The people in this book whose story I tell possess an unyielding spirit, one of will and determination. They suffered setbacks but not failures. I have seen this same spirit in their descendants, my grandmother, my aunts and uncles, and my father. Their lives have been a light to me, a source of inspiration in my darkest hours. And the wonder of it all is that they've done this without even knowing; just simply living their lives the best they knew how.