© Ira L. Black

Pele - Rest in Love, Love, Love!! (Part 1 of 3)

It is Christmas morning, 2017 and we are exchanging gifts.  My son, Joseph, is 9 years old.  

All but one of the presents were opened.  It was a special gift that I had for Joseph.  

I give it to him.  It is heavy. He opens it.  He looks at it and then looks at me in shock.  

It is a picture of Pele that is signed "To Joseph, Best Wishes, Pele" 

He knows that the picture of Pele is one that I took.  I tell him that through my friend Frankie, the image was given to Peles daughter in New York who then brought it to Brazil for Pele to sign for him.  

In getting the final preparation of the framed picture, I got patches from the three teams that Pele played for: Santos, The Brazil National Team and The New York Cosmos.  These patches were placed below the picture.  Above the picture was a patch of the Brazil National flag.  

Joseph looks at the picture again.  He looks as if he is going to cry but he holds it back and seems a little self-conscious in front of the full family.  

He runs over to me and gives me a very tight and long hug.  Joseph is a soccer player and Pele happens to be his favorite player. 

The next morning we are having breakfast.  Joseph tells me, "Dad, I am sorry if I was not really able to say how much your present meant to me.  I can't believe how amazing it is!" 

And then he floors me with a line that I am not sure as a 9 year old I would have ever thought about.  

"I can't wait to tell my grandkids the story of how I got this signed picture to me that you took of Pele!!" 


© Ira L. Black