The Five People Grant Meets in Heaven By Grant Blackburn

Millennium Celebration

My parents became the happiest people in the world on January 1, 2000. That was the day my twin brother and I were born at Magee Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh. It was fifty-four degrees outside, which was unusually warm for that time of year. Because no one was sure if technology software could successfully make the year change, people said to stay off airplanes and out of hospitals. My nonconformist mom ended up in the hospital on December 31, 1999, and was there through the changeover. Luckily, nothing impeded our birth. The whole world was celebrating! While I initially assumed they were celebrating my birth, I found out later that they were actually celebrating the Millennium. It was a grand celebration, because no one would be around in a thousand years to party at the next one! I suspect we can all celebrate this momentous occasion in Heaven on my thousandth birthday.

Safari Sam's

One of my favorite birthday's was my fifth birthday. It was memorable because we had our party at a really fun place called Safari Sam's. We invited our entire kindergarten class. I used to love going there and playing in the huge jungle gym. It was similar to the PlayPlace at McDonald's, just bigger. There was nothing placid about it, all twenty-three kids ran around yelling and having fun! Sadly, they closed a year later, and to this day I miss that place. I felt like Safari Sam's became a part of me, and when it closed, it felt like a piece of me was gone. This is the same feeling Ruby had when there was a fire at Ruby Pier. It was a great calamity which caused them to lose all their money and her husband's health. Ruby had a strong aversion to the amusement park after the fire. But I realize what Ruby came to know and told Eddie, "Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from inside." (Albom 141). There is not a place for anger in Heaven.

Baseball Field in Heaven

My heaven would look like a sports complex in the clouds. The sky would be a brilliant, cerulean blue, with white, cotton puff clouds. My Heaven would be full of happy people, all who were good citizens and helped others during their life, and certainly not have any signs of the devil and his beguiling ways! People in my Heaven would be having a grand time. Some would be playing or watching sports, others would be eating delicious foods, and everyone would be doing whatever makes them happiest! There would not be any disapprobation by anyone in my Heaven. People would have propriety and be temperate.

In my Heaven I would meet my mother, Mrs. Casey, Jason Davic, Donald Trump, and my father. The first person I would meet in Heaven would be my mother. She has taught me most of the lessons I learned in life. Probably the foremost of these lessons is to be a good person and always try to help others. My mom served on many volunteer committees throughout her life, in hopes of making the world a better place. She believed only God could truly judge people, and it was her job to raise a good husband, father, and citizen. I always heard her say that when people would ask her how it was raising two boys. Her reply was, "Oh, I am not raising boys, I am raising good husbands, fathers, and citizens." I enjoyed helping coach at a youth basketball camp, and also working at Windwood with all the kids in daycare. I believe it was through my mom's willingness to help others that I inherited this trait, and will also pass it on to my children. Helping others was the most valuable lesson I have learned.

Math Contests

The next person I would meet in Heaven would be Mrs. Casey. She was my first grade teacher. I was extremely shy in first grade and never really spoke to anyone. Mrs. Casey taught me to not be afraid and to have a voice. She used to play math games in class, which I would win a lot of the time. Mrs. Casey would call me "The Math Wiz," and that would make me feel good. It really brought me out of my shell, and I began to raise my hand and speak in class. Without Mrs. Casey, I would not have met and become friends with so many people. In the novel, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, one of the things that hurt Eddie the most was when his father quit talking to him. His father's excuse was, "That boy raised a hand to me" (Albom 110). While his father did not even care to speak to his own son, Mrs. Casey cared about everyone in her class, and taught us all how important it was to speak. Without Mrs. Casey, I may have become an introverted recluse. She taught me the lesson of having a voice, and when I meet her in Heaven, she will still be smiling and making sure I have a voice!

