Love, Family, & Sacrifice The Five People You Meet In Heaven written by Mitch Albom tells a story about a man named Eddie who dies, and before he is allowed into Heaven, he must meet five people who individually have a lesson for him to learn. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch is a book about himself and his last lecture. Pausch has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and has a short time to live. Both books talk about life, death, sacrifice, courage, and family and the importance these factors played in their characters lives.
After reading these two books, one will learn that love, sacrifice, and family play the most important roles in one’s life like they did in Eddie and Pausch’s lives. Pausch talks about the first time he met his wife Jai. He fell in love at first sight. Pausch describes the moment like this “From the moment I met her the day of my visit, I just found myself staring at her she’s a beauty, of course, and she had this gorgeous long hair then, and this smile that said a lot about both her warmth and her impishness” (Pausch 75).
Not only did he love her, he appreciated her. Pausch stated “If this talk was to be my moment, I wanted some way to show how much I love and appreciate her” (Pausch 199). Their love was so strong that it overcame any obstacle in their lives. Not every love is perfect, but Pausch and Jai’s love is one that many wish they had. Because love is the foundation in a relationship, it’s one of the important factors for a happy life. Eddie loved his wife Marguarite just as much as Pausch loved his wife. Eddie also fell in love at first sight.
This is the way Albom describes Eddie’s first time he saw Marguarite “For the rest of his life, whenever he thought of Marguarite, Eddie would see that moment, her waiving over her shoulder, her dark hair falling over one eye and he would feel the same arterial burst of love” (Albom 9). Even though Eddie was miserable and had a negative outlook of life, the love for his wife kept him going. Both Pausch and Eddie had the opportunity in life to obtain one of life’s most important factor; true love the one emotion that makes couples overcome the obstacles and enjoy the wonderful times in life.
Family is also important. Family keeps one going refraining one from giving up. With the support of family, one can reach their goals and dreams. For Pausch, his family played a great part in his achievements. Pausch had a good relationship with both of his parents. He writes “For a million reasons, my dad was my hero” (Pausch 21). In a child’s life, love and attention are needed. Pausch had a happy childhood, which led him to achieve his goals and dreams. He states “The smile on that kid’s face, the wood seat, the look in his eyes; that photo reminds me that I won the parent lottery” (Pausch 25).
Unlike Pausch, Eddie didn’t have a good relationship with his father. Albom states “The damage done by Eddie’s father was, at the beginning, the damage of neglect” (Albom 104). Eddie felt his family was a stressful situation. When children grow up being neglected and without their parent’s support, it’s harder for them to fulfill their dreams. Eddie blamed his father for the path his life took. He felt resentment towards his father and this is how Eddie felt “I was angry with you dad, I hated you. You beat me.
You shut me out” (Albom 144 ). Family is the most valuable possession one has in life. If Eddie had a father like Pausch, he probably would have reached his goals and not lived a life full of resentment. Sometimes one has to sacrifice to gain. The most common scarification in life is time, like Pausch did. Pausch had little time left to live and he wanted to leave a memory, his last lecture. His wife didn’t agree with his sacrifice and this is how she expressed herself “Call me selfish, Jai told me but I want all of you.
Any time you’ll spend working on this lecture is lost time because it’s time away from the kids and from me” (Pausch 5). Even though sacrifice was hard for Pausch, he knew that it was the only way to accomplish his goal. The other common sacrification is neglecting one needs to accommodate someone else’s. This is how Pausch described Jai’s sacrifice “And she won’t tell them all the sacrifices she made. Any mother of three small children is consumed with taking care of them. Throw in a cancer stricken husband and the result is a woman who is always dealing with someone else’s need, not her own” (Pausch 194).
When sacrifice has to do with love and family, it has no boundaries. Like The last lecture, The five people you meet in heaven also talks about sacrifices. After Eddie’s father died, he felt he couldn’t leave his mother alone. Here is what Albom said about Eddie’s sacrifice “And where Eddie had accepted a job that would let him keep an eye on his mother” (Albom 128). “My mother needed help one thing led to another, years passed, I never left. I never lived nowhere else. Never made any real money” (Albom 132).
This sacrifice hit Eddy hard. He felt that he was stuck in Ruby Pier because of the decision he made. He felt his life was thrown away. Sacrifice can come to one from different angles but it’s one’s decision to decide if one is ready to commit to the consequences of the sacrifice. Without sacrifice one won’t find love, and without love, family isn’t happy. These three go hand in hand, and have a great impact in one’s life, just like they did for Pausch and Eddie. Pausch had love, a great family, and made the right sacrifices.
Because of these 3 important factors in life, Pausch was able to fulfill his dreams and reach his goals. On the other hand Eddie had love, a family, but he made the wrong sacrifices. He lived a life full of regret. People should hold on to the happy memories and let go of the hurtful ones. Doing this, one will be able obtain love, a good family, and make the right sacrifices, which are the three most important factors in life. Albom states “Each affects the other and the other affects the next, and the world is full of stories but the stories are all one” (Albom 196).