Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Six Foot Tall Kite and My Six Foot Tall Daddy: They both gave me some joy today.

I’m so excited!!! Today, on Father’s Day, about an hour and twenty minutes ago, I got a chance to do something that I always wanted to do. Something that I dreamed about doing when I was a child, a child that could see… I got a chance to fly a kite!!!

When I was a kid, I remember seeing some of the older kids in our neighborhood having a great time, flying beautiful, multicolored kites in the open, clear, blue sky. I would watch the kite as it soared above the earth, looking so free, so magical, so effortless. Then, I would trace the string of the kite back to the hand of the smiling kid that held on to the kite with delight. Boy, I wished that I was that kid for that brief, shining moment.

I would always ask my mother and father to please buy me a kite. But they never got a chance. At the age of ten, tragedy struck me, and I started losing my eye sight. The desire to fly a kite really had been pushed to the back of my mind by my desire to just survive another day. And my parent’s goal was to do everything in their power to help me grow into a healthy, productive, centered young woman despite my blindness. So needless to say, the opportunity to fly a kite really never presented itself to me. My folks and I were too busy trying to make it. We certainly weren’t thinking about kites.

Today all of that changed.

My baby sister, Kim, bought a kite that is six feet tall. The truth is that I have no idea what color it is. For some strange reason, I pictured it to be lime green. **shrug** I wonder why? Maybe it has something to do with my addiction to Mountain Dew... But anyway…

This morning, I told my mother that I always wanted to fly a kite. And I never got the chance to do it before I lost my sight. Well, my mother told me that if I wanted to fly a kite, go outside and fly one. She told me that the lack of eye sight had nothing to do with my ability to hold the kite as it flew in the sky.

Well, I went outside with my father and my two sisters, Frances and Kim. We waited outside for a couple of hours until the wind decided to visit us. Actually, Frances got tired of waiting, and she went back into the house.

Well, when the wind started blowing, I ran in the house and told Frances to come outside with me to fly the kite. Frances, who is always ready to clown around and have fun, ran outside to fly that big old kite.

We went out into the middle of the street, ready to do our thing. Well, Frances couldn’t really get the kite up in the air long enough for it to stay. So, my father came out to the street with us and helped Frances lift the kite into the sky.

Well, that kite took off and started flying above us. Frances brought the end of the string to me so that I could hold it. The kite lifted more and more in the sky, and the string unraveled more and more in my hand as the kite lifted into the open sky.

A feeling of complete joy and exhilaration filled my heart. I was overwhelmed. I felt so free, so accomplished, so thankful that I was getting a chance to do something that I always wanted to do.

And you know what… I didn’t give a dang that I couldn’t see. I was content as ever. I’m glad that I listened to mama, and didn’t allow my blindness to stop me from fulfilling a life long dream. And it also didn't matter that I was a good and grown woman. For that moment, as I was holding that kite, I was lost in time, standing in the crack between time and eternity. I was happy, and nothing else mattered for that moment.

What was even greater about holding that kite as it soared in the sky above me was the fact that I was out there flying that kite with my father. What a wonderful way to spend the afternoon on Father’s Day. I was flying a kite with my daddy. **huge smile** Just thinking about it right now makes my heart fill up with gladness.

Sometimes living gets on my nerves. But this afternoon, I was so glad that I was here, feeling the air blow against my face, hearing the laugh of Frances and Kim, anchoring the kite as it pulled from my hand, and sharing an unforgettable afternoon with the man that I love the most, my father. I live to have moments like that, moments that I can hold close to my heart and cherish for life. Even after me or Daddy have passed from this life, no matter who goes first, that memory will be left with one of us. What a wonderful gift.

Daddy, Happy Father’s Day! Thanks for always giving me your best. I wish you many more happy years. And I wish myself more happy years with you in my life.

Much love and more opportunities to fly a kite with my daddy,
Angela Braden
Thurman’s Oldest Child
(Yes, I’m pulling rank like that. **wink**)

Happy Father’s Day to all you daddies who have accepted the challenge to protect, to provide for, to love, to teach, to direct, to expose, to embrace, to affirm, to connect with, to enjoy your children. I applaud you for being a man and doing what is right.


Anonymous said...

I like the way you describe how to control the fear. I believe in god to so I like the theory that we should have fear of god and no fear of any thing else.

Anonymous said...

This made me smile. I think it is great that you got to do something that meant so much to you for so long. Some of us might take small things like flying a kite with our family for granted! But it is so important to cherish these simple (yet special!) moments!

Marie K. said...

Aw, that is really sweet. You know, we take so much for granted in life. Sometimes, i think everyone needs to slow down and do some pure and simple things that brings so much pleasure. It's the little things in life that make it so interesting. ;)

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

That's cool. I can no longer see my late parents, but sometimes I feel one of them is present with me, watching over me, and I smile, and in my mind, I say hi.