Tuesday, November 25, 2008

From Copeland to Pendergrass

My sweet granddad was admitted to the hospital this week with Pneumonia. This has caused a lot of reminiscing today and the last few days. His name is Taz Jonathan Copeland. Yes, Taz and my brother was his namesake because they lived with them the first two years of my brothers life. My dad was stationed in Germany.

First of all let me tell you a little of my family history. I was born in Benton, KY 1962 Laura Jean Sowell. My parents were Mary Brooks (Copeland) Sowell & Gene H Sowell. (We pronounced it So-Well) I had one brother who was 3 1/2 years older then me Taz Jonathan Sowell but went by Jon. Or he had several names one being (big Jon). He was 6'6 and I am 5'4" he truly got all of the height. We were super close because we moved every two years after I was 6. I was able to attend preschool, Kindergarten and 1st grade at Benton Elementary. That is when my dad changed careers from a KY State Trooper to one of the first Medical Physicist in the country. He graduated from Murray State University in 1968 and that is when we moved to Lexington, KY for 4 years while he attended grad. school. After being there the first two years my parents built a new house which caused me to have to move schools two years after we arrived. I really enjoyed living in Lexington. I have a many good memories there. The stability of our home, great schools and this was where I was Baptized. I do not remember the exact date but I do remember it was at Southside or Goodwood (I get them & LA confused) Church of Christ with brother Howard Emerson (the preacher) that Baptized me. Well, when I was about to enter the 6th grade my dad took a job at a new Cancer Center in Baton Rouge, LA. This I can say was the worst two years of my life. Remember every time we moved my brother and I got closer. We were all we had each time we moved. We attended a church there that was a up and coming church trying to have a Youth Minister (A parent). I was always just too young to do stuff because I was in Jr. High but it was a very active church. This was where my brother graduated from High School the bicentennial year 1976. Unfortunately, this was the two years of my school years that I was bused to a all black school. I did not know what a after school activity was until we moved. The school had a fence around it and was shut down by 3:30p.m. everyday. I was miserable. I remember my one friend in schools name was Claudia and ironically she had scoliosis and had to wear a brace. She was so sweet and I often wonder what ever happened to her.

Anyway, our family not liking Louisiana and my dad could have gone anywhere with his education took a job in Knoxville, TN. This is where I call home because I was there longer then anywhere. I got to go to a brand new High School and enjoyed it a lot. This is also when our family unit starting falling apart. My dad decided to leave my mom two weeks before I left for college. He turned out to be an alcoholic as did my brother. My parents divorced in 1981 and it was a tough time in my life. My college years was completely shattered because my stability at home was gone. Or so I thought it was stability. Once out of the situation and in a great marriage I now know they never had a good one. They fought all the time. My grandparents never did get over their divorce. My granddad was an elder in his church in Benton and I do not think they (my grandparents) ever accepted this divorce. I remember it took my mom a very long time to even tell them they were separated. Anyway, on to my legacy. I have always given my grandparents most of the credit for why I ended up marrying a Christian. My grandmother asked me every time I ever mentioned having a date "Is he a member of the church?" I would always have to answer "no". Until I quit school in 1982 and moved back home to moms. I was going to ETSU in Johnson City, TN. I was just not mentally there and just needed to come back home and rethink things. I always wanted to be a nurse. Well, I moved home in September of 82 and met Kent Dec. 82. I was finally able to tell my grandmother (Mabel Copeland) that he was a member of the church. She was excited even though she didn't show it.

Well, they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary the Dec. before we got married in January. I know that my grandmother prayed Kent to me. He was the first and only Christian I ever dated.

