Today started like any other day. I woke up, got ready and went to Starbucks. I walked around looking for something to do and decided to take the ferry to Devonport.

During my ferry ride, my Mom called to tell me that my Grandmother had passed away. I called Bryan and let him know his Great Grandmother was gone and I just walked. I hate being half way around the world right now and wish I was home in Newfoundland.

Nan and Granda were married for 73 years, Granda just turned 94 and Nan would have been 91 in July. They had 15 children, 28 grandchildren and 24 great grandchildren. They always lived in the same house in Hare Bay and my Dad was born in that house. They have lived in nursing homes in Gander for the past couple years.

My grandfather is with my parents tonight and they will take the gentlest care of him.

My Nan had dementia and it is a very cruel disease. I last saw Nan in May last year and it was my first time seeing her in the nursing home. Mom prepared me for Nan not knowing who I was, but when we went in the room she looked at Mom for a while and said “Cynthia” and then looked at me and said “Jackie” and I was so happy. Granda came in and was fussing over her adjusting her nightie. All of a sudden Nan looked about 16 years old, lifted her shoulder and grinned up at him. I’ll never forget it ❤️

This is not unexpected for any of us and if there is a heaven, Nan is now holding Floyd, Morris, Nancy, Duke, Gale and Austin tight and she is very happy. I believe my Grandfather wants to just be with her and I can’t imagine how he’s feeling tonight without her. My heart aches for him.

My memories are of a woman in a class all her own. She was kind, strong, dignified, classy and a loving grandmother. She was a school teacher before getting married and raising her family. She always remembered all of our birthdays and we used to get a hand knit sweater from her every Christmas. I only have 1 left of mine, but I have all of Bryan’s put away in a trunk for his children someday.

I remember her looking at me when I was pregnant and telling me I was having a boy and she was right. I still have the baby blue sleeper she gave me and I had Bryan’s first pictures taken in it. I remember when I threw out the baby books and started taking her advice on what was best for Bryan. My logic was do I want to read a book that a man wrote or listen to a woman that has done this 15 times. She was always right!

I remember visiting Newfoundland every summer and waking up in the morning to the smells of the wood stove, bread and raisin bread baking in the oven. Nothing better than her bread!

I remember arriving every summer and running in to see her. Nan would either be in the kitchen with her apron on or sitting in her rocking chair knitting. She gave the best hugs and kisses.

Hold your loved ones tight, love and forgive them and cherish every moment you’re blessed to have. We never know when we’ll never have another chance to tell someone you love them and hold them tight.

Much love ❤️


26 Replies to “Ella Blanche Collins”

  1. I’m sorry Jack. I know you loved her very much and she loved you too. What a beautiful tribute you wrote. ❤❤

  2. She sounds like a wonderful Grandma…the kind every grandchild should have! Sorry for your loss Jackie. I’m sure she was very proud of the woman her granddaughter had become.

  3. You wrote that so beautifully Jackie, your Nan was a Beautiful Soul. May she be with you in Spirit wherever you go and watch over you & your family until you all meet again. Sending strength & hugs during this difficult time. 💕

  4. Our most heartfelt condolences to you and all the family. She was a beautiful lady! Hugs.


  5. So very sorry for your loss, my memories of aunt Ella Are from long ago when I was young, she had to be the most sweetest, gentlest, loving lady you would every meet, today I send my love & prayers to all of the family, have peace knowing she will suffer no more, it has to be the worse disease to watch your love one to though. RIP aunt Ella

    Debbie Collins

  6. My dear friend, I’m so sorry for your loss. I remember you telling me that story about your grandpa fussing over your grandma’s night gown. Such love… My thoughts are with you and your family. 💕

  7. My Deepest Condolences to the entire Collins Clan
    My Thoughts are with you all

  8. Very sorry for your loss, Jackie. I understand how difficult it is to be so far away from your family in moments like this. My thoughts are with you.

  9. Sorry for your loss especially at a time when you’re on the other side of the world and can’t get home to Nfld. But your memories and story are beautiful, hold onto them and know she’s smiling down on you

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