As the Head of Maintenance at Ruby Pier, Eddie does his utmost to check the errors and keep the machines in operation in the morning, unaware of his immediate death. As usual, he talks and preaches to another young maintainer, Dominguez, about the routine works. A sudden scream bursts out from nowhere, not a joyful hurray but it’s the very signal of a girl who is captivated on the broken-down cable car swinging in the air. At the sight of the horrible scene, Eddie rushed to the cable car as soon as possible. At the very moment of rescuing the girl, he sacrifices his own precious life due to Dominguez’s unintentional fault.
In no time, Eddie is transported to Heaven. The guide tells him that he has to encounter five significant people in Heaven so that he can move on. He meets them as the following sequence, the Blue Man, the Captain, Ruby, Marguerite, and Tala.
The first one, Blue Man, I am so impressed by his kindness and forgiveness toward Eddie. As a stranger, the Blue Man sacrificed his own life in order to save the life of Eddie the boy’s. Once upon a time, one of my relatives tried his best to save the life of a drowning stranger at the cliff of 野柳,but in vain. As a result, the municipal government set a statue to honor his heroic deed. Despite that the Blue Man had never received any medal or memorial, he himself was an unknown hero for Eddie and his parents. What the Blue Man taught him was that,” Strangers are family you have yet to come to know.” and “There are no random acts; we are all connected.” The Blue man helped Eddie understand the meaning of “strangers”.
The Captain, once Eddie’s best partner in WW2, he shot Eddie on his ankle so that Eddie wouldn’t rush into a flaming hut, thus, the Captain was accidentally killed by landmine. Eddie felt really sorry for the Captain because of his misunderstanding of the wound on his leg. An act of kindness is like a timely rain on a drought-dried land. No one knows for sure if Eddie were to save the shadow in the hut, would he be another corpse on the battlefield? “Sacrifice is the noblest thing you can do,” the Captain said. The second lesson was by far about “sacrifices”.
Ruby, the third person that Eddie met. She was the messenger to reveal Eddie father’s love toward him. Eddie’s father was an alcoholic that he often harassed and intimidated his sons and wife after he was drunk. One day, Eddie couldn’t stand it anymore. As a result, he escaped from the house and eventually stumbled into the ocean. Though his father flew into a rage, he dived into the cold waters to save his son’s life. His father was later diagnosed with pneumonia and soon died. Ruby was aware of the story because she shared a hospital room with Eddie’s father. The most touching part is that Eddie said to his father in Heaven, ”It’s fixed.” With tears trickling down my cheeks, I deeply applause for the profound meaning behind the simple two words. They not only represent the heir of a maintainer but also reveal the forgiveness to the tense relationship between Eddie and his father. Ruby taught a lesson which was all about the importance of “forgiveness”.
Marguerite, a woman that enriched and flourished Eddie’s life. She was Eddie’s wife. They lived a life without a child but were contended with their happy marriage. Little did Eddie knew that she left him alone on earth when she came down with the brain tumor. Eddie was overwhelmed by grief and sorrow at the time she passed away. Likewise, when my once talkative and active grandpa lying helplessly on the bed of the hospital because of liver cancer, my heart was totally broken. Nevertheless, what Marguerite taught Eddie cured my injured heart, too. “Our love never went away; it just took a different form”
Last but not least, Eddie bumped into a déjà vu.He met an unknown but familiar girl, Tala. Later, he found out that she was the shadow behind the hut burned, where he set fire on. Tortured by the image and scream of hallucination, Eddie couldn’t sleep well at night when he was alive. He was so ashamed that he collapsed in front of Tala. Tala forgave him by uttering this sentence. “Children. You keep them safe. You make good for me. Is where you were supposed to be. Eddie Main-ten-ance.”
On the road of redemption, Eddie dug out the true meaning of life and never felt regret. He made his way to move on in Heaven, to tell his story to Dominguez and the girl he saved at Ruby Pier, the amusement park. As for me, this book certainly provided me with food for thoughts. Humans can’t play God, sometimes we made irreversible mistakes. We couldn’t change the situation of the past at least we could cope with it now. “Hostility provokes hostility while good will leads to good will.” All I can hope is that People on earth can finally walk hand in hand and live in harmony with one another. It’s inevitable for me to encounter people who mistake our goodwill for humiliation, but I should never stop helping others because any little act of kindness is its own reward.
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