~ The pieces are all sewn together, stitched with love.........and a quilt tells a story and the story is our past ~
The Arrowood family immigrated from England to Maryland in the 1700's. They went south, eventually settling in the mountains of North Carolina. Later , some went further south, into the Piedmont of North Carolina, in search of work and a better way of life.
I am in search of my family.
I search for those that came before me, and lived their lives as best they could. I am in search of their stories, how they lived, and how they loved.
I shared this love of seeking the past with my Dad, sharing each new finding with him, the thrill in his heart intermingling with mine. I continue this search in his honor, and hope to know these people of ours when I join up with them all in heaven.
~ Steve Lewis Arrowood 1932-2008 ~
Come with me, back to a simpler time and place. A place far removed from the hectic pace of today. To a time when life was hard, but the rewards were great. When your quality of life was determined by your own sweat, your own toil, and your own ingenuity.
Would you like a glass of sweet tea? Let's sit out on the porch where we will catch the sweetly scented breeze of summertime. Maybe Grandma will fry up some of her wonderful chicken... Time slows here.
"We shape our lives not by what we carry with us, but what we leave behind."
~You live as long as you are remembered.~
"Our most treasured family heirlooms are our sweet family memories. " Author: Unknown
"But those who came before us will teach you. They will teach you from the wisdom of former generations."
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Without A Trace
Steve Lewis had a son, on July 12, 1956, after one daughter, and three more daughters yet to come; he had a son in the midst of those four girls. A sweet little boy with blonde hair and innocent eyes. He learned to ride his bike and Steve bought him a three speed bike. Boy, was he “grown-up” and powerful, on that bike. He rode like the wind and struck off on that first ride, going way too far from the house. Much too far for Steve’s liking and he was worried sick over him until he safely returned, a bit winded, but unharmed.
The years drifted past and Lewis grew into a quiet, thoughtful young fellow. He was a great older brother. He was always outnumbered in a house full of girls, but he never seemed to mind. The ‘never’ being able to get into the bathroom, because of curlers and girls primping and doing what all girls do, for hours, had to be a bummer.
My memories of him are all good, they make me smile. He was kind and considerate of me. I was a nuisance more often than not, I am sure, especially when his buddies came over and there I was, this ‘tom-boy’ girl wanting to tag along.
Not especially cool for a teen age boy.
I remember calling out to him , for a special ‘Tucking In‘.
He would tuck the covers all around me and kiss the tip of my nose with a “goodnight”.
He made me smile, made me feel special. A special big brother.
I remember one episode in detail. Dad had given me a plastic horn. Not an ordinary horn, but a special “Dr. Seuss” sort of horn.
You could swivel the segments into any shape you wanted. Each different shape giving the horn a new, distinctive, wonderful sounding ‘toot’. It was a contraption to say the least, but it gave me hours of fun. Lewis liked the horn too. He was showing it to his buddy, Robbie, and I made a scene to have my horn back.
Not the common garden variety scene, but a "hopping-up-and-down-little-brat-sister-scene". Oh, I remember it well..(shaking my head in dismay).
Lewis relented, and he tossed the horn in my direction, pretty disgusted at my display, he did it off-handedly, without looking. Well, the horn made contact with my forehead. At just the right place, right on the hairline. It hit me with enough force to cause it to bleed.. A gusher ensued . It went all over my face in a matter of milliseconds and had to be an awful sight to see. Lewis went faint and dropped to his knees.
After Dad was called and the blood flow was stopped, Dad set about to discipline Lewis for it all.
I was crying and Lewis was crying and eventually Dad saw that Lewis had been punished enough.
He had to sit with his head down between his knees for quite some time after the incident.
I saw the intense pain, that my pain caused, in my brother and I knew the bond between us , was strong.
When I was about ten years old my brother just “disappeared”. He is still among the missing.
Gone without a trace.
He was eighteen, young, good looking and high spirited, always working on his car and always trying to save money for a better one. He liked to spend time with his friends and buddies from the neighborhood.
A typical young person in the 70’s.
He met and became involved with an ‘older’ married lady. She was evidently on the run from her ex-husband and was quite a long way from home. She was in her thirties and I put the blame on her.
Lewis must have been an easy target and one with a little money, too.
He left home and went to Texas with this woman. She had several small children from her marriage. He returned some time later, alone, and very scared. I think that he thought her “Ex” was following him and he most likely was.
Lewis’s car was found, left unattended, near some apartments where our sister was living at the time. His belongings were in the car, keys in the ignition, but no Lewis. One small drop of blood was found on the car seat, leaving the police to wonder.
Police were left with precious little to go on.
They searched. They interviewed. They questioned the ex-husband, but nothing was proven.
Nothing was found. No proof of wrong doing, so there was nothing they could do.
I remember the sleepless nights in our household.
The phone ringing in the middle of the night, horribly cruel prank calls.
My Dad was tormented by Lewis being gone. He suffered tremendously, this being his only son. He went and searched the empty fields, the out of the way places, anywhere he could think of. Any place a crank caller suggested. It was hell for him.
Our whole family, somehow, held together in spite of it all.
The worst part is the lack of "knowing".
There can be no closure when a loved one is missing.
There is no burial, no place to “remember” the person.
Only the questions remain and linger.
He is simply "gone", and not where he is supposed to be…
He should be living across town, we should be able to visit with him and his family.
Call him up for a chat.
We should be able to attend ball games together and have a summer picnic.
We should be able to share the joy of his first grandchild.
But there will be none of that, none of what should have been.
He is gone without a trace. The imprint left on our hearts will remain forever.
May Angels Surround You, Lewis.
I miss you.