Rylee really did her very best to loosen up our rusty bones; she made us work out while we were sitting in a comfortable armchair in a semi-circle around her. It was a pleasure for me to engage in this activity.

“Sit up straight” she commands. We sit up straight, roll our shoulders backward and down, pulling the chest upward, as straight as our body allows.

“March your feet.” We march.

“Move your arms like Popeye.” We imitate Popeye while eyeing Rylee for the right moves. Wow, she makes for a great Popeye. But here she is, asking difficult questions, but gives the answers as well.

“Why do we fall? We've lost our balance, so we must quickly counteract to resist the fall; that is why we do these exercises, right? Prevention is the best medicine.”

 It's not all old people at Menno Place!

 It's not all old people at Menno Place!

There is something about Rylee that intrigues and mystifies me; I really couldn't put my finger on it what it was. It had to do with her smile. Her smile is not ordinary. At one time I thought it to be mischievous, and part of it is, I think, though not in a negative sense. Sometimes it is a fleeting smile, then it is a lingering facial expression, that is somewhere between lovely and sweet, but bewildering to me. One time I thought that she really smiled at me. And so we sit for half an hour taking preventive medicines from the energetic twenty-four year old and love it. Meanwhile Rylee is searching on her Apple-thing for the next torture, to be applied to our unwilling bodies, which rightfully should be administered to humans half our age.

My wife dragged me one time to Paris France, where we 'did,' among other things, the Louvre and walked by the famous painting 'the' Mona Lisa. I was familiar with the painting, but seeing it face to face, I was not greatly impressed. Walking by the very famous Lisa, her renowned smile did not move me, but the smile of our fitness instructor did. Whereas the 'enigmatic and mysterious' smile of Mona Lisa left me cold, the smile of Rylee stirred and baffled me, and I wondered why.

And than the secret manifested itself – the smile never FAILED to appear after a single word which she stretched to 'relaaax.' I waited for her to say that word again and did not have to wait long.

“Hold that position for five seconds. Five, four, three, two, one”, (and there it was,) and - relaaax.” Her smile was like a Boston pizza with a generous topping of the finest Dutch Gouda cheese and the sweetest Hawaiian pineapple, with a touch of a wicked Italian sausage. Bon appetite!


Rylee, now a personal few words. I have learned MORE from you than how to wiggle my toes and pull the ears over on the other side of my head, even though without your exercises I would not have been able to.

You were sharing, without mentioning it outright, what makes YOUR generation tick. I came closer to understanding my grandchildren and their generation in which they and you live. You are a wonderful person, blessed with many gifts, one of which is the God given smile you so eagerly shared with us.

I thank you yet for taking us on a bus tour to the unforgettable Westminster Abby in Mission in which the monks so solemn and melodiously chanted; the deliciously tasting sandwiches and coffee in the park on that beautiful sunshine day; and for the most interesting tour through the Abbotsford museum.

During that bus tour you showed your many talents of organising and directing; I thank you also for sharing your plans to travel the world, young people style – carrying only a rucksack as baggage, without a planned destination, now that, as you put it, 'you can swim across a lake and climb a mountain,' not waiting until you have made money but are old and have to walk with the help of a walker – like us.

I THANK GOD that our paths were allowed to cross and wish you on your grand trip Gods nearness and comfort as HE, I'm sure will show you HIS WORLD. Now we have to say goodbye.

Goodbye is an old Germanic-English blessing which means GOD BE WITH YOU.

So, when we now bid you goodbye Rylee, we really say GOD BE WITH YOU, till we meet again.