“After my baseball games, he’d take me over to the ice cream place by the elementary school”
“and buy me a chocolate and vanilla swirled ice cream cone.”
“And he always had a grin. It wasn’t the self-conscious kind: it would come up from inside him whenever the occasion for a smile arose, which for him was most of the time.
That smile might surprise anyone who knew where he came from.”
“As a child, he had to live with another family for a while because there wasn’t enough for him and his brothers and sisters, and he had to quit school after 8th grade to work in a coalmine.”
“Even when he was a young man, his children would wake up on Christmas morning to find that their only gifts were ripe oranges, one for each of them, placed in their stockings.”
“But he always knew he was lucky, because he had a love that never went away, and the assurance that he never left his beliefs, and some chances to pass down what matters . . .”