A Memory of Birth and Morning Glories


Dear Reader:

I have always been drawn to morning glories and I find myself walking over to the side fence to check on the ones planted beside it each morning. They are really growing and spreading…each bloom a purple vision of loveliness.

IMG_5863I am always tempted to pick one of the morning glories but I hold off because I know their life expectancy is very short as it…only a few hours until the morning passes and the hot afternoon arrives. It is then that they begin to visibly wither under the hot heat of the day.


The other evening… a bloom had been knocked off by one of the thunderstorms last week and it was just lying in the tall grass…I picked it up and went back to the front porch…plopping down on the top step to admire its beauty… even in its last waning stage of life.

It was then that I remembered it! A story Aunt Eva told me about my father the day I was born…that involved morning glories.

When we moved from North Carolina back to mother’s home in Laurens, South Carolina I had very mixed feelings. I was leaving behind close friends and two cousins who were more like sisters. I was leaving the only home I had ever known and especially, as a child, I didn’t like change…but sought consistency and security.

I would be starting high school  in the fall…in a new school which is always a little nerve-wracking. Of course, on the bright side… I had cousins in Laurens too, who I loved, and I would be closer to Aunt Eva, mother’s sister, whom I adored too.

Mother, realizing, my hesitation over the move, decided to go all out for my 14th birthday that year (Sept.24) which fell on a weekend. She had all the extended family over and cooked my favorite dishes and desserts. There were lots of presents and promises of future shopping trips to Greenville for some new school clothes.

IMG_5868Our house in Laurens had a patio and a sloping back yard that finally stopped by a wooded area. We were all out on the patio eating when Aunt Eva commented on the beautiful morning glories still blooming in the fading late afternoon sun that fall day. She then whispered something to mother and mother smiled gently and nodded her head.

And that is when I first heard the story about daddy and the morning glories. I heard mother laugh…and I wanted to know all about the story.

Apparently fourteen years before, when I was born in late September, a vacant lot next to the house where my parents were living, was filled to the brim with morning glory vines…apparently just as beautiful as they were the night of my 14th birthday.

Eva had been called to let her know of my birth and she was to pack her bags (knowing Eva I am sure they were already packed) as she would be staying with mother to help her with Ben and the baby (me.)

When Aunt Eva got to the hospital…lots of flowers, from family and well-wishers, had already arrived…but several straggly vines of half-dead flowers were drooping all over the hospital counter. When she asked about it…mother just laughed.

Apparently daddy had run home, earlier that morning, to check on the babysitter and Ben and he was rushing to get back to the hospital when he noticed all the beautiful morning glories. Not knowing anything about flowers… he cut several vines while they were in full bloom, threw them in the car (thinking the hospital would have plenty of flower vases) ran a couple of more errands and arrived at the hospital with several vines of drooping morning glories.

IMG_5867He was all smiles and so proud of his accomplishment (in the floral arena of life) that the nurses and mother kept a straight face and went on and on about how beautiful they were. As soon as daddy left…one of the nurses soaked them in a sink full of water….nursing them along with as much care as given mother.

When Eva arrived and heard the story…they all chuckled again…but now Eva had an idea…she took a few flowers from each arrangement and made a new one weaving the morning glory vines/blooms around each flower. It turned out to be the most beautiful arrangement of all.

IMG_5866Mother remembered daddy told the nurses and her that when he saw those beautiful purple flowers he knew they were perfect for his beautiful little girl. Like the short life expectancy of the morning glories, themselves, little did daddy know, at the time, that he would only have five years with his little girl.

Of all the memories of past birthdays that story means more to me now than any other…I read recently that one mother said she always told the birthday child in her family the story of his/her birth on each birthday. It was the highlight of the birthday child’s day….”Please tell me about the day I was born.

I love that idea! In fact…before I forget… I plan to write a story for each child and grandchild about the day he/she was born with all the antics, funny happenings, and sweet memories from that day and give the story to them, as a keepsake, this year.

So until tomorrow…Let us never forget the power of a story on the day a loved one is born…so that the child will always know he/she was/is loved beyond measure.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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5 Responses to A Memory of Birth and Morning Glories

  1. Sis Kinney says:

    Hi Becky!
    Happy Sunday morning! Wonder if the “cold wave” swept thru SC as it did the mountains last night? I’ve noticed that it’s been VERY hot down there this past week; hot here, too, for the mountains (80’s). NOT this morning; it’s only about 50 right now (6:30 a.m.).
    Loved your heart-warming story of the morning glories on the day of your birth! How absolutely lovely — and loving — about your father picking the morning glories. The ones of which you post pictures from your garden ARE beautiful! Love the color.
    Also loved seeing your baby pic! Love bald babies; all of mine were bald (as was I). I can see Mandy and Walsh in that pic.
    Have a blessed Sunday and week!


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Bring your cool air on down here….even though the temps have dropped from high nineties to lower…the humidity has double it feels like….so pucker up and start blowing hard…would love to feel 50’s in the morning…but would settle for 70’s…..oh, and bald is beautiful!!!! We baldies have to stick together!


  2. Gin-gEdwards says:


    This was the sweetest story. I love morning glories and remember them growing in fields around our house. The pictures of your aunt and your Mother/Dad are so good. You can just see love in both of the pictures. A funny story about day lilies…my grandmother Huggins used to decorate for funtions at GWU in its early days and Mother said she picked day lilies one time to use and they were pretty all day, but by evening they had closed up…she was very embarrased, but it made for a good story. Mother used to tell me that I was like Nanny b/c I loved to arrange flowers…and that made me smile. Remind me to tell you what happened on the day I was born…it involved Mother’s best friend who was also her nurse when she delivered me…and a blanket (back then you brought your own blanket to the hospital to wrap your baby in)…Love you.


  3. Honey Burrell says:

    Beautiful story and oh so touching. I will have to share my songs that I made up in honor of Tarsie and Ashley’s birth. Have a beautiful day! 56 here this morning😃,


  4. Becky Dingle says:

    Sis told me that too about the temps….so envious….but at least it is overcast today and cooler…hoping for some rain we could use it….Picking Eva Cate up this afternoon to spend the week with me to go to Vacation Bible School. I would love to hear those songs.


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