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. 







  1. Just Me September 11, 2019 at 8:47 am #

    Happy Birthday Bennett!
    May God bless your family and others who loved you as they process the endless grief in your loss. Parents who have a child die suffer through the calendar of their birthday, the date they died, holidays without them and other such times. My heart, love, and prayers go out to you Marshall, Suzanne and others who are grieving the loss of this beautiful Bennett.

  2. Donald September 11, 2019 at 9:42 am #

    That is so sad for everybody involved. No one else can truly understand or appreciate the love and loss Marshall must feel for his departed son. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been for his children to watch his decline as they were growing into adulthood! Addicts cannot help themselves; they hurt everyone who loves them.

  3. Joseph Pesce September 11, 2019 at 10:50 am #

    So sorry for the loss of your son.

  4. Frank Clifford September 11, 2019 at 11:29 am #

    We say a prayer for the repose of his soul…

  5. Pat P September 11, 2019 at 11:53 am #

    With the most heartfelt sympathy.
    I feel pain for your loss, but I cannot think of the appropriate words that may describe yours. May you find comfort in the thought that he is now at eternal rest and peace.

  6. Rosemarye September 11, 2019 at 3:12 pm #

    I want you to know that I bleed for you. To love a child, anguish for him over the years
    and, in finale, lose him is a wound beyond belief. You proved your
    worth as a parent with your grandchildren. Know that Marty and I love
    you for what you are–Rosemarye

  7. Helen Bennett September 11, 2019 at 4:08 pm #

    I am deeply saddened by this beautiful tribute to your son Bennett. We had a similar story in our own family. The grief never goes away. He was lucky to have a father who loved him so much.

  8. Eve September 11, 2019 at 4:54 pm #

    I read your book written with so much love and sadness.And realized one life can affect so many other lives,generations. It was beautiful and so tragic. i am so sorry for your loss and think you and Sauzanne will get stars in heaven for the love and care you gave other children

  9. Christopher September 11, 2019 at 5:21 pm #

    No words Marshall, just my heartfelt sorrow.

  10. John England September 11, 2019 at 9:46 pm #

    My condolences, Marshall.

  11. Erle Grubb September 11, 2019 at 11:28 pm #

    My thoughts are with you. Other words that come to mind seem empty. Bless you.

  12. Alan September 20, 2019 at 1:13 pm #

    Marshall I’m so sorry for your pain. Wish the world was a better place.

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