A Toast to Our Health

Dear Reader:

I remember as a child hearing Grandmother Wilson, and/or any of the other pea-shellers sitting under the shade trees, repeat simply this familiar expression….”If you’s got your health…you got everything.” That one comment would bring more nods and “Amen’s” than any other expression…every single time!

As a child I shook my head silently…thinking to myself dreamily…‘If I had money, nice clothes, new shoes, a shiny car…then I would have everything.’

Children rarely consider health a gift …we take it for granted we feel good, in fact great…can run, swing, play games and physically do about anything we want to do.

This assumption only lasts through a small percentage- time-wise- of our lives before we wake up one morning to the fact that we can no longer do certain physical habits we took for granted. The beginning of the reality of life.

We also, as children, rarely consider mental or emotional health as being anything but something boring grown-ups talk about….certainly nothing close to how we children define health… which back then…was only in physical terms.

Now at the age I am…I would be in the “Amen” corner too…nodding and shaking my head in agreement. My physical health has been tested on various occasions and come up short…but mentally and emotionally I have had to step up to the plate. Even today when I am finally called “out!” of the game of life…I want the world to know I went down striking/trying as hard as I good.

Lisa Register, a fellow teacher and long-time friend of mine, recently revealed her personal health struggles… surrounded by loved ones’ health struggles…that culminated into her molding herself into a place of strength and acceptance. Her journey is our journey…we can all relate to the quagmires and spiritual flights we experience on our short visit to Earth.

Lisa came to me to ask for advice on blogging and proof-reading her story…but then another opportunity arose suddenly…one in which she can help others with their health journeys. So she has decided to hold off on her dream of a blog post…until she pursues this wonderful opportunity.

She sent me her story, along with resources to share with my blog readers. I told her I was honored to present excerpts of her story on this post….so today everyone will have an opportunity to hear about Lisa and we will continue her story over the next post. Hopefully her message will resonate with many people and her resource sites will be there for those seeking help. That is our wish.

Part I   “Lisa’s Story”

After going through my own Emotional (Mental) and Spiritual Health/Wellness transformation the last 10 years (stemming from my own childhood losses and traumas) … followed by suffering from PTSD, fears/anxiety and OCD…then overthinking…. that followed a miscarriage (1996)  compounded with the traumatic birth of my first son (1997)… his death 4 years later (2001) due to injuries he sustained at birth…I was depleted of everything needed to live a fulfilled life.

After 24 years and a lot of self-work, I am finally at a place where I feel comfortable in sharing my mental wellness success story with others! My goal is to give everyone HOPE when they feel there is none. I also want to provide people with an assortment of emotional and spiritual health resources for individuals who are looking to improve any of these missing pieces within their overall health goals.

…………………………How My Life Began to Change…………….

My Emotional Wellness Quest began in 2010, when I had a childhood friend (age 40) pass away. After that loss, I knew I needed to make a change in my emotional health… because I was feeling off, not myself—I felt like I was “missing a piece of my overall wellness” …

I had recently moved to a new town and my fears from PTSD were in “overdrive.” I did not reach out to make friends. I was not going to church. I was feeling overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, sad, short tempered, cranky… I did not know how to help myself…. except by getting busy working, being a wife and mom instead of focusing on my own health—I kept focusing on taking care of everyone else. This approach just added to my anxiety!

One day when I was checking Facebook, I came across a friend’s Blog—The Chapel of Hope Stories by Becky Dingle. Her stories began to give me HOPE. She had recently been diagnosed with cancer and begun her blog. Her positive outlook and inspirational stories each day were motivating me and giving me HOPE. After a few weeks of reading her blog daily, I reached out to a counselor’s office and began weekly sessions. (to be continued)

So until tomorrow…

*Tomorrow we will continue Lisa’s journey and all the guardian angels God provided her… throughout her healing process… in her search for that inner peace we all aspire to within the deepest recesses of our heart and soul.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*** Today I am asking, not for a toast, but prayers for Suzy, Gin-g’s sister…she is battling pancreatic cancer and Gin-g heard she was taken in for some emergency procedures….she and Fred are heading down to check on her. Prayers for a safe journey and comfort among sisters.

The sun surprised me mid-afternoon by reappearing after we had a rainy, cloudy start to Tuesday…I immediately ran out and sat on my front porch letting the sun shine down on my face…Oh Lordy…did it feel good! If we humans can’t have human touch any more…sunshine on our faces is the next best thing.

I ran to the garden and side yard…cutting off frozen burnt Ginger Shell leaves and salvaging the others…in fact one half-“burnt” Ginger Shell leaf was the most beautiful of all- upclose and personal without the brown tips on the ends visible!

The camellias continue to make me believe in grace and purity…those ivory white blossoms take my breath away.

…and the Encore azaleas just make me smile in happiness.





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 A Toast to Our Health

  1. Honey Burrell says:

    Becky, Momma always said ‘health is wealth!”
    Oh how true.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      I like that expression…am writing it down for future remembrance. No truer words were ever spoken….people can have all the money in the world but if their health is so “poor” they can’t go anywhere or do normal activities…sadly what a limited life they lead.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Love my friendship card…so special…the words touched me so….dear friend.


  2. Rachel Edwards says:

    What a inspiring tribute to your blog that reaches so many people and does give them hope…which was your word…right?

    Love your pictures of the camellias. Thanks for prayers for Suzy…headed there tomorrow.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Give Suzy a safe hug from me….please let her know I am fighting with her…so glad the card/necklace came today….take a little Summerville tradition with you… for.good luck!


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