The Beauty of Giving Back

Dear Reader:

These days when I look back on old photos…extending past a decade at least… I wonder why I always always felt inadequate in the confidence department growing up and throughout my early adult years.

When I gaze (from my perspective now) at the unknowing healthy forty-something or early fifty-something gal (before I went from taking no medicine to a dozen or more) I see the glow of good health. None of the other features, such as overall appearance, dress, style, hair-do, color…etc. matters… It is the beauty of a healthy body. Something we take for granted until we no longer have it.

Fun Shots of Hair Do’s over the Ages….from my Retirement Party

Extended chemo certainly zaps the healthy shine on a face (no matter how much make-up) or watery eyes (no eye lashes, thus no protective oil to lubricate the eyes) and perhaps the least visible but most important the bubbly energy slowly seeps out.

Certainly part of it is the aging process and I recognize that…but the long-term effects of hard core medications and their side effects do take a toll on the body over the years. Believe me…I don’t want to sound like a whiner… I know how lucky I am to just be alive and so terribly grateful…however some days I long to be able to jump out of bed like I once did and walk down the street with a careless gait… even a couple of years past.

I love meeting the new day vibrant and head on…not hopping down the hall or holding onto furniture to get to the bathroom. Hopefully my “Lindy Hop” dance will dissolve with the skin transplants in my foot…sooner than later.

When I was first diagnosed with cancer in 2008 I had lots of people dropping by with all kinds of ideas on what to eat, drink or even how to exercise the disease away…at least placate it. I soon wearied of most of these suggestions….but I do remember the first one I read about while going through a chemo infusion… a spice -Turmeric.

I hadn’t thought about that term in a long time…until Doodle texted me the name of a beautiful plant (I asked the name of) that she gave me for my birthday…it and one other replica still adorn the white bench.

It is called “Curcuma.” Isn’t it beautiful? Since she brought it to me a few days before my September birthday it has bloomed and bloomed and bloomed.

It is in the ginger family. But more importantly…it has gained recognition in recent years for its potential influence as an anti-cancer agent.

Turmeric’s active ingredient is an extracted compound called curcumin. Studies have shown that curcumin helps prevent several forms of cancer including breast, lung, stomach, liver, and colon because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It stops the development of cancer by interfering with the cellular signaling aspects of the chronic disease.

Once I learned this information from Doodle’s text…I walked back out on the front porch and regarded the beautiful plant differently. Not only was it a gorgeous purple but it also contained the capability of perhaps prolonging or altering a human being’s life expectancy from disease. It only increased my appreciation for it…making it even more exquisite.

I think God designed Creation, to not only be beautiful, but to be a source of giving back to others…we all have the gift of care giving, an unique talent to share….

My friend, Carol Poole, once taught a class for teachers called “History in Your Own Backyard.” I get a sneaking suspicion that if I knew a fraction of the potential medicinal cures probably coming from different plants in my own backyard/garden I would be shocked. Which leads me to my new “Ah-ha” moment.

If we just take the time to stop and look around… God has provided each of us so many “cures” for our many, diverse daily problems that go unrecognized and un-used in search of society’s standard solutions…when the answer is often within arm’s reach in our own homes.

*And to be perfectly honest with myself…half the time now if I am having a problem, it is in the mirror where I “see” the solution…I am the problem…or at least a pretty good contributor. 🙂

So until tomorrow….We need to stop searching for solutions this way or that way or in lands called “Elsewhere” and go back to that mirror and see our own  solution staring back at us.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

 A HUGE Shout-out to my Horace Mann Insurance agent. Stephanie Rankin is just about the most amazing young woman I know! She has literally held my hand through this whole robbery/recovery car theft…. Since I haven’t had a car to go to her office…she has been coming over to my house and helping me with all the required paperwork that goes along with this type of situation, carefully explaining each detail of the rather long complicated process from police reports, to claims agencies, to title deliveries, etc.

Yesterday she made a copy of the final market valuation report in her office and ran it over…taking a picture of my car title (for safe measure) and then went scurrying out the door with the original to send (UPS) to the Auto Auction in the upper part of the state…tracking it to make sure it arrives Monday so the insurance company can put my check in the mail! Whew! Stephanie is a dynamo and a care giver through and through….even on a late Friday afternoon.

Not only has God been winking through this whole car theft situation with my guardian angel Stephanie… He has continued to wink farther out….I was talking to the “Totaled” department agent in Springfield, Illinois about all the last minute requirements to check off Thursday evening when she mentioned she had lived in the lowcountry in 2012 and taught at a middle school in Summerville, SC….called Alston Middle School. I just about dropped my iPhone. Six degrees of separation. O degrees with God.

More photos…from the Dingles at the Golden Gate Bridge! Just gorgeous!

After Stephanie left…here comes the one and only Jo Dufford bearing the queen dish of the south…a homemade mac and cheese casserole. Doodle…I had just enough roast beef dinner (thank you!) left over to go with the mac and cheese….a marvelous finale for me and my tummy! Jo is also the queen of comedy and brings the most delightful gift of all…laughter!









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 The Beauty of Giving Back

  1. Jo Dufford says:

    Becky, I enjoyed our visit so much. You have an inner beauty and joy that trumps any picture from years gone by. Stephanie called while I was there, and she might be one in a thousand who would spend Friday afternoon going by a client’s, now friend’s, home to help take care of an insurance problem. You told me how much she has done trying to take care of this problem. I am glad you are going to write the company about her. I know this foot has slowed you down a little, but I know every day it will improve, and soon it will be just an unpleasant memory. You are always in my prayers, and I’ll ask God to allow you to be ready to drive by the time you get your new car. (I’d offer to sell you my 2002 old blue, but she is really priceless.)


    • Becky Dingle says:

      I am surrounded by guardian angels…Stephanie and someone else named Jo who brings laughter and mac and cheese when she arrives. Love you Jo!


  2. bcparkison says:

    Yes for Turmeric. I take it every day . Now I need one of those plants. It is beautiful and I have never seen one. ,
    Thank goodness for special people in your life ,there seem to be more than a few, and all the help you are getting. God is so good to us.
    Have you started looking for a new ride? Good luck.


  3. Patty Knight says:

    When I read your precious posts, you always make me smile. You, my friend, are one in a million. I am definitely going to look for this beautiful plant.
    You have had some busy days lately with your car being stolen twice and your foot! I have you on my prayer list and hope your days calm down.
    Sure wish I lived closer. I love the upstate but I 26 gets longer every time we travel it.
    Keep your faith and know you are loved!!! I always know we can pick up where we left off!


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