Painted rock found in Wichita reminds boy of mom in heaven


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The latest craze of painting rocks, hiding them and then searching for other decorated rocks has taken over the City of Wichita.

According to ICT Area Rocks, a Facebook group dedicated to painted rocks in Wichita, the idea is to take a photo of a found rock, add it to the Facebook page and inspire others to join the movement.

“I put a heart on it,” said Denver Nodine.

Denver Nodine, 9, is like any other young kid. When he’s not being silly with his cousin, he’s usually finding ways to stay occupied.

“Most of the time, I play video games,” Denver said.

On Tuesday, however, Denver swapped video games for rocks.

“We painted rocks and made a mess,” he said.

Denver’s great-grandma Michele Grover said the mess was well worth it.

“It was healing. That’s a good word for it. It was healing,” said Grover.

Grover said she and her family started writing messages on rocks last summer after her grandchild and Denver’s mom, India, passed away.

“India was my first grandchild, granddaughter. She was 29. She was beautiful and it was devastating when she died,” Grover said.

Denver said he carries his mom with him everywhere he goes, so when he happened to stumble upon a painted rock while at Tangynika Wildlife Park on Monday he said he knew his guardian angel was close by.

“We were looking at the ant eaters and he saw that rock and they talked and he decided it was a message of love from his mom,” Grover said.

“Well, mainly because this looks like something she would paint, to be honest,” Denver said.

Denver said each time he looks at the rock he is reminded of the eight wonderful years he shared with his mom.

“She was fun. She was probably the greatest mom in history and well, she was very kind,” he said.

Speaking of kindness. That’s the message Denver and his family are now hoping to spread as they paint and hide a number of rocks for others to find.

“It’s brought some really good things from her life (India) to us and so we will pass it on,” Grover said. “We will try to pay it forward, pass the love along.”

Denver lives in Illinois with his father. He said he plans to hide some of his newly painted rocks in his hometown of Lincoln. He said he will keep the rock he found at Tangynika.

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