To Mom with Love

Dear Reader:

I just finished my question from StoryWorth for Week Three. I am really enjoying working on it…it is bringing back memories I thought once lost.

This week it asked me to describe my earliest memories of mother.

I had the toughest time, so far, answering this question….Mother was bigger than life to me…even as a child I revered her…I felt like the lines from the song To Sir With Love. 

“But how do you thank someone who has taken you from crayons to perfume?
It isn’t easy, but I’ll try”

My earliest memory of daddy was a happy one… the two-headed lollipop he brought us…but my earliest memory of mother was one of fear for her. Soon after losing her left hand to bone cancer (following daddy’s early death)…we returned home to Fayetteville and after supper one night she took David and me on a walk when suddenly she doubled over in pain holding her stump.

David and I had never seen mother like this and were so frightened…we both started crying thinking she was dying too. Mother, in spite of her pain, reassured us she was okay…she explained that her brain didn’t know her left hand was gone…and it was still sending messages to use her fingers which weren’t there.

She told us it was “phantom” nerves…and then smiled…like ghost nerves. That caught our attention….but I remember she limped back into the house…there was no walk that night.

Mother was born “Arrie” Lucille Wilson… the youngest of four siblings. She couldn’t stand the name “Arrie” and always went by Lucille or Ceily….in grade school if anyone tried to tease her by calling her Arrie…they regretted it…mother was a tomboy and would take on anyone who yelled that name at her….she was always victorious.

I think God knew my little tomboy  mother was going to need all that ‘grit’ later in life…when, through sheer determination and courage she raised three children (alone as a single parent with one arm) and put them all through school and college. An amazing feat…especially in the era of women staying at home and men working outside of it.

With one hand…mother was a fabulous cook, she cleaned and kept house, worked as a secretary…re-teaching herself how to type on those old typewriters with ink cartridges… with one hand…a daunting challenge but one she overcame.

We were always dressed to the hilt…not expensive but nice clean clothes and were all at church on Sunday mornings. Mother was a woman of faith and despite all the terrible tragedies that befell her…she always had faith in God to see her through life…she lived to be 80 years old.

***********A much loved -“Me-Mommy” to her grandchildren.

It is my special memory of this courageous woman I am honored to call “Mother” …who has been my model for how to live life, even with life-time adversaries, to the fullest.

After mother died….I found this quote she had cut out and kept in her memory box.

“Because life is an ever-changing flow we need to look at every circumstance and then affirm: “I accept the reality of the situation, but not its permanence”

Because of this message Ben and I added two extra words to mother’s tombstone side by side with daddy’ had been a long wait for both of them. “Together Again”

Mother and Daddy’s wedding picture- October 1945

So until tomorrow…

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” (T. Roosevelt)

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

It looks like I might have a chance at one last moon flower bloom…my fingers are crossed….if it unfurls it will be the last moon flower of the season.

Looking out my side window while typing today I noticed one tree that looks like it could go anytime on the perimeter between me and my neighbor Bently…surprised me yesterday with displaying the first colored leaves in the neighborhood. Love the thought that getting older and sometimes battered…doesn’t mean there still isn’t beauty to share.




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 To Mom with Love

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    Becky…I loved reading about your Mother. Some of the story I had heard over the years but her full name…the walk…and her zest for life …such beautiful memories. The line from the movie was perfect. I think you inherited her strong will …all that you accomplished in your life too…and still are…love you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Becky Dingle says:

      Mother certainly taught me that giving up in life is never an option…there are too many people depending on you….in the web of life…we must all work together to keep the web strong enough to hold everyone in this life.


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