September 1st, 2011

I was on a mission to find more solar dancing flowers. I looked at every dollar store in south cook county. Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Dollar Store, Dollar Stop, and Family Dollar to no avail. I gave my business card to every manager I came in contact with begging them to call me if they got a shipment of flowers. I month had gone by and nothing.

I was about to give up when the phone rang. A voice I didn’t recognize told me, “I got your flowers Mr. Kens.” I was ecstatic and replied, “How many can I buy?” She told me, “As many as you want honey.” I rushed over to the store where the manager, Kim, greeted me with a smile. I told her what my plan was for the flowers and how I was giving a talk on positive thinking at a prison called Crossroads.

Then unexpectedly Kim grabbed me by the arm and shuffled me over to a quiet corner of the store. With a deadly serious look in her eye, she said, “I don’t know why I am going to tell you this, but something you don’t know about me is that behind this smile lies a great tragedy. Ten years ago my parents were murdered. I was heartbroken and struck with grief. I was angry at the world and God. How could this happen? Finally, I stopped running from God and turned to Him. With time I changed my attitude from, ‘Why Me?’, to ‘I was blessed to have two amazing parents for 22 years. Not everyone has that.’ My younger brother Wayne, on the other hand, tried to numb his pain with drugs. For years I tried to help him. He’d get clean and relapse over and over again. Until one day he showed up pounding on my door at 3 am strung out. I told him to leave. I was done trying to help him. I didn’t want anything to happen to my kids, I had already lost my parents. Wayne left that night and with the last $9 he had, he jumped on a train to Rockford, checked himself into rehab, and got clean! He’s now leading a recovery ministry in Ohio. You should call him. He could help you craft your message to hit home with the residents at the prison.”