fifties, the generous couple brought young Chika to their home in Michigan and began on a journey for a medical cure.
The beauty of the relationship between Chika and Mitch is overwhelming; this bold, little girl opened up his heart and mind to feel emotions and connections he never expected. It gave him great insight into his marriage, his wife’s and his own emotions, and allowed him to look back at his past choices with a more understanding, comprehensive eye. His love for Chika seemed to make him regret his choice for holding off on having a family when he first got married, yet it gave him overwhelming appreciation for the opportunity to create one with Janine and Chika at this stage of life. Unfortunately, this spitfire of a little girl had an incurable disease, and is no longer with us in the flesh. Mitch Albom’s stories, photos and videos, and the memories Chika has created with all the lives she has touched in Haiti and around the word will live on forever.
I was thrilled to be able to attend a Circle of Care fundraising event at the Westport Playhouse with my mother, where Mitch Albom was the speaker. His presentation was not without tears, on stage and in the audience, and you could feel the love he has for Chika and all the kids at his orphanage in Haiti. Circle of Care provides support to families who have children with cancer, and Mitch’s book tour supports organizations like this across the country. All proceeds from the sale of his book Finding Chika support the Have Faith Haiti Mission.
Mitch Albom has a unique gift of being able to look at his experiences, choices and emotions, and gain deep understanding, find meaning and recognize ongoing questions. In Finding Chika: a little girl, an earthquake, and the making of a family, he experiences intense love, responsibility, commitment and tragedy, and he shares with us the beneficial growth of mind, heart and family. He is sensitive, thoughtful and generously open to sharing his stories and teaching us what he has learned. Don’t miss an opportunity to read his books and see him live.