The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom
Eddie, a war veteran, feels trapped in his father’s hard labour before him, fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. As the park changes over the years, from the Loop-the-Loop to the Pipeline Plunge, so has Eddie, from an optimistic young man to a resentful old fellow. His days are filled with dull routine of work, loneliness and regret.
At the age of 83, he died of a tragic accident, trying to save a little girl from the falling cart. After his life, he meets five people in heaven, who come to explain his earthly life and totally change his way of thinking about his own life.
The Blue Man, a stranger who died from an accident avoiding hitting Eddie, the boy who runs in front of the car chasing a ball. What he teaches Eddie is:
“Strangers are just family you have yet to come to know.”
“No life is a waste. The only time we waste is the time we spend thinking we are alone.”
The Capitan, who was killed by the land mine on the way to transport seriously wounded Eddie from the battlefield. He teaches Eddie:
“No one gets left behind.”
“Sacrifice is a part of life. It’s supposed to be. It’s not something to regret. It’s something to aspire to. Little sacrifice. Big sacrifice. A mother works so her son can go to school. A daughter moves home to take care of her sick father….”
“Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you’re not really losing it. You’re just passing it on to someone else.”
The old woman, Ruby, previous owner of Ruby Pier, the amusement park, who witnesses the last days of Eddie’s father. Eddie has so much resentment on his father for ruining his childhood, ignoring him and be cruel to him. He doesn’t speak to his father for years and years. What Eddie learned from Ruby is that:
“You have peace, when you make it with yourself.”
“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.”
Marguerite, his wife. The only woman Eddie has ever loved in his live. She tells Eddie, “Lost love is still love. It takes a different for, that’s all. You can’t see their smile or bring them food or tousle their hair or move them around a dance floor. But when those senses weaken, another heightens. Memory. Memory becomes your partner. You nurture it, You hold it. You dance with it. Life has to end. Love doesn’t.”
The girl, whom Eddie failed to save back in war time. After she hears what Eddie says about his life “I didn’t do anything with my life. I was nothing. I accomplish nothing. I was lost. I felt like I wasn’t supposed to be there (fixing the rides in the amusement park).” She insists that, “(You) Supposed to be there. Children. You keep them safe. You make good for me…Is where you were supposed to be.”
Cleanse your mind, your thinking and your soul. Rethink your path. Enjoy what you have and give it a lift.