~ 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."


Arrowood Family

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sweet Cousin Sonya


Just saying her name makes me smile. How I loved that girl.

We did not have much time together growing up, since our childhoods were spent in different towns in the Carolinas, but we always came together at Grandma's. I could hardly wait until Christmas because I knew that Sonya would be there. She made it a very special time for me. She always had this big smile on her face that was so contagious. You ended up wearing a reflection of her smile whether you wanted to or not. She was such a happy soul and always looked for the good in others.

One time sticks out in my memory like a sweet confection. Cookies to be exact. She spent the night at our house and I was in seventh heaven. We played hand jive games until my palms were sore. We had this EasyBake oven that was perfect for "baking" tollhouse cookies..or really just warming them up until they were bendable, gooey, warm, chocolate heaven. We also made those tiny frozen snack pizzas that night, we really pigged out. But it was so fun. Every time I think about that time in my life, I hear John Denver's "Thank God, I'm a Country Boy", playing off in the distance of my mind.

Sonya sang that song as we did the "hand clap and jive thing" she taught me.

She not only taught me that, she taught me to find the joy in living, the joy in friendship, and the joy in spending time with a dear cousin. We never had one cross word come between us. We never had anything but giggles and hugs to come between us. I miss her so. We giggled until it hurt to laugh.

I had the honor of being in her wedding party and serving as a bridesmaid in her wedding. What a beautiful bride she was, transformed by the perfect white dress into a gorgeous vision. I stood in the dressing room and stared at her in amazement. Such a beautiful Bride. She was so excited to be getting married and starting her life with Lynn, and I can't decide who was luckier and more deserving of complete happiness, her or Lynn. They were just perfect for one another.

She grew into such a beautiful lady and I saw her again, after a couple years had grown us and she was a vision in a pink suit one sunny Sunday afternoon. She and Lynn came and stayed with us, Scott and myself, when Uncle Ben died , a sad time for all of us. She was so full of life and so full of plans for the future and so was my Scott. Now, they are both gone. Only the sweet memories of them, remain in our hearts.

Sonya grew into adulthood and became a dedicated professional. A leader in her field. She approached each task before her with determination and drive to complete the task at hand, not only complete it, but do it to the very best of her ability.

Her friend and colleague, James Russell Smith, Jr. gave a heartfelt dedication to Sonya in his dissertation, a partial fulfillment to receive his Doctorate in Education, the dedication was as follows:

"I would like to dedicate this dissertation to my late friend and colleague, Mrs. Sonya Williams Dismuke.
Without your encouragement, I probably would not have started this journey. I miss your daily presence and your kind words of advice."

Sonya always had kind words, encouraging words, and she had the gift of resolve and diplomacy in all matters. She was a very poised and collected lady . This dedication from her colleague shows how much she was loved by people, not only her family but her friends and associates. A true professional.

There is a scholarship set up as honorary memorial to Sonya, set up in her name. A tribute to the lady she was. The scholarship is open to students with a potential major in Marketing, Management, and Business Administration. Available to students state wide. A lasting tribute for all time.

Sonya loved her children with such a deep love that it was amazing. She told me later, when she was sick that she did not want to leave them behind. She knew heaven awaited her, but she did not want to leave those kids. Life is sometimes hard to figure and sometimes it does not seem that the right things happen. Sonya was right, God is in control, always. We may not understand, but God does. He knows what is best for all of us. We only had Sonya for a little while, but what a lasting legacy she left behind. A simply amazing girl. There was only one Sonya, that is for sure. I smile through my tears, imagining Sonya, Robin and Kelly, together with Grandma, up in Heaven. Imagine what they are up to by now? Big Smile. With my Dad right in the middle of it all, no doubt.

"Well Life Ain't Nothin' But a Funny, Funny Riddle, Thank God, I'm a Country Girl"!

That one was for you, Sonya.

May Angels surround you always, dear Cousin.

I will keep you in my heart, always.

We all miss you, sweetheart.

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