Re-creating Our Lives from New Meanings to Past Experiences

Dear Reader:

I am at the stage in life now that I understand completely the quote: ” Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forward.” Soren Kirrkagaard

We all are our past experiences, good and bad, but the fulfillment of our lives depends on the meaning we create from our experiences that shape who we are. We, and we alone, have the choice to select the personal meaning that affects our future lives positively or negatively. It is all up to us.

When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer my surgeon surmised I had probably had it about a year prior to its medical discovery. Since that year was the excitement of planning my firstborn, Mandy’s wedding…I can understand it. To say I was “tunnel-visioned” would be an understatement. I daily lived and breathed that wedding!!!

Bridal Luncheon

Two weeks after the wedding I received the diagnosis and I was put on the fast treatment track… surgery two days from the surgeon office visit-I was anemic and had to gets lots of blood pumped into me the next day and then surgery followed the next day.

It was all a blur to me, my children, family, friends… and speaking of friends, Brooke was my rock throughout it all. My surgeon was talking about three years as an approximate time-line for my longevity… Brooke and I just stared in a daze. Too much to process so quickly.

I distinctly remember the day a few weeks later( after having some time to process what had just transpired) looking in the mirror and ” seeing” mother… feeling what she must have felt learning she had bone cancer and they had to amputate her left hand. Young widowed mother with three little children to raise. Good grief! If mother could pull that off… surely I could take ” little c” on and give it a fight to remember. My children were grown and I had just retired… my situation was a cake walk compared to mother’s experience! I could do this… I would do this… dammit… take that , my cold/hearted nemesis… I wanted to be there for more weddings and grandchildren… and here I am today … living with cancer but more importantly living!!! ( Three weddings and five grandchildren later)

I will be the first to admit that cancer has taught me invaluable lessons… like the importance of being present, choosing happiness, making and spending time with the ones you love… and ” turning wounds into wisdom.”

So until tomorrow… Recognize past difficult events and experiences in your life as something that happened to you, rather than becoming and being a part of you. Be thankful for everything that happens in your life… it’s all an experience. It’s all life!

Today is my favorite day. Winnie the Pooh

Gingi stopped by and brought me a bag of memories from Harriett… she just gives and gives to everyone and everything she fights for… a soldier in pink. Gingi said Harriett will be going to the Presbyterian Village to regain her strength from the recent radiation and lung chemo treatments. Please say prayers for Harriett to regain her appetite so she can regain her strength! Thank you one and all!!!

On a light note Harriett also sent a kitchen towel with a perfect message on it. Even though Summerville has lost its ” small town” population… in many ways it still contains its small town charms like the message on the towel Harriett sent.

So True! Thank goodness!!!

I love my nooks and crannies… this is my favorite one in my bedroom!

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 Re-creating Our Lives from New Meanings to Past Experiences

  1. Harriett Edwards says:

    Thank you for sharing encouragement to so many of us. I was disappointed to hear that will not be going to rehab. Got to get stronger first Thank you for all of your prayers 🥰

    • Becky Dingle says:

      I am sorry to hear this but praying it is just a temporary set-back,,,,we need to “pump you up!” I put your garden sign up on the tree next to my side garden,,,,it will remind me daily of your love and kindness,,,,will put the picture on the post tomorrow!!! Pink Prayers coming your way every day!!!!! I love you Harriett!

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