Mother’s Day in the Grocery Store

Dear Reader:

You just never know when a blog is going to jump out at you anywhere, anytime. I must admit I never saw this one coming…and Jennifer didn’t jump out…she just held out her hand and introduced herself…telling me that she had been a student in my eighth grade social studies class…South Carolina History…in this sweet, quiet voice I recognized instantly.

Jennifer was one of those students that a teacher wishes she could clone and reproduce. Sweet, quiet, studious, industrious, appreciated stories and learning and was diligent (always going the extra mile) in all her curriculum studies.

After assuring her I certainly recognized her (hardly changed much since 13)  I added that it was me who was shocked that she still recognized me…after all these years!

Mother’s Day and Teacher Appreciation Week usually occur around the same time, in May, so I thought it was even more of a ‘God Wink’ that Jennifer appeared just as I entered the store.

The first thing I noticed was an  employee getting more flowers and moving them from one shelf to a table where customers were grabbing them up fast for Mother’s Day. It was while she was walking my way with a flower in her hands that she smiled, introduced herself with a “Do you remember me?” and we hugged.

She remembered me, the class, and how much she enjoyed it. In fact she said, still proudly after all these years, I won a blue ribbon for the best South Carolina Notebook. “It is the only blue ribbon I have ever won.”

By then my eyes were misting and I did remember her outstanding SC Notebook…because I would place the honorees in a big glass cabinet in the main lobby/forum of the school so everyone, students, teachers, visitors, etc. could see the winners. (Hers stood out from the others…so organized, neat, and artistic.)

Jennifer said that the blue ribbon wasn’t all she won. I had put a shiny new silver dollar in the winning envelope too and she still had it, also.

Jennifer told me that she was a teacher, too… now at William Reeves Elementary in Summerville. She taught third grade…which studies (what else?)  South Carolina History. It is her favorite subject to teach and her students’ favorite subject to learn…because she tells them lots of stories about our “Palmetto State.” At this point I got choked up again because I could actually see my teaching continuing to live in others classrooms via my students, turned teachers.

*Her work at Publix is a second job she works… on some weekends, holidays, and summers.

Wow! A full-time teacher and she works another part-time job…now do you see why I wanted to clone Jennifer years ago and even more so now. What an amazing young woman!

God let me see how the past is still living through one of my special students yesterday and hopefully far into the future. It is the best Mother’s Day Present of all! Thank you God and thank you Jennifer for pausing your busy life, for a few precious minutes, to speak to me…a gesture that made my day ever so much more special!


I know how blessed and lucky I am in this season of my life….and I am filled with gratitude…it overflows!

Happy Mother’s Day to one and all!

So until tomorrow….Thank you God for peeks into the future based on precious moments from the past. It is a rare sighting…which opens our eyes to Your Magnificent plan for us.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Yesterday the Dingle Five left Dingle (which I am sure was sad) to head to Dublin…they are spending the night in a very nice hotel (Conrad) for their last evening in Ireland…a treat for themselves. They will arrive in Charleston at 5:30 this afternoon. No doubt exhausted…but full of stories, pictures, and memories to last a lifetime.

When Kaitlyn sent Susan and me these pictures of the hotel…I asked her if it was hard leaving Dingle…and she responded with “It was super super super hard to leave Dingle” with no less than 12 sad emoji’s following.

I loved Susan’s motherly advice to Kaitlyn’s sad response:

“Everyone must have a place of dreams and love…enough so… it draws them back.”







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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4 Responses to Mother’s Day in the Grocery Store

  1. bcparkison says:

    What a pleasant gift from the past. Happy Mothers day


  2. Jo Dufford says:

    Isn’t it great to see one of our students many years later? It is also a blessing when they take the time to speak and remind you why your profession of teaching was always so special to you. My wish was, in addition to hoping I gave my students a love for the subject, that I might have made a difference for at least a few of them. No doubt, you made a difference for Jennifer with your many stories of history and a blue ribbon which she still treasures. Although teachers were often not paid very much, moments like you had this week are priceless. Happy Mother’s Day!


    • Becky Dingle says:

      I hope one day the value of an education will be a top priority in our country…only then will education take its rightful place as a top tier in our societal hierarchy. A wish, a hope, and a promise to be fulfilled…one day.


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