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THE KEY TO LIFE
by Roger Dean Kiser, Sr.
"I bet that old man has a million dollars stashed in one of those steel lockers down at the Trailways Bus Station. I see him down there all the time," said a young teenage boy to his friend.
"I bet he wears the key to the locker around his neck. I saw him pull out a purple bag several times when he was sitting on top of the heater vent down by the Florida Theater."
"If he has a million dollars why would he be living on the street?" his friend asked.
"He's crazy and he's all messed up in the head. That's why."
I had been standing in the alleyway, for more than two hours, waiting for a chance to steal a new pair of shoes from the shoe store located across the street from the alley. Once again I had runaway from the orphanage; as tomorrow was my ninth birthday I was going to steal something new as a birthday present.
The old man had passed me several times going in and out of the alley. He was very old, walked all hunched over, and always walked with his arms wrapped around himself.
"BOO!" said someone from behind me. Being almost dark, I jumped and quickly turned around just as the old man passed me. He winked, smiled at me and then headed back out into the street.
All at once, the two young teens grabbed the old man and began dragging him back into the alley. He let out a horrible scream as the two of them began to beat him with their fists. Within seconds the old man was down on the ground and the two boys began kicking him as hard as they could. Rolling up into a ball the old man continued to yell. I was less than twenty yards from the man, yet I could hardly hear him the sound was so muffled.
"Give us the key, old man," one of the boys kept yelling.
"It's my key to life. It's the key to life. Leave it alone, Please," the old man kept screaming.
The two boys just kept beating him.
As I ran out of the alley, I saw a Chinese man running back into the restaurant. I ran inside and began yelling at the man to call the police. He stood there waving his hand at me.
"No involve here. No involve," he yelled at me.
I ran back out of the restaurant, crossed the street and into the shoe store.
"Call the police," I screamed at a woman, near the back of the store.
I ran outside and back into the alley where the two boys were now wrestling with the old man.
"Give me that key, old man," one of the boys was still yelling.
I ran past them and hid behind several large trash cans located about half way down the alley.
In the distance, I could hear sirens heading in our direction. The two boys jumped off the old man and began running out of the alley. Several minutes later, people began walking into the alley. Two men walked up to the old man, who now lay motionless on the ground.
"I think he's dead," said a heavyset man, as he knelt down to look at the old homeless fellow.
"He's dead, alright," stated another man beside him. "He's not breathing," he continued.
Several minutes later, police cars came from every direction. There were flashing red lights everywhere.
"Call an ambulance," yelled one of the policemen to one of the other officers, at the end of the alley.
The police began to question people in the surrounding area to see if they could find out what had happened. Being a runaway, one well known by the police department, I was not about to come out from hiding. The woman from the shoe store told the policeman that two boys were beating on the old man and kept yelling at him to give them their keys back.
"I think this is what they were after," said the officer, as he reach down and tried to remove the purple bag from the dead man's grip.
I stood; my body tightly pressed against the cold brick wall which ran the entire length of the alley. I watched as the policeman continued to try and remove the small purple sack from the old man's hands. The small gold rope finally broke as the officer pulled it free from the homeless man's grasp.
Spreading open the top of the bag, he turned on his flashlight and looked inside. The officer stood there slowly shaking his head, back and forth. Dropping hands to his side, he called for the other officers to come and take a look.
I had hoped that the policeman would take the "key of life" out of the bag so that I could see what it looked like. One at a time, the officers looked into the bag and as they did each one slowly shook their heads.
I saw the ambulance lights turn into the alley so I moved behind the large trash cans and continued hiding from view. Several attendants, dressed in white, quickly took a small bed from the back of the vehicle and rolled it over to the dead man. I turned away because I did not want to see them pick up the old man. Dead people's arms swinging freely about always seemed to bother me.
Several minutes later, the ambulance left and the officers continued to talk for ten or fifteen more minutes. As they returned to their individual cars and began to pull away, the officer holding the small purple bag tossed it into one of the three small trash cans, sitting behind the Chinese restaurant.
