Sunrise, Sunset

     Sunrise                                                       Sunset

Dear Reader:

As I was pulling up lots of pictures depicting both sunrises and sunsets I soon realized I couldn’t tell one from another. These two times of day are so equally beautiful and inspirational that they blend together. We start each day with God’s beautiful painting and end it the same way. One of God’s “little extras” just for us because He loves us.

The popular stanza from the Broadway play (Fiddler on the Roof) ‘s most memorable song is “Sunrise, Sunset.

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears

“Laden with happiness and tears.” This line pretty much sums up my emotional state as I type this blog post. Yesterday I attended one of my former student’s funeral- Kelly Morgan Byrd. As I looked at this young woman’s beautiful photo from the obituary I saw (and still see) only an adorable 13-year-old grinning back at me. She loved social studies and was one of my favorite students for her enthusiasm.

It was just a few years ago we re-connected when she wrote me the most tender heart-felt ‘thank you’ for my presence and influence in her life. She, too, had become a teacher. She returned to her own elementary school and taught there for 18 years before a rare form of disease took her life.

We corresponded back and forth following her sweet message to me for quite awhile. So it was a shock when family let me know of her passing. I knew I wanted to tell her mother how special she was to me and the amazing message of thanks she sent me.

As I introduced myself in line…her mother immediately picked up on my name and said, “Becky Dingle….Yes…Kelly still has her Susan B. Anthony silver dollar she won (almost in unison we said) for winning the “South Carolina Scrapbook Contest!”

It was just a moment of remembrance of happier times…but it was all that was needed….one of life’s ‘little extras’…human connection.

I have mentioned several times that I always went home each day from teaching knowing I had learned more from my students than they had from me. This held true Wednesday as I listened to the loving tributes given to Kelly by friends, family, and pastors alike.

The courage and bravery she displayed throughout her illness was amazing…especially at such a young age leaving three young children behind. It was her strong faith that took her home to be with her Heavenly Father.

As we all sang together “Jesus Loves Me”  to end the service… there was no doubt that this powerful love was pulling her home. It seems like I remember a story where the great theologian, C.S. Lewis was asked to sum up the Christian doctrine in as few words as possible and he said, “Jesus loves me.” (It was enough for him and Kelly)

An article by Mae Baber (in a little publication Country Echoes) said this about Archibald Rutledge and “Life’s Extras.”

“ONE OF THE CONSTANTLY enduring joys of living in the wide open spaces is an unbroken horizon as the sun in its glory breaks the hush of early morning. Somehow, there comes the courage and hope that is needed for a new day. Archibald Rutledge brings out this thought in his writing, ‘Neither a day dawning nor a sunset (with all its attendant beauty) is really a necessity. It is one of life’s extras. It is a visit to an incomparable art gallery; and no one has to pay an admission fee!’


 So until tomorrow…“How solemnly true the fact that the best things in life are free; yet how little we avail ourselves of these best things. Have you ever considered how often we fail to take advantage of watching a sunrise or a sunset when many, many clear days they are there for our inspiration and our enjoyment. We let slip away the opportunity too frequently to do some pleasurable task that might have far-reaching consequences. We fill so much of our time doing tasks that will have to be redone again another day.” (Mae Baber)

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh



I laughed and laughed! Tomorrow I will share your hilarious responses on the blog post. It couldn’t have come at a better time yesterday…to remind me that sunrises and sunsets truly are equally beautiful…just like tears from sorrow and laughter can mingle simultaneously.

*Yesterday was a special day for Kristen Gault, Patty and Robert Knight’s daughter…it was her birthday and she wanted to spend it at St. Jude’s Chapel of Hope. Her precious little son completed the foursome. They found the chapel, which is no small feat of victory and took these wonderful photos.

Patty said they met another sweet couple there…that always makes the trip more special. Patty left a memorable  note behind to remember their visit. Thank you Patty…so glad you felt the presence of love that I always have there.

Honey and Mike were at a wedding this past week and look...’Oh so good!’


I have now visited the Chapel of Hope in every season except winter…I would love to see it in the snow…improbable encounter…but not impossible!



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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2 Responses to Sunrise, Sunset

  1. bcparkison says:

    Isn’t it amazing what snow can do for a photo?


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