The Etymology Behind Libby’s Original Catch-Phrases

Dear Reader:

When it comes to storytelling…Libby is the champion. Her true stories of just plain daily life in her world will keep you in stitches. Only she can experience the most bizarre circumstances imaginable (that a sitcom writer couldn’t even think up)…and they happen to her all the time.

By now most of you readers know the basic scenario of what happened last Sunday upon returning home from the beach for a family July 4th gathering. Libby tripped going up the back steps and ended up with a broken right wrist, cuts and bruises all over her, but ironically no serious damage to her neck or back from the latest surgery. God is good.

This is not a funny story so far but a thankful one…But wait.. it just hasn’t started yet. Here we go…(excerpts from Libby’s text).

“Oh my Loves…I have nowcome to myself” and can regal the story of Sunday evening. (* Let’s pause here in the story and let me explain Libby’s original expression. Libby doesn’t do mornings…period. She must have several cups of coffee before she can articulate and/or communicate at the most basic level of conversation.

If any of us Ya’s forget (at any one of the beach retreats) and make a cheery good morning salutation or ask if she would like one of us to reheat the breakfast casserole…you just get a hand with palm open and upward letting you know to “leave her be.”  

If any words are muttered… it is only later after a lengthy immersion of caffeine. She quietly announces…”It’s okay to talk now…I havecome to myself.” Yesterday when I asked her (via telephone) to define the expression…she said it is a state of semi-consciousness…somewhere between sleep and waking. She can only exist or “be” while in this state…but can not “do” or participate.

This expression now defines her…to the point that when the grandchildren spend the night they know the morning ritual consists of Nana driving them for a breakfast of biscuits or donuts BUT they also know the morning rules… when to approach her. Libby says they select one brave soul to come ask her if she “has come to herself” yet and if so can they go get Krispy Kreme donuts?

(Back to the story)

Libby was put in an ambulance …bumpy but so far normal. And then it happened…While wheeling into ER…the hospital went on LOCKDOWN! A schizophrenic had taken down five hospital security guards. As luck would have it…the mentally ill perpetrator, along with four police, were in the room next to her. It was very loud, disruptive and unsettling. (It took 5 hours to get all the tests done)

Meantime Libby realized she was in Room 13….she thought to herself…’Of course I am…where else would they put me?’…and then lost it hysterically when she saw the sign on the back her hospital door “Please Call…Don’t Fall”!  (A little late for that warning she giggled out loud!)

Libby finished up with a warning and suggestion for all the Ya’s…“The Ya Ya’s are gonna wrap ourselves in bubble-wrap, throw Life Alerts around our necks and find a way to get together to “lay our eyes on each other” and celebrate life…no matter what state or condition we are in.”

*(I told Jackson that since we are the two Ya’s who haven’t reached the big benchmark year yet…that after observing the other two’s awful predicaments…I would be more than willing to skip the “zero” year and move on into the “one”…there is something strangely unsettling about a 7 and a 0 next to one’s name.)

So until tomorrow…Libby…Like I tell my grandchildren…the “boo-boo’s” on your legs and knees from the fall are correctly called “boo boo owies”…never to be confused with their beloved grandmother…who would never want any negative connotation associated with her name.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*Yesterday I carried Ann Graves, a friend from church, who is undergoing chemo treatments for breast cancer, to the Charleston Oncology Center for her fourth and last infusion.

It is a tradition that following this treatment the patient gets to ring a special bell of hope at the exit door. It was very touching…and several members of the medical staff joined Ann for the ceremony.



*Libby…I think there should be a DO NOT DISTURB sign on your tombstone…with an added message: ...”Until Libby Bennett Clarkson has “come to herself” (usually mid-morning!)

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 Etymology Behind Libby’s Original Catch-Phrases

  1. bcparkison says:

    You just have to love people like Libby who just know how to roll with the punches. Prayers for quick healing and a rest from adventures for a while.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Yes…Libby would agree…she is “adventured out”….she is in the ‘return to normalcy’ longing part of life….Just “leave me be” she would tell you these days and let her “come to herself” before any more meddling maladies befall her. I know she appreciates the prayers. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jodi Weathers says:

    Wow!!! This was spot on for Libbs as I call her.
    Loved reading this about my dearest friend !

    Love you 😘
    Jodi Weathers


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