~ 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."
Friday, December 18, 2009
Memories of Dad at Christmas Time~
Dad was such a fun, unique personality.
We went to Mexico in the summer of 2002 and stayed at a resort in Playa Del Carmen, a sleepy little town that lies just south of Cancun. We explored the “Avenue Cinco” in Playa and Dad was just elated to be there. He marveled at the ingenuity of the Mexican architecture, even down to the pedestal beds at the resort. He ventured out ahead of us, each morning before daylight, eager to see what he could see.
He was always so fun to be around because he welcomed each new happening in life as an exciting new door to open. I saw the place anew through his enthusiasm and joy, simply being there was joy to him.
I wish that enthusiasm for life for everyone, to greet the morning sun with an anticipating smile, with the wonderful prospect that the day holds, stretched out before us, like a dazzling gem. Each day is a new page to turn, a new chapter to begin. That next day begins the rest of our lives. God gives us this gift every morning. A new food to try, a new experience, like jumping off a ledge into a ceynote without a thought....Dad was really into life and never failed to try new things. Even eating cactus, pan grilled..grin.
When the time came, Dad was not ready to let life go.
I guess none of us are. He loved living. We all have a time allotted for us to be here on earth, and I suppose that God in his wisdom decided that Dad’s time had passed. We do not know how many days we are destined to live, this very day may be our last. We must remember this and live each moment as if it were the very last.
Dad whispered to me in his final moments. I hear it sometimes, when I am just about to fall asleep. I hear that whisper when I am sitting at my desk at work. When I am miles away in thought, working on something, that small whisper will somehow find me.
He said,“ I don't know how much longer I can do this”.
He was clinging to life, desperately hanging on with all his might. He did not want to let go. He did not want to leave us, despite the pain. That invisible thread that holds us here on this earth..once it slips from our grasp we slip over to the other side, and we are gone. Dad had a hold on that string, holding tight.
He was not quite ready to let go of his grasp. That haunts my heart and I guess it always will. Struggling as he was, he still did not want to leave us all. That was pure strength. Strength of Heart. Strength of Spirit. Strength of Faith.
Dad was always taking care of those that needed taking care of. He bathed my Mom's father near the end of his life, when dementia had it's ugly grip on the man. Dad did above and beyond what many son-in-law's would have done. He simply saw the need and stepped up to the plate. He extended that same selfless kindness to countless others. Breakfast to an elderly man that lived alone. A flowery apron brought to an older lady that had very little that was "pretty". Age did not matter to Dad, neither did the color of the person's skin, or how much they possessed in this life. If there was a need for a 'hand', there was Dad to extend it.
Steve was not an openly religious man, not one that attended church services regularly, but he was of God. God's love showed through him, without a doubt.
Sometimes rough around the edges, but the heart was made of gold.
Godspeed toward the place where all happy, blessed souls in Heaven gather at Christmastime.
May Angels Surround You In Heaven, Dad.
I miss you.