After we married our first big loss was Kent's stepdad "Daddy Mac". He was married to Kent's mom and he was more of a dad to me then my dad had ever been. I truly loved him and miss him to this day. I had never been around a man that loved children like he did and could not wait for him to be my children's grandad. Unfortunately he never got that opportunity. He died of a massive heart attack in Dec. of 87. Jamie was born the next October. We had been married almost 5 years when our first precious one came along. Jamie is named after Daddy Mac (James McMackins). That was truly a hard loss for us. He and I had gotten extremely close that summer before he died because I got to go up to West TN about 5 days before Kent and he took me fishing and we had so much fun.

Well, August 1 1991 my brother (Taz Jonathan) decided to take his own life over a stupid girl. I will forever know he pulled the trigger but what led up to it is something she will have to live with. No, I have never had anymore contact with her since he died. Besides my wonderful husband I truly lost my best friend on this day. My poor grandmother and mom never got over it. They both cried everyday. I pray everyday that I will never outlive my children because I just do not think I could be as strong as they were. My mom was truly a tough women and really had a hard life and still kept on going.

Well, in Dec. 1996 my precious grandmother Mabel Copeland (Papaws bride of 1 week shy of 63 years) died of a heart attack. She hated doctors and hospitals so much that morning she was feeling bad my Papaw told her he was calling an ambulance and she said "you do and I am putting you in it". Needless to say it was too late once she got to the hospital. That was a shock and my Papaw has been talking ever since then about wanting to be with her. He loved her so much and tells everybody that she converted him and straightened him out. Then he became a great servant and Elder in the church.

Well in Feb of 97 I received a call that my dad (Gene Sowell) had died. Needless to say we had not talked in two years. Mainly because of his alcoholism and his self centerdness. It was hard for me because I always thought he would call me if he ever got sick and want to renew the relationship. I never got over the fact that not for me but to get to know his two precious granddaughters. Well, he had had heart bypass surgery sometime before that and had to have a trach put in. After graduating from Nursing School I pieced it together that he had an esophageal varicies which basically the alcohol eats away at your esophagus and you can eventually have a bleed and not recover and that is what happened. So once again I have lost another family member.

Kent in the meantime lost his two grandparents (Claude & Mable Wilson) 4 months within each other and they were married I believe 65 years.

Our sweet May was named after both of our Grandmoms we just cut the ble off. They were both named Mable.

So then came the time when my mom moved here. I loved my mom but she really drove me crazy in some ways. Boy do I wish I could have her here to drive me crazy now. She lived here for 3 years before becoming sick and having surgery because of her crohn's and died after 9 weeks in Huntsville Hospital from a staff infection. She was a lot tougher then I ever will be. Burying a child and fighting so hard in the hospital.

Well, needless to say my papaw is all I have left besides my immediate family and my two Aunts (moms sisters). On one hand I am sad because I truly am loosing all of my family but on the other hand if and when his time comes I cannot be sad because he is so ready to be with his bride once again. I just thought I would share my family history and remind anybody that is reading this to enjoy your family and be Thankful for them this Thanksgiving.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

May's Big Night

May was invited to Kappa Rho Dance by her friend Lisa. Kappa Rho is a social club at her school. It is a very formal event just like prom. Since neither one of my girls were in a club in high school we were very surprised that this was a formal event. They were invited to eat at one of the girls homes and then they were treated to a ride in a limo to and from the civic center. Just FYI Patrick is drinking water in the limo. Then they were treated to hot chocolate and brownies when they returned. May seemed to have had a good time and talked and talked about how good the food was. So she has kind of experienced prom before she is old enough to go. In the pictures sweet Chelsey Bell came to the house to fix May's hair. Then the guys picked them up at Lisa's house. Then we went to the house that was serving dinner to finish taking pictures. They are out of order but I am not good at inserting pics yet. There were 6 couples. A lot of the fun of these formal events is dressing up. All of the couples looked great. It is incredible what our kids get to experience. We never had these things when I was in school, which we will not talk about. We are very thankful for the fun night she was treated to. It was so sweet of the family that fed them and treated them to the limo. There you are updated. Stacy hope you enjoy.


