Aunt Carol 1951-2022

Aunt Carol with my oldest children Madi & Ben.

Carol Jean Inscho was welcomed into this world on February 8, 1951 in Kansas City, MO to Dorothy Mae and Elza Lloyd Inscho. Her entrance was a bit more kind as she was delivered by a doctor, but as the story goes, the doctor was gone when they realized she had a twin brother who was also ready to be delivered! Back then parents had to wait for the delivery date to find out gender and if they were having twins! I can’t even wrap my mind around my grandmother carrying twins and not knowing it! 

Even though Carol was a twin, in a world with eight siblings, she was in the “little kids” group along with her younger brother Rex, younger sister Della Gale, and youngest of all siblings, James. She and Gale were each claimed by an older sister to share a bed and some duties. Carol was Team Shirley. 

Shirley fondly shares this about her little sister, Carol:

Carol was a lover of cats, Elvis Presley, and dark chocolate among others. She gave me my first kitten, the last one of her precious Elvee’s litters. I was with her at two Elvis concerts and felt the joy she experienced seeing him perform live! I will treasure these memories of Carol.

Her big sister, Orpha, shares this:

Carol loved her nieces and nephews. She was our live-in child care with Kerry and Mike. We were blessed that she was available until the next nephew arrived at Daryl’s home. They had her promise to be their child care person upon arrival.

What a blessing she was to us!

She may not have spoken up as a young person, but she did find her voice later on and she was not one to back down from her beliefs. She believed complaining how awful life was certainly was a waste of time.

Carol, like all of her siblings, attended Washington School and was a graduate of Lafayette High School in St. Joseph, Mo.

Aunt Carol truly did love her nieces and nephews. She’s got a lot of them, and a ton of great nieces and nephews, and now even great-great nieces and nephews. From 2008 to 2019, Aunt Carol was part nanny and aunt for my children, her great nieces and nephews, Madeline, Benjamin, Lela Mae, Elizabeth, and Whitman, who lovingly referred to her as Aunt Coocoo. Madi gave her that name and it stuck with the others. 

For many of those years, she lived in our home and there were things I learned about this incredible woman:

She truly did have a bad case for loving Dr. Pepper. However, she’d fast from it for two years, completely give it up for a time. But when the time was up, she drank it like it was water. She had Dr. Pepper when she pleased and did not care if it made absolutely no sense. But then she’d give it all up again and the cycle repeated. 

She found Jesus as an adult. She knew about God and went to church faithfully, but it was as an adult when she realized she had never truly invited Him in. She understood what it was like to have doubt, what it was like to live without God, and then what it was like to pray and know someone was there to listen and love her for every need she had. 

Aunt Carol was a walker. She was independent. She moved to Dallas, TX when she was 30 and she never got a driver’s license. She knew the bus and train schedule and how to get herself around. She wasn’t afraid to walk at any time of night. She seemed fearless to me, but it was just her way of life. Getting hit by a car did not fill her with fear or stop her! 

Aunt Carol worked in the hospitality industry for decades. She worked some seedy and some ritzy places. She cared about others and when she was promoted as a manager, she vowed to not treat her colleagues as some of her managers had treated them. Did you know she was tipped one time by Della Reese? When she shared that story with me, she also said, she was given a dollar bill for her trouble! But Aunt Carol didn’t hold grudges and smirked when she told that story. She left the hospitality industry when the economy tanked in 2008 and came to live with us after our first child was born. 

When you think of Aunt Carol, you might know she was a lover of Elvis, Roy Orbison, and Dwight Yokam. She really thought Dwight was the sexiest man she’d ever seen. You might know she loved cats and had an incredible collection to show for it. You might know she worked in hotels and then took care of her niece’s kids as she retired. 

But one of the best things about Aunt Carol is how she lived life on her terms. She was an independent woman who knew what she wanted in life. She wasn’t a gossip, she forgave easily, and always gave people the benefit of the doubt. She wanted to live and she did. 

