The book „The Gift“ by Cecelia Ahern is probably one of the most stunning and at the same time poignant and thought-provoking novels I have ever read.
SPOILER ALERT … don’t go on reading if you don’t want to know details
The plot is all about a husband, called Lou Sufferns, who is absolutely busy and actually kind of a work-aholic. He believes that his work is everything that counts and he wants to get better all the time. That is to say, he usually starts work about one hour early so that he is way ahead of all the other business men. Working is literally his passion which leads him to forget that he has got a wife and two little toddlers which he barely even knows. Frankly, he burns the candle at both ends and neglects his family. What is more, he is used to cheating on his wife after or even whilst work. In addition, he also doesn‘t want to occupy himself about the 70th birthday of his father. He lets everything be organised and done by his secretary as he apparently doesn‘t want to dig into family stuff.
However, one day, the self-interested Lou meets a beggar called Gabriel who randomly starts a conversation with Lou. Lou kind of feels connected to this guy and wants to help him out of the soup. So, he first offers him a coffee to protect him from the cold, and then he offers him a job. This gesture indicates that Lou, though being naughty and egoistic, still has a heart that cares for others. Well, Gabriel on the other hand is no normal guy. He is really special. Hence, he gives Lou a gift: the opportunity to be in several places at the same time. At first, Lou uses this new ability to attend even more meetings than before. But by the time he also uses this to spend time with his family. Little by little, he then realises what a wonderful family he has. He finally gets that he has a beautiful wife and two both amazing and quite cute children. So in time for Christmas, Lou changes his mind and decides to spend more time with his lovely family. But what lesson would that be without a catch?
Thus, one evening Lou just wants to get home as quickly as possible as he wants to see his family so eagerly. Unfortunately, temperatures are pretty low and the streets are frozen. So, when he turns zestfully into a bend, his car deviates from the road. The vehicle overturns several times and is completely damaged. Lou Suffern is dead. But he has got one more chance: right before he passes away forever, he doubles one last time in order to tell his family how much he loves them, no matter what will happen, no matter where he will be, no matter whatsoever, he will always be there for them.
In conclusion, I guess there are not many words left to say. This story clearly shows us how important it is to spend time with people we do love, people that matter. Doing things that make us happy are important and we should take every yet so little opportunity to make memories, to make new experiences, to go on adventures. We only live once and we do not know when life will be over. So, let’s just try to live every day as if it was our last.