Posts Tagged ‘Books’
I don’t do a lot of book reviews – it reminds me too much of when I was in grade school and had to churn out book reports. But, a while ago I read a book that touched me so much I wanted to share it with everyone. It’s The 5 People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom.
Mitch Albom is not exactly known for his lighthearted, funny or superficial writing. But his books are fairly easy and quick reads and no matter how serious the subject matter there is always some underlying basic truth and raw emotion you just can’t ignore. It seems very fitting to start the new year off with this book.
This book is about a Eddie, who dies while trying to save a little girl’s life. He’s 83 and has lived a long life- war veteran who has made a career of fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. But he wasn’t happy or fulfilled. He questioned his life and whether it was all worth it. He didn’t even know if he was successful in his attempt to save the little girls life.
After he dies he finds himself in the afterlife. There are no pearly gates, people floating through the clouds, angels flying around – it’s very realistic and what I hope the afterlife will be like. It is a lush garden where he meets 5 people who were a part of his life and changed the course of his life forever. They aren’t even all significant people in his life. Some are loved ones and others are distant strangers.
Eddie learns that heaven is for understanding your life on earth. Heaven is not a physical place – it’s a state of being. It can be “found in the most unlikely corners. And heaven itself has many steps.” Everyone’s heaven is different.
In the end Eddie learns why he lived and what he lived for. He learns that even the most insignificant times of his life were had for a reason. Everyone who has walked into his life has had a hand in shaping it. In many ways, every member of the human race is connected in some way. Every person’s stories and experiences have affected those of someone else. No one exists in isolation, even when they feel alone. And in the end “each affects the other and the other affects the next, and the world is full of stories, but the stories are all one.”
I highly recommend that everyone read this book. I promise, it isn’t doom and gloom. You will not be depressed. It is 196 pages of the most well-written words and uplifting messages that I have ever read. It will make you think about your life and see certain events and people differently. It might even help you free yourself of events in yoru own life that have held you hostage for far too long. I’m still working on that part.
And for anyone who is afraid of death or dying, I can relate. This book relieved those fears for me. It made me wonder with a certain amount of anticipation and peace – which 5 people will I meet in heaven?
Some of my favorite quotes:
~…There are no random acts. That we are all connected. That you can no more separate one life from another than you can separate a breeze from the wind.
~…the human spirit knows, deep down, that all lives intersect. That death doesn’t just take someone, it misses someone else, and in the small distance between being taken and being misses, lives are changed.
~Strangers are just family you have yet to come to know.
~Time is not what you think. Dying? Not the end of everything. We think it is. But what happens on earth is only the beginning.
~Sacrifice is a part of life. It’s supposed to be. It’s not something to regret. It’s something to aspire to…Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you’re not really losing it. You’re just passing it on to someone else.
~All parents damage their children. It cannot be helped. Youth, like pristine glass, absorbs the prints of its handlers. Some parents smudge, others crack, a few shatter childhoods completely into jagged little pieces, beyond repair.
~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.