“We are all visitors to this time and place”…

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Dear Reader:

One evening, as I watching Jeopardy, I heard a buzzer go off (several times) dismissing the correct answer because a contestant forgot to frame the answer into a form of a question.

In a sense don’t the rules of Jeopardy apply to life? Every time we think we have found an answer to a problem, something reliable that will stand the test of time, we quickly come to realize that one question begets another answer which, in turn, begets another question…and so on and so on and so on.

If this Jean-Paul Sartre quote was read on the game show….would you form your question/answer to this verbal response –“What is life?”

“One always dies too soon–or too late. And yet one’s whole life is complete at that moment, with a line drawn neatly under it, ready for the summing up. You are–your life, and nothing else.”

Jean-Paul Sartre
French author

One man’s opinion of our life, of course. Basically he is saying we can’t separate the essence of our being from our lives…they are one and the same.

In a recent Guidepost magazine article a woman was talking about the bond she and her mother formed over the years by watching Jeopardy together as a nightly ritual.

After her mother was diagnosed with severe dementia….the daughter returned home to live with her mother, to take care of her, for as long as possible.

She would turn Jeopardy on each evening and try to get her mother, who had, previously, been a whiz at the game, to play along with her but to no avail. Until….

“…It was impossible to tell what she was really thinking. Did she still enjoy watching Jeopardy! with me? Was she still Mom? Not even Alex Trebek had the answers to those questions. Maybe it was silly, keeping this tradition going. I said a silent prayer for some sign that our time together still meant something.

I played along solo. Finally, Alex announced it was time for Final Jeopardy!—Mom’s favorite part of the game, mine too. I leaned in. Alex read the category—America—and the clue. “It says, ‘Prudence… will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes.’”

“Okay,” I said, “that means it must be some famous American document. Maybe the U.S. Constitution?” Could that be it? I racked my brain, but failed to come up with anything better.

Suddenly, a low, but firm voice spoke beside me. Just as the buzzer sounded.

“Independence.”

I stared at Mom. On TV, Alex confirmed her correct response: “What is the Declaration of Independence?” How in the world? I squeezed Mom’s hand, overcome.

Mom and I continued to watch Jeopardy! in the evenings. And I knew, without a doubt, she was playing along.

…………………………………

So until tomorrow Thank you Father for showing us again and again what the human spirit is capable of with You holding our hands.
Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*Tommy, Kaitlyn, and I went to Lee and Vikki’s baby shower yesterday and had such a good time….great to see my brother Ben there, Susan, her mother Nancy, Bekah and Ady, along with Vikki’s mother, Joni and her mother-the adorable Ya Ya.

Here are some family photos from the happy gathering.

Vikki’s beautiful family, her mother Joni, grandmother YaYa and sister!

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Ben, Lee, Vikki, Ady, Nancy, and Bekah

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Susan, Lee, Ady, Vikki, Nancy, and Bekah

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Bekah, Ben, and me

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In patriotic red, white and blue:Susan, Tommy, Kaitlyn

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Vikki, Kaitlyn, Lee and me

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A friend from the past….Hunter (with me) Was the photographer at Walsh and Mollie’s wedding; Ady and Bekah

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The excitement is building as the birth date draws closer and closer!

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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