Time is passing so quickly and I know I have heard that my whole life but it is so true. Seems like not long ago we were helping Jamie recover from Back Surgery. Whew. Now here we are two years later and are getting ready for May to get her license. Just incredible. As you can see we brought in this year with May's friends. Jamie got to go with Kurtis to the Chick Filet Bowl in Atlanta. She got to drive to and from by herself. Whew it was answered prayers. One of the things we bought for the fam. for Christmas was Rock Band for Xbox 360. I think Kent and I have enjoyed it more than the girls. May and her friends wanted Kent to sing (New Years) so they could make fun of him. Ha They are proud. Well we are truly looking forward to a great 2008 and look forward to great things. God has truly blessed us.


Wow, it is now January and I have not posted in a while. I have a lot I could add but if my girls ever got wind of the stuff they would die so I will just be generic. We survived Christmas, that is all I will say. It was good just had one not so pleased to be back home. Other than that it was a very good holiday and relaxing. Jamie did bring her friend home the first weekend of their break which we really enjoyed having him here to visit. I have never heard such laughter. It was good. May got caught up on her rest and seemed to have a good Christmas. It was not a bad Christmas and was not a good Christmas just diff. We did get to keep our little girl one day after Christmas which was a lot of fun. She got one of the girls phone and just knew what to do with it. She is such a good baby. God has truly blessed us. Next I will work on New Years!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Well, this is our youngest growing up very fast. This was fun for us because we got to drive them because they do not have their license yet, so we got to see a lot of them all dressed up. They clean up pretty good. It is such an exciting and challenging time in their lives I hope they are enjoying everything and learning lots! Ha She did have her sister drive her to dinner but it was too late to pick up so I got too. This was fun too because you get to hear a lot about the night. All good though. I always remember what I was doing at this age and I did not get to relax and enjoy as hopefully my girls are. I was working by age 15 part time and started working full time at age 16. So I have mixed emotions of teens working during school year. Summers are good but I think they should do church work and activities and school work and activities. This is just my personal point of view and I am sure there are many many views but this is mine. Yes, they are spoiled but most are. I did not mean to get carried away just sharing our fun weekend.

Jamie came home for the big day on Sunday and it was great having her here. We had her all to ourself and we enjoyed. I know her sister loved having her here.

First picture is from Sunday.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

October 07

Well, I guess I will post every few months. I read everyones blog and I love it but it is pretty boring around here compared to everyone else. We got Jamie off to college. She is having the time of her life. We have only gotten her home once and she brought friends so we did not get to see her much. It was great though. We had a quick celebration of her 19th birthday while she was here. They hung out at the house Friday night and a lot of friends came by on their way to BSJ and it was wonderful having them here again. My fav. was when Rieder comes in and yells "yea,Moma P I am home". REALLY LOUD!!!! I just love each and every one of them. A lot of them gave me big hug even the guys. It was great. We are getting Jamie this weekend she has to come home to renew her license. Also, to stand with us on Sunday for the big installation.
The diff. between my girls is May's friends do not like to hang at homes yet they are always looking for something to do. I know Jamie and her friends went through this I just seemed to have forgotten. I love for them to be here but May seems a little less likely to invite them here. I wonder why? She has homecoming this weekend and if I can get it to work will try and post a pic. Not very good at that. May just got a new vehicle, only because his brother got a new truck and was getting rid of it. It is really nice and she is blessed to get it. She does not turn 16 until March so we have a few months. She is having a pretty good sophmore year has some tough classes but she is doing fine.

I wrote this one week ago. Will post today and add another.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Catching Up

Well, here goes. First of all the last post Jamie had her wreck, well, it is now 8/8 and still no car for her yet. Hopefully by this Fri. She leaves Monday for college. We will see. Kent said "they truly are cavemen that handles this insurance". Can you guess which kind the guy that hit her had? HMMMM!

