On July 1st the phone rang around 8:00AM. It was my Mom, I knew there had to be something wrong because she never calls that early. She told me that Grandma, her Mom, wasn’t doing very well. Grandma had started having seizures the night before and she was in a semi-coma. I lived with that news for the day, barely able to keep it together. I felt so very far away. You see, my Mom lives in Ontario and my Grandma was in Newfoundland, on the other side of the country, but it felt like the other side of the world.

The next day the phone rang at 7:00AM. Again, it was my Mom, Grandma had passed away an hour earlier. Even typing that sentence now I’m feeling the tears start to well up. It still just doesn’t seem possible that she’s not here anymore.

On the night of the 2nd Mark and I boarded a plane and started our journey to Creston South, Newfoundland. We got there around 6:30PM on the 3rd.

My Grandma’s name was Armena. It’s no coincidence that her first name and my last name are so similar. She has been an inspiration to me in so many ways. I’m named after her, as is my business and I love it when people mistake my last name for my first name and call me Mena.

Grandma was 95 years old and although she had been living in a nursing home for the past couple of years, she was not ill. Her memory wasn’t what it used to be but for a 95 year old person she was doing very well.

Her death was a big shock to all of us. Though she was old, somehow I think we all thought she could live forever. She was a feisty woman with a gentle soul. Love seemed to radiate from her and all of us in the family – and there are a lot – felt a strong connection to her. She had a magical way about her and was able to make you feel so special when with you were with her.

My cousin Shanna described Grandma as a classy lady and she was. She was kind, funny, honest, cuddly, loved a good kitchen party and her face lit up whenever anyone brought out a guitar and started to sing.

The day of her funeral was tough. My cousin Dawn and I were asked to give a tribute to her during the service and I think she would have liked it. That night family and friends gathered at Grandma’s house and in true Newfie fashion we turned our sadness into a celebration of her life and I think it’s exactly what she would have wanted.