Loreen is no stranger to tragedy. It first visited her when she was a young girl growing up in Kurtzville a small settlement in Perth County. Her mother was 45 when Loreen was born. She had an older brother and the family lived on a small farm. But a road accident on a winter's night claimed the life of her brother. Heartbroken, the family left the small community to start a new life in Listowel.
Loreen wanted to work as soon as she was old enough and so got her first job at a local grocery store. She worked there until she met her husband at she was married at the tender age of 18. Soon the happy couple welcomed their first child. But tragedy came once again to visit Loreen. The child died within an hour of being born.
A few years later they had a son and Loreen stayed home to raise him until he was three. She found a job at a local factory where she worked for the next 31 years. During those years she and her husband raised a boy and a girl and lived a happy life.
Married for 56 years, Loreen was enjoying life until tragedy once again paid her a visit. Her husband died and she found herself alone. She coped as best she could with the help of her family that now included five grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
Then in July 2013 Loreen suffered a brain aneurysm that rendered her unconscious for three weeks. She didn't wake up until she was in the hospital in Listowel where she spent five weeks before moving to Caressant Care Listowel retirement Home.
"It wasn't easy coming here," she admits. "It took some time to adjust but everyone here has been good and I am OK now."
Her family visits her often and she cherishes a stuffed bear that was given to her by her family for her first Christmas at Caressant Care.
She keeps busy playing bingo and a game of cards now and then. She likes all the meals at the home but her favourite is scalloped potatoes with ham. It reminds her of a simpler time. A time when tragedy had yet to find her.