Lizzy kneels by great-grandma's grave
Two daughters, two nieces
I don't have a great sense of humor. I wish I did. Grandma was keenly clever; she was always laughing, always cracking jokes. All three of her sons got her funny bone, and I'm waiting to see if I inherited hers, too.She always loved me and my sister, and I told her that I knew it without a doubt. She said back to me, "Indeed, I do." I started to get to know her when we moved out here and I was 13. I'm still learning about her. There are so many amazing times and circumstances she has gone through. She knew times of great luxury, and she knew times of poverty. She worked hard, at everything she did. She even gave up smoking just because one day she decided to quit and followed through - she was a determined and strong woman.One of her greatest strengths, in my eyes, was her optimism. A famous consolation of hers was "Well, it's better than nothing!" and I can see her saying it with a smile. I think she earned the right to say such a thing to others.I don't know how she would have gotten through without her optimism. She beat a lot of odds. Many of the conversations she and I had in the last ten years were on our crucified and risen Lord Jesus. She and I had started going to church regularly about the same time. I don't think she ever grew tired of thinking about what Jesus has done, for all of us. She's known about it all her life. She believed as Hebrews 9:22 says, that without the shedding of blood, there can be no forgiveness for sins, but since Jesus did suffer and His blood was shed, we who know this have already become sealed with the Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of His purchased possession, as Ephesians 1:13 says. That's you and me, if we've believed in Jesus's sufferings for us - even if it's not easy to understand.Is it just that easy? Would be her question. Yes, eternal life is absolutely free.Is it just that easy? I like asking the question, too.One of the last times I spent with her I quoted John 6:47 "Most assuredly I say to you, whoever believes in me has everlasting life." I didn't have to say much to her, she nodded her head in agreement. Then later she was joyful and we talked a lot about family.My sister and I have this way of differentiating between our two grandmas. Grandma Evelyn is "the cool grandma." She really was cool. I look at her life and realize how great I would have it to be like her. She knew suffering. But she also had learned, perhaps from observing what Jesus did on the cross, that suffering does not last forever. We know this. Suffering is a part of life. But it only lasts for a little while, and then it is done.It isn't "just that easy" to know this, but by faith I know that she is present with her Savior now, and those of us who have been forgiven of our wrongdoings will also be present with her one day too. I'm an optimist as she was. I need more than optimism, however, and I think I have it. I don't want to ever grow tired of hearing it either. I praise God believing how He holds us through all the circumstances of our life on this earth, and into eternity as well.