I love this picture of my Aunt Nellie, Uncle Jim, and cousin Karl Duffield. Aunt Nellie looks so pretty and sweet in this picture. That’s because that is what she always was!
Aunt Nellie reminded me a lot of her sister, my Mom. They both were kind, gentle, and loving. They both always had smiles on their faces, and their eyes sparkled with joy that bubbled from their hearts.
My Uncle Jim adopted my cousin Karl when he married my Aunt Nellie. They both wanted more children but weren’t able to have any of their own.
They did however have more children….lots of them! Over the years they adopted seven more kids. They adopted three boys; Michael, David, and Raymond, who were just a few months apart in age. Although they were not all adopted at the same time, they were raised basically as triplets. A daughter, Susan came next. A few years later they adopted a set of biological triplets, Ernie, Bill, and Vickie.
To this day, it amazes me how she was able to manage so many children so close in age! I remember once when the triplets were still babies and we visited them. The older kids were all at the table and she had the triplets lined up in high chairs. It was literally an assembly line feed chain! She had a jar of baby food and went from one mouth to the next and started at the front again. She made it look very easy, but believe me it wasn’t!
I also remember several years later going over to their house for dinner. We walked into the kitchen and Aunt Nellie had a pot of stew on the stove. Let me clarify when I say “pot.” It was actually a large canning kettle, full to the very rim! I thought, “they will be eating leftovers for a month !” I was wrong. At the end of the meal there was not even one tiny carrot left!
If the dinner preparation was a huge production, think about the laundry for that many; especially when they were little! That was before disposable diapers! You would think she would have been worn to a frazzle! I’m sure at times she must have been, but you would never have known it. She was always sweet tempered, smiling, and polite. She was always neat and organized. She welcomed company with open arms and heart. She loved Jesus and her family was in church every week.
Aunt Nellie and Uncle Jim are both gone now, but they leave us many memories. My Aunt Nellie was an amazing woman, and she is loved and missed by us all.