The story is about Torre . . . and his mom and dad, Tammy and Jimmy Craven . . .
It is a story stretching from the poor streets of Ecuador to this bedroom community where, in a modest and well-kept three-bedroom brick and yellow frame, Torre has reached his 16th birthday.
He and his mom and dad have lived here, some hundred yards off Peaceburg Road, for the past 10 years.
It has not been the story Tammy and Jimmy dreamed back in 1995 when they flew the 18-month-old Torre home from Ecuador, his adoption papers tucked away in their luggage.
You see, Torre is, as they say, "mentally challenged." It is a phrase Tammy pulls from her heart with a pain you can feel. I heard it once while I visited. And it wasn't until Torre was three, maybe a bit older, that she and Jimmy began to realize their dream came with shadows.
"He probably knew 20 or 25 words. He was not picking up words like he should. We still didn't know he had a problem . . . until he started kindergarten. After the second year, we knew."
But gosh, was he ever a beautiful child, one with a smile that would get a hug from Mt. Rushmore. I know that because Tammy, sitting in her dining room, showed me his pictures.
She also showed me pictures made in years passing, of a smile that was as much a part of Torre Craven as his jet-black hair and olive complexion.
Torre still has both.
I know that because I met Torre a few days ago . . . when I pulled into the Craven driveway and he came flying toward the car with wide-open arms and that wide smile.
Tammy has endless stories of her son's abiding love for any and all.
"We go to the store and I always have to explain to everyone that he never meets a stranger. He looks to see what they have in their buggy and if they're going to cook it that night. He even asks if he can go home with them.
"He also helps people bag their groceries and helps put them in their cars. I don't mind that except I can't get him to help me."
Another one . . .
"He stands out there every Thursday morning before his school bus comes, waiting for the trash truck. They know him and he is waiting for them to blow their horn. There are a number of cars that blow at him when he is outside."
A sun porch just off the dining area is littered with toys and other "play" stuff accumulated over the years, but . . .
There is another story she tells, with a softness that warms any listening.
"Torre has never liked toys, but he can work anything in this house. He can cook, he can run all the electronics. He was doing all that when he was nine, when I was battling ovarian cancer. He became my care-giver. He was precious, he was amazing."
He is still something of a care-giver for his mom, especially in the early hours of a new day . . .
"He'll get up at 4:30 in the morning, bring the paper in, and go back to bed. But he has a clock in his head. He'll get up, get dressed, take his medicines, turn my alarm off so it won't wake me, and then catch his bus. Sometimes I don't even know he's gone."
Tammy heads for the living room with "I'll be right back." From the living room, I suddenly here this plaintive voice . . .
"I love you Mommy, so much . . ."
I know it's Torre's voice, but he's standing next to me at the dining table. The answer is one of those digital picture deals containing a photo of a smiling Torre. Tammy sits it on the table, waves a hand across it, and we listen to Torre's love again . . .
"Sometimes I walk by it on purpose. It sits right by the couch. If I'm having a hard day, I reach over and touch it. If he's having a hard day, I'll reach over and touch it. When he's not here, this is all I need."
Then, with aching . . .
"His only problem is he can't read nor write, but he loves life and people love him."
Pride, too . . .
"Torre's ours. He has so many things we're so proud of."
It should be noted that seizures are also a part of Torre, and testing a year or so back brought the answer. Torre, at birth or shortly after, suffered a stroke that went undetected.
"Jimmy and I were relieved to finally find out the problem, yet we felt helpless and scared of what the future would be like for Torre. Would he have a normal life with the right medications.
"We don't know the answers, but we love him more than anything in this world. Sure, we get aggravated, but when he smiles and he hugs, you know the love is there.
"One thing we do know. God is in charge and he has a plan for Torre, so we accept that and move on."
With love cast in their hearts . . . and love for your child never wilts.
There is a story and it is not only about Torre and his mom and dad, but also about all those other Torres out there . . . and their moms and dads.
For them all . . .