Love and Good Fortune

Also, and perhaps the most perplexing person I would meet in Heaven, would be Jason Davic. When I would meet him, I would not recognize him. That is because I really don't remember much about him, since I have not seen Jason since he was eight. My mom sent us to a special needs pre-school. Spencer and I were fortunate to not be handicapped, and that is one of the things we learned. If we could see and help those who were less fortunate, my mom felt we would grow as people. At the pre-school was a boy named Jason Davic. When I meet Jason in Heaven, he will thank me for always being friends with him, helping him cut things since his hands did not work as well, and for giving him snacks and other items we were supposed to bring in, because unfortunately, his mom would always forget! He would explain to me that he really appreciated that I would always ask my mom for an extra article, set of glitter paint, or snack, so that he had something like the rest of the class. It made him feel more a part of the class, just like Mrs. Casey made me feel more a part of her class. Sadly, Jason passed away when we were in elementary school. My mom said it was due to health problems he had from birth. I always wondered if his mom neglected him during her pregnancy, just like she did after giving birth. I was glad my mom taught me to help others, and that Jason would feel I had made an impact on his life. Jason was always melancholy and taught me what neglect was, and also the opposite, love and good fortune! The valuable lesson I learned from Jason was to never neglect anyone, and to be thankful for the gift of not being handicapped at birth.

Donald Trump

Unlike the other people I would meet in Heaven, I would meet someone that I never actually had met on my time on Earth. That person would be Donald Trump, the next President of the United States of America. The lesson Donald Trump taught me is to never give up, because you never know how things will turn out. During the last Presidential Election, most people predicted Clinton would win. Everyone was shocked when Donald Trump won. Throughout the election, he never gave up hope. It proves that no one should ever give up, because even when others expect you to lose, if you try hard enough, you may win. In The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Eddie does not give up. When he returns home after the war and is lying in the hospital bed, Eddie is "consumed by the desire to run away" (Albom 101). He perseveres, and it is a blessing he kept trying because he ends up saving a girl at the end. Both Donald Trump and Eddie proved that you should never give up, you can accomplish great things if you keep going.

Basketball Court in Heaven

Finally, the last person I would meet in Heaven, would be my venerable father. Like my mom, my dad taught me valuable lessons. We played a lot of sports growing up. My dad was always coaching a team. He started by coaching me in baseball, but currently coaches me in basketball. Throughout the years, many coaches and kids have yelled and not been very considerate to other players, coaches, and officials. I loved watching and playing in sports. Along with teaching me a love for sports, the real lesson my father taught me is sportsmanship. While all the other coaches became irate and had no temperance, my father was always calm and taught his players the value of being a good sport. He gave all the kids an equal amount of playing time. My brother was always the best player on the team, but my dad had him sit on the bench first. My dad would always say, "We must always set a good example." After every game we would be required to shake hands with the other team. I remember when my brother was in a baseball tournament and his coach was upset that we lost, and he told the players to not shake the other team's hands. My dad marched right down to the dugout and told them all to line up and shake hands. He had a long talk with that coach afterward. My dad explained that if he ever saw such unsportsmanlike conduct again, Spencer would not be allowed to play on that team.

In conclusion, the lessons I learned in life were: to be a good person and help others, to always have a voice and not be introverted, to not neglect anyone and to be thankful for the gifts God gave me, to keep trying even if you think there is no hope, and to be a good sport. My mom teaching me to help others allowed me to learn about neglect from someone I was able to aid. Mrs. Casey gave me the confidence to speak up and not be so shy. I would have been too shy and not have been able to help people the rest of my life had Mrs. Casey not taught me this lesson. Being on teams teaches everyone to keep trying and to never give up, because there are times when you are losing horribly and you come back and win! More importantly, you learn sportsmanship while being on a team. All the lessons are intertwined and without the one, I may not have been able to learn the next. If you live life following these lessons, you will go to Heaven just like I will.

Works Cited

Albom, Mitch. The Five People You Meet In Heaven. Hyperion Books, 2003.

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