We gather here today to lay to rest the earthly body of Betty Hainline. We do so with sadness, gratitude for her life and a desire to honor her even in her death.
The Bible tells us in Psalm 46,
God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.
This is where we should turn for comfort in time of loss: to God. There are many who say that this life is all there is: we live, we die, and that’s it. That’s like saying life is like a race where you keep racing around the track until you run out of gas and stop. What would be the point of such a race? The point of a race is to cross the finish line (hopefully ahead of the others). Those who say, “we live, we die, and that’s it” can have no real purpose in life. There is no reason for effort, sacrifice or hope.
As we stand before this grave we must face that ultimate question: is this all there is? I believe with every ounce of belief in me that this is not all there is. When this life is over we cross the finish line and receive what is right and appropriate from the Lord, the true and Righteous Judge.
It sounds to me like Betty Hainline lived her life believing life matters. She took her responsibility as a mom, Grandmother, and great-grandmother seriously. She worked hard throughout her life but always put family first. She worked to provide for her family but never sacrificed time with her family to do so.
Here are a couple of letters from Teena and Carly that summarize the love Betty had for her family,
Today is a sad day for all of us but we will remember all the great times we had together. You were a very independent, loving and caring mother, grandma, and great-grandma. You were a best friend. We love you so much and going to miss you dearly. Iwill miss your homemade potato soup, bread pudding and applesauce that you made. Yummy!! I remember all the great times we had talking, going to the races, playing cards and of course our yahtzee games. When Carly was little, I spent a Iot of
time at your house and was there for hours upon hours. I was surprised that you didn’t get sick of us but those were days that I will cherish forever and glad we had the time that we did. I know that I had been busy the last 2 years and didn’t get to see you like Ishould have but I called so we could at least hear each other’s voice. But I loved you all the same. I know that you are in a better place now and God must have something special for you to do. I am sure that you will be in heaven teaching people how to do embroidery, play cards, yahtzee and all the other things you liked to do. When I hear the rumbling in the sky, I will think of you playing yahtzee. I.am glad that you got to see all of your grandkids and great-grand kids grow and the times you had with all of us. He took you away from us way too fast and I don’t think I will ever understand why but I want you to know that I will always remember and cherish all the wonderful memories of you and our family. Your smile, laughs, and love will live on in our hearts forever. Just remember that one of these days we will all be joining you in heaven and be one happy family together again. RIP Grandma Betty!!
Love Your granddaughter, Teena!
We love you!!
Marilyn, Shane, Mandy, Trinity and Braden
Carl and Cindy
Teena, Alfie, Carly and Mason
Tammy, Scott, Jordan, Jamal and Jagar
Bogie(your favorite cat) and all the other animals.
From Great-Grand-daughter Carly
I love you so much! I’m going to miss you very much! I will never forget you! You were like a role model to me. We both liked to paint, do crocheting, and all that kind of stuff. I remember always coming over to the house and we would play Yahtzee and Skip-Bo and Phase 10. I’m really going to miss all this while you are in heaven. Just watch out for all of us. We love you!
It’s so hard to say Goodbye.
Betty understood that what kids need most is an example; a presence. She set out to be that presence. She went to sporting events, school activities, and loved going to the races on Saturday night.
In fact, it seemed that she lived for Saturday nights. All the racers knew and loved Betty. They even gave her a plaque for being such a loyal fan. One time she had Marilyn take her out of the Nursing home after her hip surgery so she could go to the races!
Betty sought to leave her imprint on the lives of her family through the quilts she embroidered and the other things she made. She wanted to be involved in the lives of her Grandchildren by playing Yahtzee and Cards. She wanted a family that was close-knit and that is why she always insisted that the whole family get together on Christmas Eve.
Betty knew she wasn’t going to live forever so she wanted to make a difference while she could. And that’s just what she did.
She didn’t have a lot of time for small talk and visiting with neighbors. It wasn’t that she didn’t like people; she just had other things to do! She’d rather help you cut the grass or paint the house. She understood that actions communicate better than words.
Betty was not afraid to die. She knew she had lived well and invested herself fully. There was a sense, I think, in which she felt she had finished the work she was sent here to do. Deep down I think she believed (like most of us do) that there is a purpose and reason for life.
So today I encourage you to look past the grave. Dare to ask the ultimate questions: What is the purpose of life? What does happen after we die? How does one prepare for that day that is coming for all of us?
The Bible tells us that God created us to have a relationship with Him and to serve Him in this life. It is straightforward about the fact that every one of us has spent most of our lives ignoring God. The Bible tells us that God sent Jesus into the world to change that. He sent Him to point us in the right direction and to die in our place so that our indifference and rebellion could be forgiven and we could be made right with God.
The message of the Bible is simple: those who put their faith in Christ will live even though they die.
It’s my hope that Betty had such a faith. I wish she had been involved in a church. However, God knows our heart and He is the only Judge that matters.
So, today we must do two things: First, we should remember and learn from Betty’s life. So learn the lessons she tried to teach:
- The true treasures of this life are not the things we own; they are the people we call “family”.
- Love is revealed by what we do more than by what we say.
- Family unity does not happen without work.
- True love shows an interest in the things that interest the ones we love.
- Some people play games to pass time but the wise play games to build relationships with people.
- We learned from Betty that animals (even cats!) sometimes understand us better than people do.
- Death will come to all of us: we need to be prepared to face it squarely without fear.
You have been given a rich heritage. Cherish it and build on the foundation provided for you.
Second, hear the words of Jesus. He said: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live even though He die” (John 11)
Of course, anyone can say something like this. What makes the words of Jesus unique is His own resurrection from the dead. This is a guy who backed up His words with action. He rose from the dead! Hundreds of people saw Him, They all concluded that this was a man like no other. He was God who had come to show us the way home.
Today, decide whether or not you are willing to believe in Him and follow Him. I encourage you to embrace Christ as your rescuer and King. Pay attention to His direction; welcome His forgiveness and love; and then run the race that He has called us to with focus and purpose . . . just like Betty did.
Let’s pray together,
Our Father, today we have spent most of our lives living only for the moment. We haven’t given much thought to life beyond the grave. Today it matters now more than it ever has.
Help us today, O Lord. Help us to celebrate and cherish the memory and the lessons left by Betty Hainline. Help us also to set a new direction for our lives. Help us to run the race of life with purpose as we move toward the finish line of our own lives. Help us to truly put our hope and trust in You so that when the race is over we might see Betty again and so that we will know the joy of victory and the satisfaction of a life well lived. We ask this all in Jesus’ name. Amen.