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On a positive note

by Jo Wilkie

So, besides contemplating what I would like to be remembered for when I am dead and gone (see post below), I am also doing some very cool things here in Rome. Today Mark and I were fortunate enough to be invited to a mass at St. Peter’s Basilica!!

In fact, here’s a picture of the Pope (if you are Catholic and offended that I took pictures, I’m so sorry. We were so close to him it would have been criminal to not take pictures…)

When we got to the Basilica, which is huge (I was told it is the biggest in the world), there must have already been at least 1,000 Italian Airmen seated in the main part of the basilica. There was an area at the front, right next to the raised area, that was roped off. We were escorted through the crowds of people and seated in the roped off area~ the BEST seats in the house from what I could tell! When I asked where a restroom was, I was taken to the staff bathroom, not sent outside!

Honestly, I sort of felt like I had been mistakenly identified as someone important and kept waiting to be hauled off to the tourist area!!!

Seriously though, the ceremony just took my breath away! The choir and the symphony were both awe-inspiring. The basilica itself truly cannot be described in any sort of fashion that might do it justice. It is cavernous and every square inch of space is gorgeous and dripping with historic significance. I can’t wait to return and go to the top of the Basilica. Mark’s colleagues who have been here a while all highly recommend it. It is SO AMAZING!

I feel so grateful right this second for the opportunity to be here with my family! I am tired from standing in high heels all morning, but inspired by the sheer magnitude of history that surrounds us here in Rome. It is just now becoming clear to me the unique position we are in to have a completely different sort of experience of this city~ and I want to gobble it up whole, but I have to take it one bite at a time…

On an even lighter note, sweet Susanne turned three today. Last night we had a party for her with some good food and even yummier cake. I leave you with a picture of the birthday girl anticipating her piece!

Susanne’s three!

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