When all was quiet, I slowly came out from behind the large trash cans and walked over to the back of the restaurant. Looking from can to can, I finally saw the small, purple pouch with the golden rope. I reached down, picked up the pouch and just stood there. It felt strange to know that someone who was now dead was alive an hour before and was holding this bag in his hands. Holding up the bag with my left hand, I began feeling the bottom of the bag with my right hand. Sure enough in the corner of the bag was the "key to life."
?I wonder why the police did not keep this key if it is truly the "key to life,' I thought to myself.
Slowly, I turned the bag upside down causing the "key of life" fell into the palm of my right hand. I tightly closed my fingers around the key and carefully moved down the alleyway and into the streetlight. Opening my hand, I looked down to view the "key to life."
What I saw absolutely amazed me. I too had once owned a "key to life." I had found it on a dirty, wooden floor in a small country grocery store several years before. It had been attached to a small can of meat the grocery man told me they called Spam.
Roger Dean Kiser, Sr.
Write Roger and share your thoughts with him on his story!
My new book "Runaway-Life On The Streets-The lessons learned" has been released. I hope my friends and other organizations will support me in this effort.
I feel this is a very important book for the teenagers of today as thousands of these young people runaway every year in this country. Most of the books I have read about runaways have been written by adults. Most have no idea what they are even talking about. Getting lost for twenty minutes in your BMW, in a bad part of town, is not a street experience. These teens need to read a book written in a teen's voice, in a manner that they understand, and in a tone that they will believe.
I am doing my best to try and change some of the wrongs in the world but I cannot do it all by myself. I really need the help of my friends to make this succeed.
It is my intention, through my book, is to try to relate to teenagers the pain, suffering, and sadness a runaway child feels after reaching adulthood. The teenager who takes to the streets, and experiences what I describe in my book, both the good and the bad, will forever remain sad, lonely and in a state of total distrust of family, friends and spouse.
As an abused teen, living in a Florida orphanage, I had to always walk a very strict line. Any variation from that "line" and I knew I would be thrown away, discarded like a piece of trash. My caretakers made sure that I did not forget it. That is the one thing for which I will never forgive. The reason for this lack of forgiveness, on the part of all children, is that they will forever feel undeserving of love, devotion, and equality.
I made a choice when I was a young teen. I thought I was choosing the lesser of two evils. Life on the streets had to be better than the life of hell that I was living at home. Boy was I wrong in that decision. The horrific experiences that I suffered at the hands of those I met out on the street caused five failed marriages in my life. Because of those experiences, I also remained almost totally friendless for years, mainly because of my distrust of all human beings.
However, most runaway teens (if they live) will eventually succeed in life, but only because they rule and structure their lives with their thought processes rather than with their emotional processes. A wonderful human emotional process lost and destroyed forever, by life on the streets. What a terrible way to have to live the remainder of your life.
By the age of four, Roger Dean Kiser had been abandoned, first by his parents and then his grandparents and placed in a Florida orphanage. Unable to adapt to the difficult, often cruel and abusive environment of the orphanage, and stigmatized by his repeated attempts to run away, he was transferred to a Florida reform school at age twelve. Roger's poignant recollections of his painful childhood experiences on the streets will take you into the heart of a child abandoned by his family and abused by the system responsible for his care.
Now an adult, Roger Dean Kiser writes about his childhood along with his current day tales. A real-life Tom Sawyer, Roger's stories find a common ground in each of us.
Roger's powerful stories have been published all around the world, including the Chicken Soup for the Soul Book series.
An autographed copy of the book can be purchased at the link below.
Creation Q & A
Question: Is the Earth a special creation of God or just a "hunk of rock"?
A: When you read the creation account in Genesis, you find that the Earth is very special--actually it is really center stage. In fact, all the other heavenly bodies, the sun, moon and stars, were made for signs and seasons for the Earth. The Earth is the center of God's attention--it's not just an ordinary hunk of rock.
