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The Kitchen is Quiet
A few weeks ago, rather than have evening services, our church family had a “Remember Ellen” night. Our sister and friend, Ellen Aylward, had blown us kisses and boarded the train for paradise. We needed a time of reflection and healing. There was no agenda for our “Remember Ellen” evening; people just shared memories. Ellen was such an encouragement to us all. I wrote a little tribute. I could have made it twice as long, and still not have covered all that Ellen did for me personally, for our church family, and for her community. It was easy to write, except for the tears.
Sing a song of Ellen,
A chef, an artist, friend
We miss her so, but we’re happy to know
We’ll share eternity with her in the end.
We remember her for many things,
Her food, her voice, her laugh,
How, with her in the kitchen,
The work was cut in half.
Is there a play in Memphis?
Ellen created the backdrop,
Wrote the script, directed the play,
And, found most every prop.
Was there a special dinner?
Ellen decorated the tables,
Baked the ham, made the desserts,
Served food as she was able.
Need a costume for the band
Or for a special team?
Ellen made creative costumes
That always fit the theme.
Who will feed the kids at camp?
Ellen bought the vast supplies,
Cooked breakfast, lunch, and supper meals,
Made orange juice with a “surprise!”
You want to win at trivia?
Put Ellen on your team
She knew the dates, the songs, the stars,
Before M.L. King, “Had a dream.”
Need a hug, a fun-filled friend
To laugh with ‘til you weep?
Ellen will share a joke with you
Corny, yes, but never dark or deep.
Need a friend to understand
To listen in Ellen fashion?
I recall now in Ellen’s eyes
Soft tears of true compassion.
Treasurer, clerk, board member,
The children’s “Dungeon Queen”
Choir member, chef, and comrade kind
And, all things in-between
When God gave Ellen talents
He went over-board!
But, graciously, she gave them back
To glorify her Lord.
Oh, and you may need some explanation for a couple stanzas.
The kids at camp often had tummy aches, so Ellen helped them out by adding a little prune juice to the orange juice. The funny thing is that a couple adult staff members did not know this. One hot day, they finished off a jug of orange juice from breakfast. Then, they got a “surprise!”
In games at Impact Kids, if a child got “out” they had to go sit with Ellen, who, for some reason, Nathaniel, our game leader, introduced, in a menacing voice, as “The Queen of the Dungeon.” Of course, Ellen laughed and cackled appropriately to this title. The children loved going to Ellen, because she hugged them, and engaged them in conversation and laughter while they waited the few minutes it took for their friends to get out of the game too! The kids loved her! Didn’t we all! I know that angels are rejoicing in Heaven, but down here, the kitchen is much too quiet.
-Contributed by Carolyn Primm