Thankfully, her siblings were with her at the end. Her little sister, Gale was with her in her final moments as they listened to gospel music being sung by her favorite icon, Elvis Presley on March 5th, 2022 as she slipped quietly from this earth around 10am. I don’t know how Heaven works, some say we immediately go to Heaven if we believe, some say we will sleep until Jesus comes back. But I am certain when she meets Him, He will say, “Well done, good and faithful Servant.” I know that we will be reunited in Heaven and I am certain that the pain of cancer is gone and her spirit is free. 

Carol Jean Inscho is preceded in death by her father, Elza Lloyd Inscho, mother Dorothy Mae Inscho, and oldest brother Gene Inscho (Shannon Inscho). She leaves behind sisters Shirley Inscho, Orpha and Garry Peek (Kerry, Mike, and Jeff), Twin Brother Daryl Inscho (Darrick, Jeremy, Tabitha, Lillian, Gabriel, and Grace), Rex Inscho, Della Gale Sipe (Faith, Joshua, Melody, and Megan), and James and Ronda Inscho (Cody, Angela, Alisha, Trisha, and James). Aunt Carol also leaves behind many great and great-great nieces and nephews and friends whom she treasured.

Her memorial in Texas will be March 10th at Christian Center Family Church

13505 Josey

Farmer’s Branch , Texas 75234

Another memorial will be held in St. Joseph, MO and that date is still to be decided. 

Minding My Mind

Today the local library put on a STEM Hour.  It began with a lecture/slideshow about the Apollo missions and history.  Turns out, that before they could send a person into space, one of their missions was just to send a machine to crash into the moon.  Purposely, this machine crashed into the moon, and only then did they began a lunar module designed to not crash on the moon.  Or you know, land safely. 😉

Are you with me when I ask, how many life lessons can we squish out of that, alone??? So many metaphors, and as an educator who thrives on social emotional learning, it’s just thrilling!

But what really got me thinking was that if it was based on my mind to help get people to the moon or in the air, or to Jefferson City, we’d all be in real trouble.  My mind does not comprehend physics or very much engineering at all.  Geometry gave me a sweat.  Then I started thinking about my two oldest children, ages 8 and 10, and I realized they are smarter than their 38 year old mom! Hahaha! If we were stranded and needed to get into space, I’m pretty sure they’d get us there more quickly than anything I could think up!

While I could be sad that I’m just not that smart, instead, I am amazed by the way their brains operate.  They have engineering brains like their Daddy, my husband.  And it’s amazing because it’s so very different than how my mind processes life.  On an even grander scale, I began to think about all the different kinds of minds that comprise our world, today.  People not only strong in physics, but those like me, who can read people and emotions very well.  People who are masters in communication.  Those of us who find words and their meanings as enthralling in nature, don’t always realize that not everyone thinks like us, either.  Communication break downs are so frustrating, but not all of us are as in touch with feelings and putting them into words.

To me this is so beautiful.  It’s a God-moment for me.  Nothing is accidental.  We all have areas of strengths. Oftentimes, we don’t appreciate our strengths, and we wish we were more like so-and-so whose artistic ability is other worldly, or we wish we were more connected spiritually like someone we know.  Honestly, I took a moment to just appreciate the innate, God-given gifts that were bestowed upon me, right there in that gym-cafeteria combo.  I realized how blessed I am, with my mind, with my abilities, and all the opportunities that come with my life.  And I was eternally grateful for those who are so unlike me, the inventors, mathematicians, and artists! We need all of us!

It also made me question even more why we’ve become a society who puts so much into standardized test data.  The data on those tests could never quantify the potential inside each child, but it has the power to intimidate them and leave them wondering if they will measure up…all based on a standard that does little to enrich our lives in any, real way.

Let’s have a mission to embrace our strengths and help others to see their own when they’ve been beat down.  Some people think our future is nothing to look forward to, but when I see life through my children’s eyes, I can’t wait to see what comes next!

What do you think your strengths are in life? How do you use them to make life better for others? I’d love to hear your story!