The Right Place to Be At the Right Time


Dear Reader:

Sometimes when we are at our wit’s end…I think God looks down and decides we have had enough…time for a little divine intervention. This was what happened yesterday morning…as a result of a very upsetting Tuesday evening. I do believe that God sets situations into motion by putting people in place for us…at the right time in the right place.

Ever since Christmas has been over, I have been in a somewhat comatose state…where I have lived off soups between sleeping jabs. The only thing of conscious accomplishment I have done during the days is the blog.

Monday I told myself I had just ‘hit the wall’ following all the holiday excitement and my body was craving  a long rest. Tuesday I told myself it was just the gloomy weather- so conducive for sleeping- that kept me in this strange zoned-out zombie state.

*The only thing that kept nagging at me was the fact that each time I woke up I felt more tired than before I slept…what was wrong with me? I should be perky and ready to go get’em!

Then late Tuesday afternoon a panicky thought ran through my sleep-muddled mind. It had me grabbing my robe and running from my bedroom towards my desk (title photo) where my bills for each month are kept. Property taxes! I had to get my check in the mail, pronto, so it would count on this year’s W2 tax form…I needed all the breaks I could get…to get my books balanced again after getting hit with a new (heating unit) motor… three weeks before Christmas. Bah Humbug!

I ran to the cubby and frantically flew through the bills…no property tax bill. Trying to stay calm…I grabbed my monthly bill ledger and figured I had left it on this month’s account page. No…nothing.

I started going through desk drawers, any kind of drawers, even the garbage bin….searching to no avail. Somehow the property taxes bill must have been put in the wrong pile labeled “junk.” (Freudian slip) It was gone!

I was still lying on the sofa with my mind (swirling) trying to figure out a solution to the problem… with so little time left. Then suddenly I noticed an Iphone message Jackson had forwarded to all the Ya’s (and we had all been dreading about a mutual college friend.) Carole had died and everyone was sad.

All the tax papers, from previous years, slipped out of my hands and fell on the floor by the sofa…where I lay half-buried. My eyes ‘teared’ up…Carole wanted so badly to live long enough to see her first grandchild expected in spring.  I remember praying for this wish too…in every stage of life there is always something and someone we feel needs us and we want to be there for them. It makes letting go so hard.


Our last time together at Edisto was in this photo two falls ago…last year Carole was too sick to come to the reunion and, instead, she spent the summer and fall in and out of the hospital.

Her amazing husband, Steve, sent Libby his favorite photo of them together…He was one of those special husbands that made others (who knew them) mention things like “Never did a man love a thumbnail_img_2671woman as much as Steve loved Carole. He worshiped and doted on her throughout their marriage and time together on Earth.”

A marriage made in heaven and it is there where it will continue.

I turned off all the lights after getting the news of Carole’s passing and just prayed for a faith that surpassed all understanding because these kinds of deaths are almost impossible for us to fathom, much less understand.

images“Death and taxes.” The two certainties of life, according to Ben Franklin, and I had just experienced them simultaneously. Suddenly my distraught over a piece of paper with a number on it seemed, not only silly, but ludicrous , within the context of a friend’s death, who had, heroically, been battling cancer for a chance at an opportunity to see the next generation of family arrive on earth.

I fell asleep on the sofa, exhausted by the turn of events…an emotional roller coaster ride. When I woke up yesterday I remembered I had my oncologist appointment to see how the new medication was working and I knew I had to calmly address the property tax situation in an “adult” manner.

I looked up the county auditor’s office and asked for Mr. J.J. Messervy. It was a little before nine but I figured this time of year, it must be quite busy in a county auditor’s office. The nice receptionist asked me if she could help or did I need to talk to Mr. Messervy personally. I told her I would like to talk personally, if possible, or leave a voice mail (which I ended up doing.) *Hated admitting what an idiot I was (to a stranger) for throwing away the property taxes notification

5807aaf0c206e-imageJ.J. was a couple of years’ older than my son Tommy in school, but they both played on the Summerville High School Golf Team together. J. J. would often drop by the house looking for Tommy and then (if he was gone) just sit and chat with me…he always made me laugh. Maybe J.J. could help me out of this fix.

Within 10 minutes he had called me back, told me that this situation happened a lot, the office did have a copy, he would give me my total and then if I would go ahead and make out the check, put it in an envelope with his name on it on the bench on the porch,  he would swing by my house at some point later in the day, pick it up, take care of it, and get me a receipt. Problem solved.

