When she went into labor, her husband Frank sent in the sweetest note written in Michaels voice, explaining that he was about to be a big brother and his grandma would pick him up that afternoon. That was my very first interaction with Frank and I will never forget it. His intense excitement and joy over meeting his second child was felt even by the self involved 16 yr old I was at the time. Gramma Harriet picked him up that afternoon and soon there after pulled me in as their babysitter for the next 8 years or so.
I had the true privilege of being a family member. I wasn't really another child, but more like a younger cousin that Frank protected in his own unique, easy going, loving way. I had the experience of witnessing the amazing love Frank had for Liz, and as a teenager going through my own dramas, 😉Frank was always there with a smile, eye roll and "Stephanie he's not worthy of you" And he lived that example with his true love, life partner and wife Liz.
One of Franks favorite stories, with me, that he loved to tell almost every time we were all together was the time I flew over to the vineyard about 48 hrs after meeting my husband in a bar, and I proclaimed emphatically that "I met the man I was going to marry." Frank promptly asked his last name, which I did not know, and in true Frank fashion he laughed hysterically. 5 years later, at our wedding, he said to me with his huge grin, "you were right! You didn't know his last name but you did know you were going to marry him!"
I could write pages on what Frank, Liz, Michael, Andrew and Julia have meant to me and my life.
Franks life, here, was cut way too short suddenly, last Friday, and I have been living in disbelief since.
I have never heard a more beautiful and magnificent tribute to a parent as Michael, Andrew and Julia gave this afternoon. I pray, when you all feel that you can not sleep, can not eat, can not move, cannot breathe, that you feel the loving embrace of your husband, father, brother, son, cousin, uncle, friend and continue on in true Frank fashion of passion, dedication and love for life.
I will forever be grateful to have had Frank in my life. Tomorrow morning, as I turn 41, I will blast 'Hey Nineteen' as he did for me as I pulled up to his house on June 9th, 1994, (my 19th birthday) and smile, knowing his incredible spirit will live on eternally.