The Leading First Lady Role Model

Dear Reader:

Life Magazine, just recently, published a special edition on our First Ladies and their contributions during their presence in the White House. Leading the last 2014 poll , hands down, was Eleanor Roosevelt.

Overcoming a tragic and dysfunctional childhood, awkward and lonely as a youth, Eleanor would evolve into the ” towering figure who tweaked the conscience of a president-her husband Franklin-and of the entire nation.” It is among the most stirring underdog stories in our history.”

As I re-read one of my favorite Eleanor Roosevelt quotes, ” Do what you feel in your heart to be right. You’ll be criticized anywaymy thoughts turned to our elected representatives today and my wish that more have the courage to follow this advice.

Then my thoughts turned inward. My memory took me way back to my early teaching days and a certain student whose memory still remains with me.

From the first day he entered my classroom he appeared uncomfortable. He purposefully aggravated and initiated disturbances for no apparent reason. Every time I tried to talk to him one on one… he avoided looking at me and simply shrugged indifference to my questions concerning his peculiar behavior.

It all came to a head when a parent was called in …and along with a guidance counselor …we hoped to get to the root of the problem. As soon as the stepmother walked in… she sat and just stared at me as the list of problematic behaviors were described.

” I know what the problem is” she spoke softly and almost resignedly. You closely resemble his mother who deserted him several years ago. Even your mannerisms are similar. He loved her but was abandoned by her and has serious trust issues.

It was decided to bring his counselor (he was seeing) to the next conference and there the counselor recommended him remaining in my classroom so he would be forced to confront issues that needed confronting. I gulped and agreed to try it again but I felt really out of my comfort zone each day the class bell rang.

I wish I could say… we became close and trust was restored but sadly the emotional damage could not be eliminated that easily. We did make progress and the behavior improved slightly but all I could do was what felt right in my heart and try to keep extending the olive branch of peace and more importantly hope. . I still wonder what became of this troubled youth-he remains in my prayers and memories.

Eleanor Roosevelt provided hope and kindness during WWII to American servicemen.In 1942 she hosted a lawn party at the White House… including a group sing-along !

So until tomorrow… Your life unfolds in proportion to your courage!

And speaking of courage… a beautiful Luna moth has landed on the front porch window screen ( almost exact spot where the last moth landed) I wonder if this one will stay three days and then disappear like the last one? Time will tell. And guess what happened on the day it appears?

After reading up on the beautiful moth… my thoughts settled on the funeral I was attending for Mike Burrell’s mom and Honey’s mother-in law … for 47 years they had Miss Winnie in their lives! Both Mike and Honey spoke and told stories at the service… Winnie would have loved it.

I told Honey about the Luna Moth showing up today… it is considered one of the most spiritual and mystical of all the moths.

They are born, they transform, they love, they die, and then are reborn. Their cycles are short, as are our years. We are reminded to make the most of our moments-live and love to the fullest!

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.”
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2 Responses to The Leading First Lady Role Model

  1. Bernice Sturkie says:

    Hello Becky my sweet blogger friend,
    it was so good shake the hand that wrote so many meaningful morning quiet times for me. I really enjoyed your Eleanor Roosevelt story and your statement about life cycling born and reborn and trying to live the very best we can in all those precious moments God gives us.
    Looking forward to seeing you around.
    ❣️🌻 Bernice
    Ps….Like you, nature speaks to me in God ways and reminds me of one of my favorite verses….
    🧘🏼‍♀️Be still and listen carefully. God whispers and the world is loud.💫

    • Becky Dingle says:

      Bernice,,,just finished a long response back to you and then apparently hit a wrong button and poof!…it was gone!!! Such is life!!! But just wanted you to know that your sheer presence and pleasant countenance was everything I imagined it would be and more!!! Surely our “paths” have crossed in our parallel lives!!! I LOVE your favorite last line of verse…will save it in my treasure chest of memories!

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