Friday, September 11, 2009

Eternal Rest Grant Unto Them, Oh Lord!

So many memories, so few words. I miss those that I've loved and loss and pray for those I never knew. I pray for the repose of all their souls and for blessings upon their families. We will all remember where we were, what we were doing and how much our lives have changed since that Sept. 11th.

Today I have been thinking about Firefighter Frank Palombo, the father of 10 who was killed at the World Trade Center. He was a close friend and spiritual mentor to one of my friends. I found this quote from Frank's wife and thought it was such a great witness to all those people who don't understand the blessing of a big family.

Taken from The Place of Hope by Marco Bardazzi:

“So much is being said about what type of memorial to build on that spot. For me, the cross is enough,” Jean Palombo said to some friends after the service in St Peter’s. Her testimony–given with her arm in a sling because of a fracture that has complicated even more a life that was already hard–moved the people listening to her in the church, who broke into a long applause. Jean is the widow of firefighter Frank Palombo. Hers is a history of a conflictual relationship with faith, one full of questions. “Seventeen years ago,” she recounted in St Peter’s, “Frank and I had already been married for three years and had no children. I didn’t want them; I knew that having them meant bringing them into this world of suffering.” It was Frank’s insistence that brought her back into the Catholic Church, from which she had moved away, and helped her understand “what God wanted from me.” In sixteen years, the Palombos had ten children. And now that the head of the family has disappeared under a tower where he had rushed to save other human lives, Jean thanks God for the children she has been given (“without them, I wouldn’t have made it”) and for the friends who are close to her. “My husband is helping me,” she said. “His presence is stronger every day. The Lord has been faithful with Frank, with me, and with all of us who are faithful to Him. Every day I think that I am a widow, I have ten children and a broken arm, and I can’t make it. And God says, ‘That’s right Jean, you can’t, but I can, and I will.’ And He does, every day.”

May God bless the Palombo family and all the families of those killed on 9-11. God bless our country.

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