Recently, i went to Atlanta to say "good bye" to an old friend, Frank Mullen (aka "Frank-o"), my former brother-in-law and father of my nephew/godson, Kyle. Frank loved his life and enjoyed it like no one I know. Every bite of toast, every sip of Coke, every band gig, or chat with a friend was filled with Frank's desire for laughter and delight, and he always found it. What an awesome friend. In Highschool, I was pretty fat, a loner ... didn't get invited to any of the big dances, but Frank invited me to my school's Homecoming ... even showed up with a corsage (!), just like a "real" date. And we danced like goobers in the dry ice, sipping rum he'd brought, mixed with the school-sponsored cokes.
There are too many good memories to share, here. He was way too young (48). Still, many of us are relieved that his suffering is over.
Last Saturday (05/09/2009), as I was flying toward Atlanta, I had a feeling I'd miss my chance, and as it turned out I didn't get there in time to see him before he passed away at 9:15 that evening.
The week I spent in Atlanta was filled with silence and prayer and joking around and memories and reconnecting. Recalling Frank's life and his impact on me revitalizes ... renews me in my efforts to seek The Pleasure; life and work and striving can grind it down, and, regrettably, I've been quite expert at letting it all happen. but so Frank-o reminds me that I must f*ck the bullsh*t (profound, n'est-ce pas?). and so here is a great picture (2005, by Jim Stawniak via Atlanta's Creative Loafing) of Frank doing his thing, taking pics at a rock show (see his portfolio for more).
Mostly, I am and will always be grateful that I was able to spend such an intimate time with Carrie (my sis, Kyle's mom) and Kyle. It's so truly humbling and remarkable when people let you into the depths of their lives ...
nb: to read the captions and enlarge, click on any image to get to the album in Picasa. i recommend that you view via "slideshow." By way of explanation: many pics are in Kyle's room, which i redecorated while i was there (my "gift": i like to make the pretty). Shoutout also to Carrie's current husband, Rob (thanks, Rob!).