The Gift of Strength
Capt. Thomas Farino was the rock on which his wife, Mary, built her life. He was the baby in a family of six boys, sons of a New York City policeman. He was captain of Engine Company 26 in Manhattan, doing a job he loved. He was posthumously promoted to battalion chief.
"I never knew anyone who woke up in the morning happy to go to work," said Mrs. Farino. And his schedule allowed for a lot of family time. For their children, Jane, 10 and James, 6, it was like having another mother ‹ "five out of seven days they'd have Daddy at home."
"I'm not making it a fairy tale, everyone has good times and bad times," she said. But the good times were rolling recently ‹ a new house, the fourth trip to Disney World. "He was the most content person I've ever met," Mrs. Farino said.
Throughout their 20 years together, she said, he would tell her: "Love me all you want, want me all you want, but don't need me so much. You have to get your strength from someone higher than me."
After the attack, she thought: "Wow, this is what he was talking about. It was a gift he gave me by telling me I'm stronger than I think ‹ I know how happy he would feel to know that I believe I am stronger."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 18, 2001.