In Memory of the Farm
(As told from Nathan Genovese and written by Deborah Genovese DiPietro)
In the quaint little town of Burlington, Connecticut, was a fifteen room farmhouse where three generations of one family lived. The family migrated to this country from the Italian villages of Sicily, Italy.
The house was divided into four sections: two families lived on one floor and the other two lived on the top floor, each family having their own private quarters. There was "Mama Grande," (Carmela Milo Mallia) and her husband Frank Raimondo, her oldest son Sebastian Mallia and his family. With him was his wife Maria and oldest son, Sam followed by Louis, Carmela, Josephine and Tony who were very young children. In another section of the old farmhouse was daughter Lucia (Mallia)Genovese and her husband Salvatore Genovese and their children Joseph (Nathan)and Jean(Lydia) who was just an infant. Their youngest son Salvatore Raimondo also resided in another section of this family farmhouse with his wife Josephine and their children Martha, Grace, Esther, and Philip, who were very young children. Three more children were born into these families after the days of living on the farm. They were Esther Mallia, daughter to Sebastian and Maria Mallia; Samuel Genovese, son of Salvatore and Lucia Genovese; and Rebecca, daughter of Salvatore and Josephine Raimondo.
The farm holds countless memories of those nine years there in Burlington. The family owned around 40 cows, many sheep, goats, pigs, chickens, and about four or five horses. "Maggie was my favorite horse,"says Joe (Nathan). Getting up early in the morning to milk the cows or tend to the animals was a daily routine for him. As he got older, more responsibilites fell upon his shoulders, especially when his dad went to the city to earn extra income for the family.
Many memories were made on that old farm, but things changed dramatically one day in August 1931.
Joe (Nathan), and his cousin Sam decided on a late summer evening to go out for a ride. Nathan had his
drivers license now, and since the chores around the farm were accomplished for the day, the two headed out toward the city of Bristol, Connecticut, picking up three friends on the way. As dusk turned to darkness, the headlights on the vehicles shone brightly. The five were driving down the road when suddenly an oncoming car was weaving in and out of traffic, passing other vehicles, and coming toward them in the oncoming lane. Seeing the danger, Nathan tried to move out of its way by going off the road into the lawn of a home, and stopping just feet away from the front door. The weaving car followed the young men's headlights and hit the car broadside on the drivers side. Nathan was thrown from the vehicle landing several feet from it. With the car now on its side, three remaining young men crawled out throught the windows. Sam, Nathan's dear cousin who was found pinned beneath the car was unable to free himself. When help arrived Sam was taken away to the hospital along with the drunk driver and his passenger. Sadly, Sam didn't survive his injuries. Needless to say, Nathan was devasted by this tragic accident. Distraught over the loss of his dear cousin, he suffered terrible nightmares for a long time.
When the family tried to make funeral arrangements for their son, they were not able to find a priest to conduct the funeral for them. Even though they were a Catholic family, somehow Sam was never baptized as an infant; therefore the Catholic church would not bury him. It just so happened that someone told them of an Italian speaking minister in New Britain, Connecticut who would conduct a funeral for them. Of course, the funeral was heartbreaking; tears were shed and families were torn by this horrible tragedy. However, God had a plan through those days of loss and sadness.
As a result of this unfortunate event, many family members came to know Jesus as their own personal Saviour through the witness and Bible teaching of this minister. They were shown from God's Word that we are all sinners. Romans 3:23 says, All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." They saw from God's Word that God loved them so much He sent His Son Jesus Christ to pay for those sins. John 3:16 tells us, For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten SON, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Nathan received this gift of eternal life by trusting Jesus as his personal Saviour. He realized that ONLY Jesus could forgive him from the sin nature we are all born with. Without that gift, we face eternity without God, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of eternal life is through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23) . But Romans 10:13 promises us,
"Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved." Nathan learned that one must believe and confess. "That if thou shall confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus Christ and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved (Romans 10:9) . Romans 5:8 tells us, "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us."
It is Nathan's prayer as well as my own, that if you know not Christ as your personal Saviour, you will trust Him today. "For whosever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13) . Then we can be certain of that GREAT family reunion in heaven someday with ALL of our loved ones who have gone on before. It is in finding Jesus as his Saviour that Nathan found comfort in knowing the ONE true "Comforter" and HOPE of seeing his beloved cousin again one day. His life changed that late summer evening, first through a terrible tragedy and then through receiving the saving knowledge of God and HIS love. God spared his life that summer evening many years ago and HE has truly blessed my dad through his long life. As his daughter, I must say he is a modern day man of FAITH! He has taught us to love the Lord, to trust HIM and to serve HIM! Thank you, Dad, and thank you Jesus!