Tomorrow Will be a Good Day by Captain Tom Moore
During the pandemic ninety -nine year old Captain Tom touched the hearts of people all over the world as he stoically walked the length of his garden to raise funds for the NHS staff who were putting their lives at risk nursing Covid-19 patients.
Captain Tom had not sought the limelight. He was still recovering from a broken hip after a bad fall and his family wanted to encourage him to get his mobility back. So, they challenged him to complete 100 laps before his hundredth birthday. To their amazement the campaign went viral and raised an astonishing 32 million pounds, the largest amount ever raised by an individual charity walk.
But who is Captain Tom and what was his background? In his official autobiography, Tomorrow Will be a Good Day, we meet the man behind his public personae.
He has fond memories of a happy childhood in Yorkshire. His deaf Father gave him an appreciation of the difficulties faced by people with a disability. It was from his beloved Uncle Billy, a passionate hill-climbing motorbike trials rider, who lived next door, that he acquired a lifelong love of motorcycles and mechanical skills. These stood him in good stead during his wartime service in India and the Far East.
After the war, from which he returned unscathed, he joined the family business much to his father’s delight. Despite his best efforts, and unaware that there were already financial problems, it failed. A successful working life in other companies was followed by a happy retirement in sunny Spain until he was forced to head back to England due to his second wife’s dementia. Here he lives close to his adored children and grandchildren and is still soldiering on.
The part I found particularly poignant were the stories about his two wives, both of whom had mental health issues.
Small black and white photographs throughout the book trace some of the historical events that Captain Tom lived through during his long life including scenes from the 1918-1920 Spanish flu pandemic, the Scottish scientist who discovered penicillin, the first man on the moon, the bombing of Nagasaki, and Nelson Mandela on the day he was released from prison.
The Captain Tom who emerges from this heart-warming memoir is unassuming, loyal, and cares deeply for others. His positive view of life has always carried him through. And he is not done yet. A Captain Tom Foundation has been set up to give more people hope.
I found it moving to read how this frail old man so close to the end of his life still feels that:
“Tomorrow will be a good day. Tomorrow you will maybe find everything will be much better than today. Even if today was alright. My today was alright, and my tomorrow will certainly be better. That’s the way I have always looked at life.” He writes.
Reviewer: Lyn Potter
Michael Joseph. RRP $48.