My wife asked me to help her do a floral install at a beautifully renovated historic wedding venue in Redlands. While I helped her finish adorning the arch with flowers and greenery, I met a few folks as they walked through the alley. One beautiful gray-haired couple strolled through. Actually, they hobbled through slowly because of ailments over the years. I took a few pics of them posing in front of the arch. They had lived in the area for decades and showed me pictures of a younger them from the 70’s. They were so happy that the alley was renovated after being a dilapidated pit stop and trash bin of transients for years.
Just minutes before I met the couple, a well-groomed but worn gentleman walked through with his bicycle and asked me a lot of questions about our business in the alley. As he went on his way, the caretaker working for the city told me that the homeless man I was talking to used to be a dentist with a successful practice just blocks away. He lost his business and his family to a drug habit just a couple of years ago. Nowadays, he wanders the streets with his bike.
This day was just a reminder to me that everyone has a story. Not all are sweet. Some are more compelling than others. Many are interesting. All have a chance for redemption.