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The loss five years ago

Five years.

Five long years.

That’s how long it’s been since The Legal Genealogist heard that word, said that way, in that voice.

We all have those special names, things someone called us that no-one else did, that we have treasured in our lives.

For me, one of those was being called “darlin’.”

Not darling.

You never ever heard the end G in that word.

Just “darlin’,” in a soft gentle southern drawl.

“Darlin’,” in the soft gentle southern drawl of my mother’s younger sister, my aunt Carol.

Carol… who we lost, five years ago tomorrow.

Carol Rae (Cottrell) Childress. Born 20 December 1931 in Midland County, Texas.1

Carol… who was the eighth-born child of my grandparents, Clay Rex and Opal (Robertson) Cottrell2 and sixth of the 10 they raised to adulthood.3

Carol… whose smile could light up any room.

Carol… who was always smiling… even as the cancer was stealing away her life.

Carol… who never ever, as long as I can remember, ever called me anything but “darlin’.”

Carol… you are missed.

And you will never be forgotten.


  1. Texas State Board of Health, Birth Certif. No. 107064 (1931), Carol Rae Cottrell; Bureau of Vital Statistics, Austin.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Their first-born, Ruth, and the seventh-born, Donald, died as children.
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