Ray rose to another bone-chilling morning of drudgery and sacrifice. He grabbed his pick, kissed Nora and the baby on the forehead, and stepped outside, bound for the mine. Inside the dark tunnel, wooden shafts creaked and the earth crumbled overhead. His hammering finished, he dusted himself off, lifted his lantern, and prayed. Above him, a vein of gold rose, and he sank to his knees. Ray wept, imagining what he, Nora, and the baby would no longer have to give up: the house, the land.
“Thank you for your sacrifice,” Ray whispered, his palm pressed against the cool stone.