But the influence of evolutionary ideas has indoctrinated many people into believing the Earth is not special.
One of the most influential evolutionists, the late Carl Sagan, said this to the world just before he died:
"We live on a hunk of rock and metal that circles a humdrum star that is one of 400 billion other stars that make up the Milky Way Galaxy, which is one of billions of other galaxies which make up a universe, which may be one of a very large number, perhaps infinite number, of other universes. That is a perspective on human life and culture that is well worth pondering."
What hopelessness there is in that statement! But what purpose and meaning there is in the statement from Genesis: "In the Beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."
To learn more about special features of our planet visit this page:
Click on the Bible above or visit the web site listed below!
This new addition to our web site will give you an article on the leading news in the
Creation/Evolution controversy each day.
This section also includes a rotating Question and Answer feature and a weekly
Creation Comic strip from the people at AnswersInGenesis.org.
Be sure to come back and visit each day for an informative article that will
help you keep up to date on the latest news in this controversial area!
Thought For The Day
"Sometimes the Lord calms the storm; sometimes
He lets the storm rage and calms His child."
Verse for the Day
"And the peace of God, which transcends all
understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds
in Christ Jesus."--Philippians 4:7
Kid's Thought For The Day
"Whoever said you can't buy happiness forgot about puppies."
Parent's Thought For The Day
MONA LISA'S MOTHER:
"After all that money your father and I spent on braces,
that's the biggest smile you can give us?"
Coach's Thought For The Day
"Sandwich every bit of criticism between two layers of praise."
Mary Kay Ash
Writer's Thought For The Day
"Forget all the rules. Forget about being published. Write for
yourself and celebrate writing." --Melinda Haynes
Creation/Evolution Thought For The Day
?Biologists would dearly like to know how modern apes, modern
humans and the various ancestral hominids have evolved from a
common ancestor. Unfortunately, the fossil record is somewhat
incomplete as far as the hominids are concerned, and it is all but
blank for the apes. The best we can hope for is that more fossils
will be found over the next few years which will fill the present gaps
in the evidence.' The author goes on to say: ?David Pilbeam
[a well-known expert in human evolution] comments wryly,
"If you brought in a smart scientist from another discipline and
showed him the meager evidence we've got he'd surely say,
?forget it: there isn't enough to go on'." --Richard E. Leakey,
The Making of Mankind, Michael Joseph Limited, London, 1981, p. 43
Deep Thought For The Day
"I was grocery shopping the other day, and I caught this
guy who's comparing apples and oranges. So I walked
over and said, 'Hey, you can't do that.'
He said, 'Why not?'
'Because it would be like ... forget it.'"
Inspired Audio -- Inspirational Audio Message of the Week!
Inspired Audio is a brand new offshoot of HeartTouchers.com. Every week
we will offer a different audio message that you can listen to right on
your computer as you are surfing the net or just getting things done around
the house. Be sure to come back and visit each week!
This Week: "Courage and Conviction Part 2" by Jeff Williams
Over 125,000 people have listened to popular Chicken Soup Author Michael T. Powers'
free inspirational message entitled: "Breathing Life into Others". If you aren't
one of them just visit: http://www.HeartTouchers.com and click on the link to
listen to the free streaming audio message.
Video Imagery --Michael's Video Production Business
"I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for the beautiful video you made for me!
It was so special to see both of my parents in tears as they watched their children
grow up in pictures before their eyes! I loved the way you made Estania's part set
aside from the rest--that was the part that really got them! The music was beautiful.
My mom kept blubbering, "What song is that?" I don't know how you did such a
beautiful job with the video in such a short time. I really appreciate your doing it so
quickly. You have a wonderful gift, and I thank God that you are using it to create
such sentimental memories. I hope that I can find my niche like that in an area that
I love. Your video gave us one of our most lasting Christmas memories! I hope yours
was filled with moments to be treasured forever!"
Let me make you a video from your photos!
Check out my video production business by visiting:
Do you feel as if life has no meaning for you?