Learning to Breathe Again

Dear Reader:

I think one of the most emotionally challenging situations in life is losing a loved one mentally before physically. The loved one is there … but simultaneously not there. It is like looking at and listening to a big brother who was brilliant in his ideas and high standards academically fade away into a confusion of thoughts and memories battling each other.

The hardest part is seeing the glimpses of a little lost boy in the mix. A MRI showed a series of mini-strokes through out his brain -over time and several more recently-diagnosis-vascular dementia which will continue to happen. It might be slowed down with blood-thinners but not stopped-it is a progressive disease.

But then I know that-since I live in that world too but am cognizant of it with my metastatic breast cancer. …whereas my brother’s understanding waxes and wanes like the tides.

Lee is bringing Ben to my house for some temporary sanctuary while more permanent options are explored.

So until tomorrow… Help me help Ben in this unsettling transition. Caregiving often calls us to lean into a love we didn’t know possible.

” Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh

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.”
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Learning to Breathe Again

  1. Sis Kinney says:

    Dearest Becky,
    I am so sorry to learn of Ben’s diagnosis; dementia is NOT an easy thing to live with – for the patient as well as for those he/she loves. I will continue to keep Ben, you, and your family in my prayers as you all travel this road.
    Blessings, peace, and love,
    Sis

    Like

    • Becky Dingle says:

      Thank you so much Sis…I went through this exact thing with my mother at about the same age…so sensing there must be some genetics or heredity pre-disposition for getting it.

      Like

  2. Marcia says:

    Oh my.
    Prayers for you and Ben🙏🏻
    I’m so sorry. I know it’s hard.
    May there be a ray of sunshine in each day🌦

    Like

    • Becky Dingle says:

      There will be…no doubt…keep having to allow God time to do His assessment of the situation too and steer us in the right direction.

      Like

  3. Rachel Edwards says:

    Becky ….will be praying that the perfect place for Ben will be found and for your protection too for strength and stamina…love you…

    Like

  4. Thinking of you and Ben. I am amazed at how much Eloise looks like you.

    Like

  5. Beth B says:

    So sorry for Ben’s diagnosis. Praying for both of you & all involved in finding a peaceful place where Ben can rest.

    Like

  6. Beverly Dufford says:

    Having taken care of my mother who had alzheimer’s, I understand how difficult this is for Ben and for those who care for him. I will keep all of you in my prayers, and God will provide the comfort and strength all of you need. I believe He will lead you to the right place where Ben can find peaceful loving surroundings. Ben is blessed to have family who cares and who will check on him often.

    Like

    • Becky Dingle says:

      Too sweet Jo…sadly alzheimers and dementia seem to be spreading as fast as cancers…with the same results…emotionally challenging time. Your sweet prayers help.

      Like

  7. ambikasur says:

    Becky, I will surely keep you n Uncle Ben in prayers… May God give you the strength to take utmost care of him and shower your motherly love to him in this hardest phase… You can do all things through Christ Who strengthens you…
    Loads of love n prayers…

    Like

    • Becky Dingle says:

      Thank you Ambika…step by step, row by row…that’s how our garden grows…same thing with Ben…trying to figure out where his needs can best be met at this stage and the stages to come.

      Like

  8. Pat jackson says:

    Becky, our thoughts and prayers are with all! Sending love prayers and thoughts! Nothing is Hader💕💕🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻💕💕💕🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻💕💕🙏🏻🙏🏻💕💕

    Like

    • Becky Dingle says:

      Pat….thank you so much. We have all been there…this is round two for me…having gone through it with mother but this time Ben’s adult children are making the decisions and I am trying to help behind the scenes with support and providing a home for Ben to start recuperating in.

      Like

  9. Pam Stewart says:

    I am so sorry to hear about Ben’s diagnosis. You & I both know how hard it is to lose someone to dementia. It is wonderful that you will be able to help out while his two children make more permanent arrangements for his care. I am assuming that he will be here locally since both his children are, so that will be good for both you & him to be able to see each other as much as possible as his condition deteriorates. That is the blessing in all this for you & him. My prayers are with you & the family.

    Like

    • Becky Dingle says:

      That is so true…even though it is obscure to me…facing this again…thought I would never have to go through it again…once is enough for anyone…there must be clarity in God’s eyes…if He can give me the strength…mine is already waning.

      Like

  10. Carolyn Daniels says:

    My prayers are with you and Ben’s family. Having watched my mother-in-law, sister-in-law succumb to the ravages of Alzheimer’s and now my husband suffering the same fate I know haw exhausting and emotional it is.

    Like

    • Becky Dingle says:

      It is so heart-breaking…that some days I don’t whether to laugh or cry…the world turned upside down…Ben is following almost exactly mother’s same path….genetics…cruel…but the why we must wait for another world. Thank you so much for sharing with me…because this disease is so terribly isolating.

      Like

Leave a Reply to Beverly Dufford Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.