A gift of a flower to a garden
Counting is a big part of my law practice. The cynics among us think that those who practice law just count money. They are wrong. Since 1998, I have counted recovering clients (supersized addicts) whose addictions have taken them to the brink of hell and who have yet found the tools to go from Zero to Hero. Every hour of every day, thousands of heroes are there to help zeros become heroes. I count better angels. For every better angel who has crossed my path I plant a flower in The Shellow Group Recovery Garden. If I could invent a pill that would alleviate the terror of loved ones facing prison because of addiction, I would. I swear on all that is holy, I would gladly give up my day job. But, I am not an inventor. I am a guide. I am a lawyer. I am a girl who counts those who have not been counted.
Robert Mann counts. Robert Mann is the The Shellow Group’s 78th drug-free, crime-free hero. Why do I count—because it matters. Former clients who resolve to help others find joy, in turn give me joy. Joy counts. Robert Mann is better angel number 78. He has been clean for 78,400 minutes, 13,140 hours, 547.5 days. He has earned a seat on former Vice President Biden’s “Moonshot”—a rhetorical device used by the VP which I prefer to imagine as an actual spaceship. Like his predecessors, Robert Mann did it himself—The Shellow Group was, for a time, his guide. Now he has dedicated his life to the joy of helping others on that journey. He has also taught himself the piano. We both turned 60 this year. He is 2,160 hours older than I am. If this recovering heroin addict can start the journey at 58 years old, then maybe I can dedicate a spaceship after Joe Biden and invite all 78 drug-free former clients aboard The Milwaukee Miracle. They say to Think Globally, and Act Locally, to which I might add…Dream Universally. Dream Interstellar. Dream of the next Moonshot that will guide our society toward a future we thought unachievable.
Robert Mann is no longer just another brick in the walls which divide, today he is a brick in that road, forever under construction, which paves the way to a better tomorrow. While addiction teaches us all to remain humble in one’s hopes, today I could not be more proud.