Born on the 11th of September 1960, during the waning winds of Hurricane Donna in Miami, Bennett Arthur Frank would be 59 years old today. His life, not surprisingly, came to an end earlier this year. He had one lifelong adversary, which in the long run, could not be overcome, despite endless offers of love from family members and all the programs, experts, doctors, counseling, medicines and even a couple short-term incarcerations.
There was not an evil bone in his body. He harmed no one deliberately, but himself. Yes, we all tried to help, we all sacrificed and watched, we all suffered with pity, anger, anxiety and hopelessness. He tried, now and then, to shed the monster, but the monster would forever prevail. Sadly, he lived so deep in the muck, he never realized how much he was truly loved. Finally, we came to learn that he saw love from others as a weakness upon which to prey.
His poetry came from the heart. And, rightfully, his book was published. His poems should be a text book for psychologists, recovering victims and well-meaning family. It’s titled “Black Hole,” his abode, indeed.
I will forever remember that 9/11 day in 1960, pacing the floors of Biscayne Osteopathic Hospital, with my buddy Harvey – his movie camera in hand – to record the moments of elation that this perfect little boy was born. Little did we know what struggles he would suffer for most of his life. In January, after 40 years of dependency, he had enough. Now, the suffering is over.
He gave the world three beautiful children, now all happy adults; Jason, Lacey and Aidan.
I loved my son more than words can say. I know he loved me too. The very last words he spoke to me, as I walked back to my car on January 16th, 2019, were, “Wait Dad. I wanna give you a hug.”
And so he did.
Happy Birthday son.