I felt like weeping on the phone…a rush of relief filled my body. My emotional state was sketchy, anyway, between the sadness over Carole’s death and the frustration over a human error…mine.

When I got to my, late morning, oncologist’s appointment, I soon learned why I was feeling like someone needed to pick me up and shoot some energy back into me. A new nurse was working and she said she was going to clean my port (hadn’t been done in a long time- and take some blood for them to check.) Her name was Candace and she was wonderful-never felt a thing…but then suddenly when it was over I became “Old Faithful”… blood started shooting out and down my blouse…Candace and Jackie were both running around trying to get bandages and ointment to stop it and clean my shirt so it wouldn’t stain….

By the time Dr. Silgals came in…after reviewing the blood work…he said I must be feeling pretty depleted in the energy department. One of the negative side effects of this new drug is the quite plausible possibility of a  low blood count and this was something we needed to stay on top of…so I return in a week to see if things have picked up or if we will need to adjust the medication accordingly.

(J.J. had told me (on the phone) that there was a long line at the auditor’s office, and knowing about my on-going battle with breast cancer, he made the decision to come by my house to help me out in this situation. * To tell you the truth I doubt I could have stood in that line for very long the way I was feeling.)

I am here to tell you folks…God uses all of us as guardian angels/messengers throughout our lives …even tax auditors! (:

***Seriously, J.J. thank you for going over and beyond what was expected in this situation…this is a random act of kindness that will never…never be forgotten!

So until tomorrow…The world is full of so many surprises that some times I think life is one big surprise party. God places the right people around us to be there when we need them. And one day it will be Carole surprising me with her newly acquired understanding of life that surpasses ours in the wisdom of eternity.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*There are many types of departures we go through while on Earth and then our final one in transition to Heaven…they are all difficult, sometimes for the one traveling, sometimes for the one left behind, and most times to both. Jackson took her son Matthew to the airport yesterday to tell him good-bye for 18 months. We all know it will go fast but it is still hard to give that last wave. We love you Jackson and are here for you…. We will be together real soon. Call whenever you want to talk! We all have BIG ears and I think mine are starting to look a little “DUMBO’ISH” actually!



happy-birthday-tommy*Happy Birthday to my Baby Boy Tommy! 1982 was a very good year! And every year after…












This year Tommy will marry and a whole new life begins. So happy for you and Kaitlyn …for finding each other! So glad the stars aligned!



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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6 Responses to The Right Place to Be At the Right Time

  1. Jo Dufford says:

    So sorry you have been feeling under the weather (wonder where that phrase started?). It was a hard way to find the culprit for your feelings, but hope they are giving you something to get that blood count back up. I read all your Christmas activities and stand in awe of your ability to push through with so much enthusiasm and high spirits. But then, you always go beyond belief with the many activities you do and kindnesses you show, and that is amazing even if you weren’t taking a powerful drug. Please know, there isn’t a night that goes by that I don’t present you by name to God. I am so sorry about your friend. That is so hard. From your pictures and words last week, it looks as if you had a wonderful Christmas. I had all my family together, and that is Christmas joy for me. We missed Dalton who is in Texas. Our church service was so very beautiful and moving. The fact that Colby played bells and served as a torch bearer made it even more wonderful. (Okay, so I’m a proud grandmama.) Remember I love you and am praying for you to feel better again soon.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      JO….Bless you….the world is alright as long as you are in it…so kind, generous, and compassionate. Get this sun out, the rays on my back and my energy will start soaring again I feel sure. Love you.


  2. Rachel Edwards says:

    JJ is a good guy…has a heart of gold…glad he took care of it…glad that you found out why you were so tired. ..hope they get it adjusted. ..feel better soon…Love and prayers. ..

    On Dec 29, 2016 6:02 AM, “Chapel of Hope Stories” wrote:

    Becky Dingle posted: ” Dear Reader: Sometimes when we are at our wit’s end…I think God looks down and decides we have had enough…time for a little divine intervention. This was what happened yesterday morning…as a result of a very upsetting Tuesday evening. I do be”


    • Becky Dingle says:

      He was definitely my knight in shining armor…anything to do with finances and especially taxes unnerve me anyway…I always have a fear of botching something up…so this mysterious disappearance of the property tax bill fed into my deepest fears of inadequacy ….I am sure Dr. Silgals will keep working with this new medication to get the blood count levels ‘leveled’ again…will just take some time. Thanks for your concern…if the sun will come back out…think things will pop right back up!


  3. Janet Hilton says:

    You are so totally awesome! Love you bunches!


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