Good afternoon. I’m Allan Poyntz and I have directed a seniors week called Young at Heart at the Guelph Bible Conference Centre on Waterloo Avenue in Guelph.
My first year of directing was the last week of June, 2000 and Tina Meskes was a guest. In 2001 Tina brought her daughter Lena to help her get around. In 2002 when Tina was no longer able to attend, Lena wanted to attend again, because she had enjoyed the week so much with her mother. She asked me for permission, using her salesmanship ability to convince me that although she wasn’t yet a senior, she was ‘almost 55’ and would then qualify as a senior. Recently, finding that she has died at age 63, she would have been 48 when she convinced me she was ‘almost 55’! So, Lena continued attending the June Young at Heart week every year, including 2016. She loved that week so much. In the first years when she was ‘almost 55’, she would put $5.00 every week into a jar so that she could pay for a week in a deluxe room in the Inn, where her mother had stayed.
Over the past 17 years I’ve got to know Lena more. For example,
Lena’s week at Young at Heart June 2016 was her last ‘normal’, good week. But, it was evident that something had changed with Lena. Her explanation was that she was not able to sleep well at night and so that was affecting her daytimes. Instead of being up early for coffee, she often was late or missed breakfast time. She had lost her eagerness to help. Instead of helping at the auction sale, she sat on a chesterfield, then stretched out on it and fell sound asleep for the 2 hours of the auction.
At the end of the week, one guest insisted he should drive her home, thinking she was not safe to drive. She refused. Another guest insisted she make an appointment with her doctor, since she had not yet sought medical help. Others expressed their deep concern.
After she left that week, we know she did go Saturday to sell at her St. Jacobs Market stall. We know she attended church here at Faith Missionary on Sunday. But we don’t know details from Monday until she was taken Thursday by ambulance to hospital. She never returned to her house again.
My second last visit with Lena was at the Grand River Freeport Hospital in the Palliative Care Unit. We had a good visit, for about an hour. She was wide awake, talked some but with a little difficulty. Before leaving I prayed with Lena. After my Amen, Lena spontaneously continued in prayer, especially asking Jesus to make her legs strong again so that she could attend Young at Heart week this June. She repeated that request 3 times. Then she explained to me about her trust in God’s plan for her life, but she didn’t yet know if it was plan A to be healed and continue with us, or if it was plan B to go to heaven to be with Jesus.
Well, Lena. Here we are today, mourning your absence, but accepting God’s plan B for you. From my wife Elizabeth and myself, from Joan Hadley who befriended you, from Ruth McClure our fantastic Young at Heart activities co-ordinator, not able to attend today, and from all the guests at the Young at Heart week at Guelph Bible Conference Centre,
It has been our privilege to have shared in a part of your life’s journey!