Monday, April 9, 2012

Love through kites

Richard Dean Thackery was his given name but everyone called him Hobie.  

He was well known and LOVED in our little town.  

He always gave us “chewing gum” when we were little kids.  
That's us!!!

He dressed in dark jeans and plaid shirts…always with a black plastic comb and a pack of cigarettes in his front shirt pocket.  He was probably 60 before my aunt ever talked him into wearing sneakers.  Prior to that it was always these shiny brown boots with zippers on the insides.  

He drank a lot of coffee and oversalted his food.  

He talked of the days of his youth drag racing cars up Helltown Rd.  (Yep that is the name of a road just outside our little town…although in recent years it’s changed to some numbers of some sort although to most “locals” it’ll always be Helltown Rd.  I think as a kid we liked to say it’s name because it was a cuss word though!!!!)
Papaw, Aunt Tammy & I at Easter.  Isn't he handsome?

He lost his wife…my grandma when he was far too young…just into his 40s and he never remarried.  He continued to love her…never ever got over her.  

He was was one the kindest, gentlest, sweetest, most generous men you would ever meet.  He loved us all so much although being a man of few words when we kissed him and told him we loved him he kissed us back and just nodded his head and said, “Yep, yep, yep”.  That was his way of telling us he loved us.  That we NEVER doubted.  You never could.  It was so apparent in his whole being.  We were his and he loved us and we loved him. 

A little over a year ago we lost our Papaw to cancer.  I remember being back home and thinking perhaps that would be the last time I would see him alive…but somehow I couldn’t REALLY believe it.  But as with everything in life there is a season and his season on this earth was over and he left us to get back to dancing with grandma and laughing that ornery laugh with his best friend my uncle Louis.  

After he died I remember walking through his house and it finally hitting me that he was gone…since I wasn’t “back home” at the time of his death I felt like it couldn’t really be true…even after the funeral I think I was still in denial a little bit.  I walked through his house and just thought he should be there…and I started to feel this sense of grief understanding that he wasn’t going to walk in that door and kiss me hello. 

I miss that man more than anything.  His spirit did such good on this earth.  He gave us a quiet strong love that made us feel taken care of and protected.

This Easter season I can’t help but think of him and the special tradition he created in our family.  

You see every year he bought all of us grandchildren kites to fly on Easter.  My family as well as aunts, uncles and my cousins would all get together for lots of food and family fun after church on Easter Sunday.  He always brought us kites to fly and you could tell that watching us fly them…watching us so happy made him so happy. 

My uncles were completely crazy!!  I think they enjoyed it more than us kids did sometimes!!!  They would let out so much string while they were “helping us” fly them that they would need a drill to reel in all that string after we were done.  We would fly those kites rain or shine…whether it was warm or cold and Easter in Ohio can still be cold a lot of the time. 

This is a family tradition that I miss so much. 

I think for all of us grandkids everytime we see a kite we can’t help but think of our Papaw.  I think we all miss that gentle sweet man so much!

I wish such a happy Easter tradition to all of you out there.  


  1. Totally just cried through this whole post! This has to be the sweetest thing ever.. he seems like an amazing man. Thank you sooo much for sharing!

  2. i'm sorry about your grandpa :( my dad passed away in january of cancer so this was the first big holiday without him, it's definitely been very hard.

  3. I love the way you write, Kelly. this is poignant.

  4. On Easter Sunday if you look into the sky you will see a cloud that looks like a kite and if you listen real close you'll here Hobie saying get another roll of string it'll go higher!!!! Thanks Kell we all miss him...

  5. Death is a weird thing. So sorry for your loss, but know he is somewhere better. We lost a cousin almost 2 years ago who was 28 and a newly wed. Still breaks my heart, but we know he's wth the Lord. Great post, Kelly.

  6. Such a beautiful story. It touches my heart strongly, because Easter really reminds me of my Grandmother who passed away just over 2 years ago. It sounds like he was a wonderful man who enriched the lives of everyone he met.

  7. AWESOME STORY! So glad you linked up! XOXO


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