This is Frank
There are five people who've known me my whole life. This is one of them - my brother, the third born of four. He passed away on Sept. 22nd, 2017, after a lifetime of introspection and helping others grow and find themselves.
If you knew him for five seconds, you knew his whole heart. He always tried to do the right thing. And he is the reason I started writing and looking into myself.
So this page is for him.
My brother, as a child, wanted to be a priest and a pro-wrestler, as a kid. Born in Dallas, Texas, he’d lived across this country and back again.
We’ve moved from Dallas to Detroit, Michigan; then to South Sacramento (‘90s, we lived on the divide in our neighborhood between Bloods and Cripps); to a secluded forest cabin of a house in Lee, New Hampshire (where he bloomed as a person); and then to Folsom, California; and finally back to Sacramento.
He was a writer his whole life, always working on his memoire or a novel, or poems. He was a stubborn boy who became a stubborn man who was quietly angry at a lot of things, but outwardly smiled and loved the people around him and just wanted to help others (almost to a co-dependent level). Specifically, he loved memoires and novels. Bob Dylan, specifically, was always one of – if not his absolute – favorite musician/lyricist.
As kids, when he was 7 or 8 (in South Sacramento), we lost a childhood friend. Her name was Ashley Barron. Her father murdered her and her family in their sleep. To the day he died, he was still stuck on that moment. It was never quite resolved, for him, as he’d never received counseling. The year before, we’d lost a family friend to cancer, and similarly he’d talk of her.
Just a year after, we moved to Lee, and this anxious boy found friends, and confidence, and a rebellious streak against my parents. All of their kids left the church, but Frank fought them the hardest. He’d constantly argue with my mother over her Catholicism. Which isn’t to say he didn’t love her – he did. But, as I said, he was angry and had a lot of unresolved issues from the deaths and sudden move across the country.
In Lee, he was a backyard wrestler with his friends. He was the kind of person who, if you beat him at a video game, would demand you play him again until he won. He was an A+ student with a whole lot of morals and a strong sense of self, and a strong sense of pride – the kind of pride that had him challenge a whole team of people to a fight, when he’d never actually been in a proper fight.
We moved to Folsom when he was just starting his Senior year of high school. And it tore him apart, but despite knowing no one when we moved there, he became the pep rally coordinator and the Prom King all within a year. People loved him, to the point that I was called Little Frank or Frank’s Brother my whole time there (I’m his younger brother – I was a Freshman when he was a senior).
He went to CSU Sacramento, and studied Creative Literature while running a radio talk show called Beans & Rice. He excelled, found a mentor in a professor named Doug Rice, and it was about that time or shortly after that he joined a local coffee shop called Naked Coffee.
Everyone. Not just a few people, but Everyone who met him loved him. He was a barista, then a manager, then ran a bar under the same owner, then became the person who sold coffee to other businesses around the Sacramento area. He’d go into businesses (like restaurants) and not just sell them coffee, but educate them on how to run their business. He’d go in on his spare time and help put up drywall, or paint, or just check in on the owners to make sure they were okay (especially if they were a new/startup business).
The first person he loved, and the first person he had as a partner, was Krista. This happened only a year before he passed away, but they’d known each other for several years (and it’d always been just the wrong time for them to be together). She felt she was too broken, he was far too focused on work at the time, before they became lovers.
She asked him. And he said yes. They’d been talking about marriage for some time before he died in a car crash – an accident caused by an impatient driver.
That is the most succinct story I can tell of my brother’s life.