Five People You Meet in Heaven, another touching, enlightening book by Mitch Albom, author of “Tuesdays with Morrie.” The story begins with the death of Eddie at age 83 at a freak accident in an amusement park on which he is the “maintenance man.” The death it seems is just a beginning. Eddie met 5 people and learned 5 lessons of “whys” about the life he lived. These “whys” I believe are our questions too. It echoes our thoughts and wondering. The story also makes us imagine heaven and realize how we can “create” our own heaven. There and here.
“Fairness does not govern life and death. If it did, no good person would ever die young.”
“The human spirit knows, deep down, that all lives intersects. That death doesn’t just take someone, it misses someone else, and in the small distance between being taken and being missed, lives changed.”
“What good came from your death?” Eddie asked the Blue Man. “You lived” he answered.
“Strangers are just family you have yet to come to know.”
“Sacrifice. You made one. I made one.” said the Captain. “Sacrifice is a part of life. It’s supposed to be. It’s not something to regret. It’s something to aspire to…. A mother works so her son can go to school. A daughter who moves home to take care of her sick father…. A man goes to war…”
“Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you’re not really losing it. You’re just passing it on to someone else.”
“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 hated is a curved blade. And the hard we do, we do to ourselves.”
“Do you remember the lightness you felt when you arrived in heaven?” Ruby asked. “That’s because no one is born with anger. And when we die our soul is freed form it. Forgive.”
“Life has to end, Love doesn’t.” (Marguerite)
“Lost love is still love, Eddie. It just takes a different form, that’s all…Memory. Memory becomes your partner. You nurture it. You hold it. You dance with it.”
“Children, you keep them safe. You make good for me” (Tala)
“Is where you were supposed to be…”
In the end, it is all like “butterfly effect”… that we do and affect things and people…every minute of our life. So with that in mind, we must make everything and every moment worthwhile…
“Each affects the other and the other affects the next; and the world is full of stories, but the stories are all one.”
This is “patented” to be used by Bro Jojo Baldo— a favorite speaker– on his tombstone: “HERE LIES A DISCIPLE OF JESUS…. HE LIVED FULLY; HE DIED EMPTY!”. On my day of death, I will have given away all!
Since I’d heard it, I’ve been contemplating on these words. I’ve started to see life and what it offers everyday as my another chance to be a “better me” than I was yesterday….. that I have to give and show what I have to offer back to life…. that eventually, on my last day, I could proudly say, “I have given away all!”
It’s now becoming my everyday goal to do something that gears towards the accomplishments of my goals… I am consciously doing things to make my day worthwhile, and so does the day of people I love around me.
When I was asked during a seminar by (another) speaker, “how long it would take you to make your dreams come true?” I instantly said, “having given my almost 10 hrs of my day to work, well, I still have 3 hours left for me EVERYDAY to make my dreams come true….” Well, I knew (by the look of his face) that I have given him an incorrect answer, the one he is not expecting (his answer was, “I don’t know” because he said we don’t know if we’ll ever achieve our dreams because we don’t know if we’ll ever live tomorrow!)… Well, he is right, I agree. But it’s either I got his question wrong… or I have different perspective than what he had in mind…
He is right, but I still stand to my answer, because I know I take each moment of my life EVERYDAY towards my dreams, may it be grand or simple, or just sheer pleasures of doing things that matters, or tiny steps to reach certain dreams. Having considered also the “dooms-day theory,” I know I am WORKING on my dreams EVERYDAY.
I am now in the wake of a wonderful Tita 😦 (who may not have “given all and everything” in the perspective of people around her, but who knows, she might be probably felt satisfied all her life just happy seeing us all succeed and grow, and have contributed on it in the process— but that’s different story…), that’s why probably I been in this contemplating mood…
Now it made me think again…. I have to formulate my own epitaph for my own tombstone…. (since, I cannot borrow anymore from Bro. Jojo’s)…. and I want to imagine that everyone (my mourners, i mean) will “agree” on it…
…and I realized that I don’t have to stray away from the theme of this blogsite, or rather from the theme of my life…. because I been living on this creed (or trying to)…. 🙂
So, I want my epitaph be read as:
“She Took Each Moment as it Comes For All That It Is Worth… She Lived Her “Dash” Fully”
8. This too shall pass…
9. “The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make heaven of Hell, and a hell of Heaven” – John Milton
10. “Be the change you want to see in the world” – M Gandhi
11. “If you want to be happy, be…” – Leo Tolstoy
12. A good example of leadership is leadership by example
13. “Go forth boldly in the direction of your dream, live the life you imagines” – Thoreau
14. Have faith
15. Don’t do what you cannot teach your kids
16. Do random kindness.
17. “If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters” ~Alan Simpson
18. Do not repeat anything you will not sign your name to.
19. Goodness is the only investment that never fails. ~Henry David Thoreau
… to be continued….