Born in 1948, he was Nin’s 5th child. Her Mother was not happy. Yet one more baby for her to worry about.
Kenny was a happy baby. He gurgled and cooed, smiled with his eyes, and charmed everyone who met him.
Nothing much changed about Kenny as he got older. He still smiled with his eyes; he was active, always moving, doing something, testing her patience.
Then she became pregnant again, this time another boy. They were close together, these two sons of hers, so close that many people thought they were twins. The little brother was a follower. He mimicked everything his big brother did. Together Kenny and Larrie made quite a team.
Baby number 7 was born when Nin was 42 years of age. She was a Down’s syndrome child, at that time called Mongoloid. The extended family was quick to blame J.B.’s alcoholism. Nin didn’t care what they thought, she loved her little one. She gave me the privilege of naming her, I called her Cynthia Kay. I thought she was beautiful.
Cindy was about 18 months old when Kenny and Larrie took her for a ride in the baby stroller. Some of the neighborhood children gathered around and made very hurtful remarks about her looks. Coming home, they asked Nin what was wrong with her, why did the children make fun of her. The innocence of childhood and the love of family; they didn’t know she was different, she was just Cindy and she was their sister.
People are people the world over, we judge and criticize what we do not understand. We still do it when we become adults, we are just more covert about it than children are. How often do we say things to others that if said to us would cut deeply? We don’t even think about that. We should.
Kenny and Larrie got into a lot of trouble. Mostly Kenny leading the way. They were so cute, it was hard to be angry with them, but Nin did not let things go by. Sometimes, she made them go to the tree in the back yard and pick the switch that she would use to swat them; but Kenny was a runner and he would take off, laughing as he ran away from her.
One day a policeman showed up at the door. It seems someone had seen the boys deface public property and reported it to the police. Kenny heard him talking to her, ran upstairs and crawled under the bed, getting as close to the wall as he could. That didn’t phase Nin, she got a broom and went after him. He had to face the music. He spent time cleaning up the mess.
When the boys became teen-agers, the issues became problems and heartaches for Nin. Fast cars, fast girls, drinking and smoking, seemingly following in their father’s footsteps. By now Kenny was a very handsome young man. He had no problem having a girl friend. Close calls driving drunk could have taken Kenny’s life, but God had a plan.
Nin saw to it that the boys had a strong work ethic, so when they were old enough they had to get a job. Of course, it took money to live the lifestyle they wanted, and with J.B.’s alcoholism getting worse so that he couldn’t work, it was up to them to get it themselves.
Kenny had drive. He wanted the finer things of life as he got older. He saw what others had and he wanted it for himself. He pushed ahead. Military service side-lined his plans temporarily, but once he was back home he began his pursuit of things.
God brought him a wife, the perfect mate. Though the ensuing years brought struggle and turmoil, God had a plan. He lived a double life for quite a few years. On the surface, he was a happily married man with two daughters, but he was sinning really well in private.
Trophy: The apostle Paul said that he was the chief of sinners because he had persecuted Christians, though he said that he was ignorant, and that is why God could apprehend him. Paul was one of God’s trophies.
As I thought about Paul today, I began to think of my brother Ken and wanted to share a piece of his story with you; I believe that Ken is one of God’s trophies. Oh by the way, when he got older we had to stop calling him Kenny, he was now Ken. (smile)
These days, Ken serves God as well as he served the devil, the world and his own flesh. He is in love with Jesus and brings the good news of salvation to any who will hear. He ministers love with his smiling eyes and kind words. He is a trophy of the love of God.
I have no doubt that if God has a trophy room, Ken’s smiling face is there.
Love you my brother!