The Importance of Endings… and Beginnings

” Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”

Dear Reader:

Yesterday I had my cousin, Bob, on my mind… during the past couple of weeks… I discovered he was very sick and Mother’s Day Weekend was extremely challenging, for his family, as tough decisions had to be made. Bob passed away a week ago today.

I found myself yesterday reminiscing about him and looking through family photos. Suddenly this one old Easter picture appeared …. Mom and Aunt Eva had on their Easter hats … Aunt Eva and her two sons( Bob and Don) and David and myself-( Ben must have taken the picture) completed the photo… I appeared to be slightly apart … now looking at the photo again I found myself bursting into tears…. I am the only one left from the photo.

Bob ( in front of group) my brother David ( glasses) beside mother, Aunt Eva on the right and her youngest son Don beside her…. and then myself.

I always considered my boy cousins as part of the younger boy set… Bob, Don and David-out of the six photo figures… I, alone, am still here… life is so unpredictable. We all thought Bob would outlive everyone… he took good care of himself… earlier…we were all shocked when his younger brother, Don, had a sudden heart attack two weeks after his mother, Aunt Eva died. And of course my brother, David, died weeks before his college graduation from heart problems associated with Marfan’s Syndrome disease. All gone!

Intellectually I know that life demands endings so it can leave the door open for new beginnings… you can’t have new beginnings without endings. If no one ever died… earth would have used up its life sustaining resources millennia ago.

Think about how each new generation rises up to replace positions and opportunities left behind with someone’s ( earlier generation) passing. Without endings there could be no beginnings… no fresh ideas, no life-changing advancements for the good of all the people.

Life would get stuck if endings never came and new beginnings never started. And as much as we love family and friends around us… don’t you think life would lose its ” specialness ” if it went on forever. It is like me lamenting the grandchildren changing as they grow… but deep down we wouldn’t want it any other way… each stage brings new surprises.. new opportunities to know each in a different special way.

… and as for all who pass… their greatest adventure… new beginning into eternity …is just about to start… surrounded by love.

On a lighter note… here is an insightful anecdote on the ” perils” of living forever on earth.

One day a popular king was surrounded by his lords drinking wine… when the thought hit him how much he didn’t want to die and leave his luxurious life behind. Solemnly he shared his sadness with his lords .

Suddenly, they too, grew sad and realized death would bring their abundant lives to an end, also, and lamented with the king. All but one… who burst out laughing. The king demanded the reason for his mirth.

The laughing lord explained that he was imagining if everyone lived forever and there was no death… then the first majestic emperor would still be here, followed by his son, the Great Sage, followed by The Immortal Emperor, and the Fearless General!

” Why… Your Highness.. in comparison I and my fellow lords would be fit to only be rice planters and you, sir, would be a mere clerk!”

The other lords’ eyes grew big as saucers and trembled waiting for the wrath to fall … but instead heard laughter… the king toasted all the lords saying” For encouraging my foolishness… I penalize each of you a drink of wine. ” And as for you ( pointing to the laughing lord) … ” whenever I bewail my death again, you are to cry out,” A clerk! A mere clerk!”

So until tomorrow…

Today is my favorite day-Winnie the Pooh

All they diverse beauties of lantana

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 The Importance of Endings… and Beginnings

  1. Johnny Johnson says:

    The reality of looking at a picture and realizing you are the only one still here. I know this is a morbid thought but sometimes I feel like I need to go be with them, united again for all eternity. But then I think despite everything, I am still here to fulfill what the Lord wants me to do, to accomplish, to help, or whatever he has in store for me. I let it all get to me sometimes though I know I shouldn’t. Sometimes I just feel so alone! I fear sometimes because my Mother passed at age 69, and I see that as being young now. Both of my Sisters passed at age 69 both 2 months before their 70th Birthday. My Father passed 1 day before his 75th Birthday but from neglect and unqualified people working at the Hospital. He was still a healthy man and he died from being given the wrong type of anesthesia that caused him a massive heart attack during surgery and another the day after and nobody even noticed. Just this passed April 30th he would have been 100 and I think without the deal that ended his life abruptly he may have still been here. But my fear or anxiousness is I quickly approach 69 years of age, I wonder will I suddenly be diagnosed with a major health issue as my Sisters did, or will I follow in my Fathers footsteps and live long and happy as he did. But the minute we are born the days you live are taking you to your end. But, as you pointed out for new beginnings there must be and ending. I find myself now am looked upon with loving, caring, Family that I never noticed before, and looked upon as my Family’s leader, the Alpha Male of the pack that is made up of a Nephew and 2 Nieces and their Children and their Children’s Children. Though my whole immediate Family is gone to be with the Lord and I alone represent. It’s my time to lead them all, show kindness, and love for them, make sure our get togethers still take place. A new beginning for sure! I know too that all things come to an end, my end will come and I know that with certainty, as long as the Lord keeps me here I know I have a purpose, a gift to share with all of my fellow men and women. I have a new beginning, one to fulfill and bring to its end so another new beginning can come to be. Looking at it all from a new perspective I see it all as the old adage goes, Thats life! So grab it by the horns and let’s live it with high hopes all the way to another new beginning. I hope this rambling makes sense to others, makes sense to me. Thank you Mrs. Dingle once again for your writings, they all make sense!


    • Becky Dingle says:

      What beautiful honest thoughts Johnny… from the minute we are born we begin dying… one comedienne said ” Birth is a fatal disease.” But the most important part of life is what we accomplish between our two dates inscribed on our tombstone… that’s life! Fill it with love… the greatest gift we can leave behind! 💗❤️

      Sent from my iPhone


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