May 2, 2013

A glimpse of kite heaven...

If it wasn't for the expected rain today, it would be a great day for kite flying.  It is gusty here!   In my post yesterday the newspaper article about my Dad mentioned that as of the time of the interview my father and mother had made over 800 kites.  I bet you were wondering if they were all stacked up in corners and closets of their house, with everyone tripping over kites, kites and more kites?  No indeed!  My dad had a loving and generous heart, and was never happier than when he was sharing with others (all the people who still have macrame' potholders, iris in their gardens, or a cane on display in their homes know what I mean).

And when it came to kites, besides gifting friends and families with a full collection of box, delta, stunt and other kites, Dad aligned his passion for kites with his love of service in his local Kiwanis Club, and more specifically, the Camp Courage that the Club sponsored each year. 
 This special Camp was designed for children with mental and physical disabilities, and Dad decided that each child should receive his or her own kite, complete with a day of learning to fly them.  So volunteers were found, a field was located, and my parents set to work.  Dad specially designed kites that were easy to fly, bought enough parachute silk to cover a football field, and between the two of them my mom and dad crafted kites and carrying bags for each participant.  All of this, mind you, while my dad was coping with Parkinson's Disease, unable to walk, and my mother was his constant caregiver.  But the look on the kids' faces made it all worth it in the end.  It was day to remember forever.
And here is my family's favorite story of the special Camp Courage days:  As one of the young campers was being driven to the field, he looked up at the sky, gave a happy sigh and excitedly proclaimed "Look! We are in kite heaven!"  My dad is in heaven now, and I bet you anything he's letting the string out as far it will go, and making his kite dance with the angels. 
And here are the instructions on how to build, assemble and fly the special Swept Wing Delta kite.  Can't you feel the tug of the wind on your string, and as my son wrote in his essay "the sound of the wind as it plays with the kite"? 
                                                  What are you waiting for, it's time to fly a kite! 

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