Wednesday, August 15, 2007
The five people you meet in heaven - Book
The five people you meet in heaven by Mitch Albom. #1 New York Times Bestseller.
I feel that everyone, if possible should read this book. Last year there was a movie based on this book, i have not watch it yet. This book was given to me as a gift which i am very thankful.
For me this book touches on the people that we meet (past, present and future) in our life here on earth. Some may experience bad things/influences from the people they meet (some can be angels and some from the dark side)...but i believe with each people we meet, it is up to us to try make things better even if the situation is bad or the experiences were bad.
Life on this earth are short, try to be happy and lead a happy life. It may sound easy but i know it is not. Each experience we face, it is up to us to either take it as a curse or think/look from the positive angle.
But the most important of all,.....John 3:16.
Any way, this book is about....Eddie who work in a fun fair/carnival (called Ruby Pier), maintenance guy for the rides. He was not a happy man. He died on his birthday (he was 83), while trying to save a girl from being hit by one of the rides.
He did not feel anything, he did not even know he was dead. He felt fine and his legs was not hurting (an injury from the second world war). The first person he met was some one he never met.
The first person he met was the Blue man (who also worked in the fun fair, as a freak show). He said he has been waiting for him. He explain where Eddie was and how this blue man had died. He also mentioned that he will be meeting 5 people and he (Blue man) was the first.
When Eddie was young, he was playing ball throwing (catch) with some friends. Some one threw a bit hard and the ball went across the road. Eddie ran to retrieved the ball, as he ran, he did not notice an oncoming car, lucky the driver saw Eddie and manage to avoid hitting him.
He steer to the right and into an alley hitting the back of a truck (damage was not too bad). He came out from the car and saw the damage (he borrowed the car from his friend). He fell on to the pavement of the empty alley and died. According to reports, he had a 'heart attack'.
Eddie was shocked and felt sorry. Because of his action in trying to get the ball, he caused some one to die so that he can live. Through out Eddie's adult life, he was never happy and full of hatred in his heart. Blue man did not blame him for his death, just want to let him know what had happened.
"What good came from your death?" "You lived," the Blue Man answered. "But we barely knew each other. I might as well have been a stranger."
The Blue Man put his arms on Eddie's shoulders. Eddie felt that warm, melting sensation. "Strangers," the Blue Man said, "are just family you have yet to come to know."
The second person Eddie met was Captain. He served with the Captain in Philippines during the war. He thought 'did i killed Captain too'? During the war they were captured and became POWs (prisoner of war), together with 4 others.
They were really bullied and tortured by the Japanese solders when they were in the camp. They had to do mining for the Japs too. In the end they managed to think of ways to killed off the japs by distracting them. Eddie knew how to juggle and when he saw one of the Japs trying to juggle some rocks, he knew that would be the distraction they were looking for.
So he showed the Japs how to juggle rock, first with two, then 3 then 4 rocks. In the mean time while the Japs were enjoying the 'show', the captain and the rest of the team manage sneaked into position to attacked them. And attacked them they did. Their captors were all killed. And they free the other prisoners.
They also intended to blow off the mines so that the Japs can;t use it again (in case they come back). So they laid charges on the mine, making sure no one was in there. Eddie took a final look and he thought he saw a shadow, like some one was inside. He wanted to go in and checked but the others were already out and the captain called out to him to get out, the mine exploded and Eddie was shot in the leg. Next thing he knew he was on the way out from the place and in the hospital.
And he never saw the captain again or any of his army friends. So he was surprised to see the captain. Captain said a few things about his life before he was killed in one of the battles. And he waited for Eddie all this while just to tell him, he was the one who shot him in the leg.
"You were obsessed with getting in there. You damn near knocked Morton out when he tried to stop you. We had a minute to get out and, damn your strength, you were too tough to fight." Eddie felt a final surge of rage and grabbed the captain by the collar. He pulled him close. He saw the teeth stained by tobacco." My ...legggg!" Eddie seethed."My life!" "I took your leg," the captain said quietly, "to save your life".
Then Eddie realise he should have known that no one was in there, because of that mistake, it haunted him the rest of his life (injury to the leg). After a few words of explaining the meaning of sacrifice, the captain left.
So far with two people he had met, the place is different. For the first one, the place was at the fun fair. The second one, it was in the hills, forest during the war. And now the third person he was meeting, was someone he never met before. A total stranger...a lady.
He saw the scene looking at his father. His father had not treated him well when he was young. When he was drunk he usually take it out on him and his brother. After getting out from the hospital with his injured leg, he was not the same, probably any one who went to war will come back differently. He was no exception. He was at home feeling depressed because of his leg. His dad does not understand it and one time got quite mad at Eddie and wanted to hit him, to 'wake' him up, telling him to go to look for a job instead of feeling depress at home.
He fought back, and nearly knocked his father out. From that day on till the day his father died, they never spoke again.
The lady (third person) spoke to him and told him about her life story. He never met her but they have something in common. This lady used to work in a diner. One day she met a guy and they fall in love. They got married and this guy built a fun fair which he called Ruby pier. Ruby pier was where Eddie worked and also where his dad had work before.
Business was good but something happened, and the place got burned down. Her husband lost everything including his health. The Ruby pier where Eddie and his dad work was rebuilt by some one else, they just did not change the name.
He still did not know what was the connection between him and her. She explained that he knew what happened to his father before he died. In Eddie's mind/perception, his dad came home one night drunk, wet and was without shoes. He caught pnuemonia and never recover and died.
The lady told him, that night before his father came home, a family friend by the name of Mickey Shea was visiting. He was drunk and was trying to hurt Eddie's mother, when his dad came home, they were in the room...when Eddie's dad saw what was happening he wanted to kill Mickey. Mickey ran and Eddie's dad gave chase. Mickey ran to the beach and wanted to kill himself but Eddie's dad although initially wanted to kill him, instead tried to save Mickey. And he did but at a price.
When Eddie heard this he was shocked and was really angry with Mickey. But then the lady explain to him, Mickey was fired from his job that day. And he went to get himself drunk and did not realise what he was doing to Eddie's mom. And the lady also told him that when Eddie was born, Mickey was the one who gave his parent's money and introduced work for his dad.
Eddie's father died in the hospital. What the lady was trying to tell him is, forgive his father. "Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from inside. We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do, we do to ourselves".
After telling him, the lady left.
The fourth person he met was a young lady. Looks familiar. It was his wife when she was younger. He really loved her. But she died at a young age. They had an argument on his 39th birthday and she was on her way to say sorry. She had an accident which she never recover. They had a lovely chat and she knows that he loved her. "Life has to end" she said. "Love doesn't."
The fifth person she met was a young Asian child. Her name was Tala. She was the one who was in the mining cave when he saw the shadow. There really was some one in the mining cave. The child's mother told her that she would be safe in there and to wait for her. Eddie really cried out when he knew he had killed her and was really in tears and asked the young child to forgive him.
He really felt he did nothing good with his life. The young child said he was wrong. He look after the children in Ruby Pier. Making sure all the rides are safe. He was meant to be there, he was meant to be Eddie the maintenance man.