To the editor:
I can remember when my grandmother died and I wondered why it was such a sad occasion. You see, I was born again at age 15, and when I got my driver's license I was able to drive to church. My grandmother asked to go with me, so I would pick her up and off we went.
The reason I wondered why everyone saw her physical death as sad is because of this: My grandmother asked that she be baptized in water. The day she was baptized is one of my fondest memories. You see, before she was baptized she stood in front of the entire church and confessed all and was born again on the spot. So when she died, I knew she was going to heaven.
I know many of us, upon contemplating the death of a loved one, hope the person was right with God, but there are no guarantees, for each of us is responsible for our own soul. So we pray and cry believing our loved ones did make it into the Kingdom of God.
We think that our loved ones had to go to heaven. Yet, a man cannot earn his way to heaven. It doesn't matter how much good a person does while living on this world. He or she must have faith in Jesus Christ and only then can they produce acceptable fruit unto the Lord. Only then is the work they do work in faith.
I believe my cousin, Joe Scarbino, went to heaven because he spent his entire life doing good. The youth that would be in jail if it were not for him are numerous. The work my cousin did for his family and city if written down would fill volumes.
I know my cousin believed in Jesus Christ. I believe it was his faith in Jesus Christ that moved him to do good. It's hard to accept that he is gone and I won't run into him here and there. This is really hard for me because I lost a brother not too long ago. Yet, I know the hurt I feel is nothing compared to the pain my cousins and their families, Joe's wife and children, his grandchildren and a community that had him as their backbone for more than 30 years are feeling.
I refuse to remember him as anything other then the man I have always known. I believe he is with my brother and they are wondering why we aren't celebrating instead of mourning.