My grandmother had six kids - one died as an infant - and she was dirt-poor and all her kids got an education. And my mom grew up poor. And they both worked so hard and cultivated so much of their own happiness. I wanted to have that like an amulet. Not like armor but like a magic feather. Like Dumbo's magic feather.
My dad doesn't like religion much but I grew up very close to the Baptist tradition. God isn't this distant thing. God is right here with you all the time. He's your buddy and you can talk about everything.