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Halfmoon Happenings: Difficult goodbyes

Linda McMahon steps back from Halfmoon Happenings
"Arianna, you were never 'just an ordinary girl!'" Linda McMahon mourns the loss of her 17-year-old granddaughter.

My granddaughter used to stay with me just about every weekend. I’d pick her up and we’d spend the drive to my house singing our favourite songs and chatting about life. When she was about seven years old, Arianna solemnly announced, “Grandma, the fairies took away my super powers and now I’m just a ordinary girl.” My first instinct was to laugh but she was so serious that, instead, I commiserated with her. Ten years later, at her memorial service last week, I told friends and family that the fairies may have taken some super powers but they left the important ones. My granddaughter would light up a room, her smile and laughter would fill the air, her kindness and compassion extended to all beings, and her sense of humour and wit put everyone around her in a good mood. Those were her super powers! Arianna, you were never “just an ordinary girl!” 

I feel the need to return to Ottawa, my hometown of 55 years, to be closer to my friends, my son, and to welcome my second granddaughter who is on her way to our family, arriving sometime in August. I’ve rented a sweet two bedroom on the Ottawa River and, while it doesn’t have the ocean view I enjoy in Halfmoon Bay, I feel blessed to be able to enjoy the gifts of nature in my new backyard. 

I will leave the Sunshine Coast at the end of June. “Parting is such sweet sorrow,” sweet because I can look forward to seeing the friends I have made here during my visits. Volunteering, hiking, golfing, and writing this column – every activity has brought with it relationships that I will cherish for a lifetime. Readers, thank you for sharing your stories and for your words of encouragement. Writing this column for the past 15 months has afforded me a glimpse into your lives, your neighbourhoods, and your passions. 

On that note, it is my heartfelt wish that the Halfmoon Happenings column continue. It brings not only the community of Halfmoon Bay, but the entire Sunshine Coast, closer together. It’s a forum for promoting community activities, such as the Halfmoon Bay Nursery market on June 22 and the Halfmoon Bay Fair on July 14. It’s a space for featuring our local talents and creatives. It brings awareness to the work of our many volunteers with the Halfmoon Bay Community Association, Environmental Society and Sargeant Bay Society, who keep our waterfront free of debris, invasive species at bay, and our trails safe. I would love to leave this column in the hands of someone who shares my passion for this community. If you are that person, or if you know someone who is, please contact me by the end of June ([email protected]), or the Coast Reporter editor ([email protected]) after that date. 

Thank you Halfmoon Bay, thank you Sunshine Coast. Until, we meet again…