Transitioning is Difficult but Necessary to Find the Real Us

Dear Reader:

So much of my childhood was spent terrified that something would happen to mother and then what would happen to Ben, David, and me? A lingering question that brought tears to the surface in a matter of seconds.  Bone cancer in the fifties was still a relatively new science/disease and even with amputation…there were no guarantees that the bone cancer wouldn’t spread.

The first five years, especially, from ages 5-10 for me…was the scariest as mother had to stay overnight each year while doctors ran a battery of tests over and over and over again. My poor aunts had to console me throughout the whole stay…and went out of their way to do fun things to distract all of us.

And yet now when I go back down memory lane…it isn’t all doom and gloom in my memories…in fact by Junior High (in spite of buck teeth) I was pretty self-assured…especially for puberty. I was even voted ‘Best All Round’ in the seventh grade. So where had this new transition of the old me come from and who was responsible?

Mrs. Williams…my fifth grade teacher with the ‘polio’ paralyzed hand  ‘adopted’ me and made me her special project. I am sure she felt a kindred spirit for mother’s dilemma…and by the time fifth grade was over…I was a completely different child. Confident, funny, accepted by the other children and overall just a happy youth.

This happiness has continued to today. Besides being recognized for every fifth grade award given that year …she instilled in me the courage to face life head-on and always look on the bright side.

Every student in the world deserves a ‘Mrs. Williams’ somewhere along their educational journey…that one person who helps you see your true inner capabilities and possibilities.

Mrs. Williams was my “miracle worker”….my “teacher”…no doubt my guardian angel who picked me up, brushed me off, drove off the cobwebs of fear and insecurity and replaced them with laughter, humor, and confidence.

So until tomorrow…Yesterday when Mrs. Williams’s  name popped in my brain…I knew I needed to thank her again and let her know that her efforts were not in vain. To the best teacher in my world. Thank you Mrs. Williams and “Amen!”

Later, as a teacher, if I helped another student find their way…it was because of you showing me the ‘way and modeling the process for me.! 🙂

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*Off to keep little Eloise while Mollie has a doctor’s appointment today…looking forward to it…say a prayer there are no wrecks or driving problems on the interstate early this morning and I get there in plenty of time.

I can hardly wait to see what we are going to play today Eloise?




  • If any of you are willing to share that special person in your life who helped you transition into the person you were destined to be I would love to hear from You! 🙂


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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1 Response to Transitioning is Difficult but Necessary to Find the Real Us

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    Hope all goes well with Eloise. Enjoyed our short visit. Hope you continue to feel better. One day I will bring homemade goodies instead of store bought but I do live Chicken Salad Chick…


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