I never knew Nelllie—never even met her.  She passed away last Thursday, and her daughter asked if I would write one of my “ditties” for the memorial.  Today I had the privilege of putting to rhyme some of my friend’s memories of her dear mother.  Now I wish I had met Nellie.  Maybe you will too; here are just a few of the 16 stanzas:

Momma was born an Okie, and the very first of six;

They were orphaned, so she helped to raise the rest.

‘Worked a shipyard here in Oregon, finishing high school was a trick,

She helped Uncle Billy with school too; she was the best.

= – = – =

We would wake up in the morning, smelling potatoes in the pan,

‘Cause she’d found some on sale the night before.

Or she’d show up at 11 at night, bringing strawberries with a plan,

That the kids eat ‘em the next morning before they spoil.

= – = – =

My mom was a real rock to me; to her I could always run;

No matter what my need or in any situation:

She was always there to receive me with loving, open arms;

She was simple, but she would rise to the occasion.

= – = – =

Mom was one of a kind, for sure, but I doubt she ever knew

That everyone who knew her, loved her—a lot;

And how much joy she brought, I really don’t think she had a clue;

And how loving she was.  She leaves an enormous, empty spot.

= – = – =

My protector, defender, and hero, I will miss her all my years.

I loved her, and in her old age, being her friend.

Reading this poem, I’m trying to hold back the tears.

My world is a dimmer place now that she’s gone.

= – = – =

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