“Mysteries, Yes”… on Veterans Day

Dear Reader:

I love this design by Native-Americans for Veterans Day. The symbolism is so moving! Native-Americans regarded dream-catchers as protective amulets. Different tribes based their unique designs on their legends created for their specific dream-catcher symbolism. But all had one common theme-catching bad dreams so sleep was peaceful and serene.

***I remember one incident that Ben experienced a couple of nights after he returned home from active duty in the marine corps in Vietnam. The family was awakened by a large bump. Ben had fallen off the top bunk and was burying himself under the lower bunk where David was ( had been) sleeping.

We discovered he had had a nightmare that incoming -shells -were hitting him and he was digging in under a bunker for protection. I think the family realized then that a lot of healing would need to take place to help Ben with the transition of returning back to ” normalcy” – he certainly needed a dream-catcher that night!

I also love the patriotic leaves for Veterans Day ( in the title picture) that falls in autumn. For many veterans returning from the stress of battle… they feel as hollow and ” dead” themselves as many of their comrades they lost. But fallen leaves have Hope still embedded in them… with much help… they can once again rise to the land of the living.

” Anyone who thinks fallen leaves are dead… has never watched them dancing on a windy day” ( Shira Tamir)

” Mysteries, Yes” was printed yesterday on FB and like all of Oliver’s poems… it magnetically drew me to it.

Especially the last two stanzas speak to me daily and also help me remember the touching memories Ben brought back from Vietnam.

Let me keep my distance, always, from those who think they have the answers.

Let me keep company always with those who say… ” Look!” and laugh in astonishment and bow their heads.

On July 26, 1968… a chocolate cake mother had made arrived in the thickest of jungle patrol camps on Ben’s actual birthday ! Talk about a God Wink… and it tasted like it had just come out of the oven. Later Ben recalled it was his happiest memory from Vietnam as Ben shared it with his best friend. They laughed and swapped stories from home. The next day Ben’s friend was killed in an ambush..but for that one happy moment in time Ben screamed out in excitement and joy of a homemade birthday cake …arriving in the middle of nowhere!

So until tomorrow… ” Let me keep company always with those who say ” LOOK!” and laugh in astonishment, and bow their heads!

Love you Ben! To my favorite veteran!

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 “Mysteries, Yes”… on Veterans Day

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    Thanks to Ben and all veterans for their service…🇺🇸❤🇺🇸

  2. Sis Kinney says:

    Hi Becky!

    A blessed Veterans’ day to you – and to Ben! I thank him for his service!

    You’ve mentioned before how your mother sent a birthday cake to Ben in Vietnam, and that just absolutely blows me away! How on earth does one “pack” a cake so it arrives “like it just came out of the oven”?! I would think it would be totally demolished from the travel! Not to mention the jostling and jarring , etc., that something gets when mailed! Absolutely amazing!

    I loved your story yesterday about Priscilla Mullins and John Alden! (I’m a day late….) I am one of thier “direct descendants”! My cousin did work on our family tree years ago and sent each of us the “tree” that showed “the route back” to how we were related. I have also done some of the same research on that and carried it even further back to show we are related to Sir Anthony Ashley-Cooper – one of the eight Lords Proprietors who were granted land by King Charles II in the Carolinas and who was one of the founders of Charleston, SC!! The Ashley and Cooper Rivers are named for him. My mother’s mother, Natalie May, was an Ashley. I believe each of her five children who had children (one never married) used the name Ashley for at least one of their children’s middle names! Bobby and I named our daughter Natalie Ashley; her “handle” on FaceBook is NatMay. We are also related to the Rev. Jonathan Ashley, who was a staunch Tory and was one of the earliest ministers in Deerfield, MA – where my mother was from. We are all very proud “Deerfield descendants” and especially proud of the Ashley name. We’re all a little crazy, and none of us of my generation (cousins and siblings) grew up there, but each of us feels a strong family pull for Deerfield.

    So there you have it: my contribution to your history-loving self. Apologies for the lengthy “sermon.”

    Much love,

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