We had a wonderful trip to Baja and had 5 Baptisims and a couple of more since we left. That is truly the reason we go. Also, just the wonderful experience of getting to know a lot of wonderful people better and serving together with them. Then to share God's word and love to those that do not know him or an encouraging hug or handshake. It is truly amazing how happy these people are with so little. I think my favorite thing was watching as Kim Whitaker share her tallent of teaching these ladies how to make a hand sewn dress for about 100 girls there in San Quentin. It was so sweet watching the faces of the girls who put on a small fashion show wearing their new duds. It was priceless. Also, the love of each lady and teen that particiapated in the making of these dresses. It brought together mexicans and grengos even with the language barrier.

My other special memory is of Rickey Bailey and Mitch Hamric working with a quadraplegic and helping make him a foot brace to prevent foot drop and finding out that he became a brother in Christ last Wed. That is what it is all about.

We arrived home on a Sat. night and May left early the next morning to play in U14 world series for her summer softball league in Orlando. They were there all week and we arrived that Friday to watch their last game which they lost but came in 17 out of 58 teams. They played hard and had a great experience. We arrived in Destin the next day and spent a wonderful week at the beach. It was hot but we had a great time.

We arrived home this past Sat. and spent Sun doing major shopping for the girls for college and school to arrive home that afternoon and realizing our air was going out. Well, after two days it was finally fixed yesterday. It is truly a wonderful thing to have working. Hopefully this will last for a while.

That is a quick up to date over the last 6 weeks. We leave Mon to take Jamie to college. She is so excited and we are excited for her. May dosn't think all of this stuff in our house is going to fit in her room but we will find out soon.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Back again

Well, I tried to learn how to put pictures in and I didn't think it did it and I come back and her pic is there. So I am still learning how to use this thing. Alot has happened, we got the oldest graduated and celebrated. We have attended two weddings so far. Our youngest is playing travel softball and has a tourney just about every weekend. They have won one and runner up in one and didn't do as good in the other two. She seems to be enjoying it, getting a little tired of practice but enjoys all of the girls she is playing with. Both girls just returned from Impact and loved it. They have talked quite a bit about it. I am so glad they got to go together this one and only year. Our oldest leaves this wed for orientation at Lipscomb. She is very excited about the whole aspect of college. Hope she stays that way after taking 17 hours her first semester. She is trying to double major and has to start off with a heavy load and will probably have to go to summer school some. We will see.
Well, here is our news of the day. The dreaded phone call all parents hate to get. Dad I have been in a wreck but I am ok. Her dad answered and it seemed like she had just gone out the door. She said the ambulance was already there but she was "completely ok". The story is a young guy was merging onto the parkway and did not see her. She tried to move over to the next lane after honking but he clipped her right front tire which locked it up and spun her around and hit the concrete wall and he tapped her again in the side. Soooo a prayer of thanksgiving that she is ok. The other guy was ok too. My first thought was her back but she said she was fine on the phone. Well, to pull up and see her front end on the concrete wall and her car sideways on the parkway, all I can say is "Thank You Lord". She was crying and still had her seatbelt on when we arrived. She said "all she could think of was her cousin Kimberly, and was afraid to unbuckle". Kimberly was killed on 565 several years ago after having a flat tire and did not get the rear all the off of the highway. She had unbuckled to get her cell phone and call her dad and was talking with her grandmother and was rear ended. We have indwelled in her to get off of the road but we were talking about flats or break downs. She was headed to a birthday party and ended up coming home with us. They had to tow it off and we will not know for a few days what the outcome will be. Cars can be replaced but your kids cannot. She is starting to feel a little sore already and I am sure tomorrow will feel it more. Her dad and sister and I are just so relieved she is ok. We told her she would learn alot from this and would make her a even better driver. Just glad we could get to her fast.
That is all of the excitement I want for a while.
Next thing will be our mission trip experience. Rapidly approaching.

Thursday, April 19, 2007