It's the first September that Morrie hasn't taught a class in thirty-five years. Mitch compares him to a retired athlete who sits at home and watches Sunday Night Football.
As Morrie grows weaker, his need for physical affection grows, and these days he likes to have lots of hugs.
Morrie says that family is the only solid foundation you can put yourself on. He references the poet WH Auden: "Love each other or perish" (14.8).
Family is about more than love; it's a bond that can't be replaced, and it's almost a spiritual kind of thing.
Mitch asks himself if he would feel as empty in Morrie's situation without a family.
Morrie also says that he told his sons not to stop their lives to be with him. He doesn't want to interrupt them because he respects them.
He comments on the love between parents and children. It's unlike any other type of love you can experience, and he wouldn't trade it for anything, even though he will miss them when he's gone. The thought of this makes him tear up (this is the first time we've seen him cry).
Morrie asks Mitch about his family. Then he hits the jackpot and asks about Mitch's younger brother—Mitch gets very quiet.
Mitch explains to us, the readers, that his younger brother was different from the rest of the family. He basically got the best of the gene pool in looks and personality. Even though he had a wild lifestyle, he was the family favorite.
He moved to Spain shortly after college.
Mitch was always paranoid about getting cancer like his uncle, but in a cruel twist of fate his brother got it instead.
His young and handsome brother became very sick, and while he somehow was able to keep cancer at bay, he remains in Europe and won't talk to his family.
Mitch is totally overwhelmed with guilt and feels like he can't help his brother. He admits that maybe this is why he wants to help Morrie; he feels like Morrie knows this about him.
We're inclined to agree with Mitch on this one.
It's time for another flashback, this time to Mitch playing in the snow with his brother as kids. They almost run into a car, but roll down the hill, and after rolling around and around realize they're safe.
Mitch and his brother look at each other and laugh; he says that they are "ready to take on death again" (14.61).