Carol Virginia Roy was born April 13, 1939. She grew up in Dadeville, Missouri, a sleepy suburb of the nearby farming metropolis of Cane Hill.
At some point she met up with and married Rex Roy, who happened to be my father’s brother, and so became a part of my life years before I was born. Uncle Rex and Aunt Carol had two daughters — Denise and Terri. We had good times with Denise and Terri growing up, on those rare occasions that we saw them.
You see, Rex and Carol didn’t stick around southwest Missouri like so many of their contemporaries. No, they moved to sunny California. So we didn’t see a whole lot of them. The one and only vacation that our parents ever took us on as kids was the year that they piled me and the sisters in the back of the car and took off for the West Coast to spend a week with Uncle Rex and his clan. Randy stayed home to take care of the farm, in what I am sure was the happiest week of his teenage years.
The California Roys couldn’t resist the siren call of home forever, and eventually they moved back. By that time we had mostly grown up and gone our separate ways so we still didn’t see them all that often. But when we did it was always a good time.
Aunt Carol died on Saturday in her home at the age of 79. I wish I had some amusing anecdotes to share about her, but I don’t. Aunt Carol wasn’t flamboyant or someone who made a big show out of life. She was kind and caring and was the type of person who smiled and laughed and let the others talk. And in a room with my mother and Uncle Rex, it was usually best to just sit back and lob out the occasional clever remark.
Carol loved family and animals and pie. I’m guessing on the last one but who doesn’t love pie? I’m pretty sure we talked about our love of pie at some point.
Growing old sucks in so many ways. Your body starts falling apart, your mind starts fading — and I’m only in my 50s. But what’s truly sad is watching your parents’ generation move on. I get that it’s the circle of life and nobody really wants to live forever, but I do miss those living room chats. And I’ll miss Aunt Carol too, even if she didn’t do much of the talking.