Happy Trails. (Wait! Don't Leave.)


We met in the summer of 2002. I was walking the dogs past his window when he leaned out at me and introduced himself.

"Hey there you crazy diva bitch. I'm Frank."

Caught offguard by his friendliness (?) at first I smiled and waved. Kept walking. On the way back, Frank was still there. Sitting in his window smoking a joint.

"I want you to come over for dinner tonight. I'm cooking," he said.

"Really?"

"Really."

"Um... Okay?"

"What's your name?"

"Rebecca."

"Let's be friends," he said.

It was the first time since preschool anyone ever said that to me. Frank was a breath of fresh air during a time I desperately needed it. My fiancee had just moved out. Our friends had sided with him in the breakup and I was alone.

Frank would be the first friend I met through nobody but myself and the happenstance that he had just moved in next door.

"Yes! Okay. Let's be friends."

That night I brought a bottle of wine to dinner and Frank cooked Steak. He didn't have a bottle opener in the house and I was a vegetarian so we ended up jumping in his car and picking up food (and a bottle-opening device) to bring home. We ate all the food and smoked all the pot and drank all the wine and laughed and told secrets and became friends.

For the years that followed we were as close as two people could be. When my lease was up the following year, Frank and I got an apartment together. We traveled together and ate together and made mistakes together and told each other "I love you" before we went to bed. He protected me from the bad guys and made me feel beautiful, loved, important during a time I wrestled with whether or not I would ever be any of those things to any person. He took me on dates. Brought me flowers every week. Filled my gas tank and washed my car on the weekends. He was the man in my life for many years, my partner and the person I went to when I needed to be bailed out. Helped. Cared for. He never judged me. It was unconditional, his love. Like family.


Frank was there when I peed on my first pregnancy test. He was the first person to show up at my bedside the day Archer was born. He's been there every day of my life since we first met almost eight years ago. Driving south to sit behind me at a funeral. Accompanying me to family functions. Holidays. Watching my dogs when I spent the night away. Reading every draft of every manuscript I've ever written.

Last night Frank came over with a stack of photographs -- a yearbook of our troublemaking and debauchery as best friends and we laughed and cried and fuck! Those were the days...


I've known Frank was moving for weeks, now, but it didn't hit me until this past weekend. And boy, did it hit me. Hard. Since then I've tried not to think about it but it was impossible not to last night, leaning against Frank's beat-up Honda Passport, the same car we went shopping for a bottle opener all those years ago, holding hands, crying in each other's hair, saying goodbye.

Last night we said goodbye.

I know that his leaving Los Angeles is a good thing. It's time for him to make a change. Still, it's going to be hard living, here, without him. It's going to be hard on Archer and me and all of us.

But so blessed have I been to have had such a co-pilot on so many you-wouldn't-believe-it-if-I-told-you adventures. To have experienced a great chunk of my life by Frank's side. As his neighbor. His roommate. His dance partner. And best friend.





Frank, my darling. My heart runneth over with love for you. Distance can't divide, no matter how far the drive between us. The miles of hallway that separate our rooms, shennnigans will find a way and bring us together forever and ever amen. 

Good luck on your journey. Happy trails...



P.S. Fuck you for making me cry right now. Annoying.

GGC

37 comments:

Heza Hekele | 11:58 PM

You almost made me cry reading that.

Jessi Louise | 1:17 AM

Sad! But happy! But sad.

cassie | 3:35 AM

I just got linked to your blog and I just have to say you are one of the most amazing women. I am very young as well and have seen how motherhood has changed me. you have done very well for yourself

Vodka Mom | 3:59 AM

DAMN. I needed cheering up, not tears!

Love the post.

Maggie | 6:42 AM

I had two such Franks in my life for a long time and now I live far, far away from them.

I hate the distance and I credit them with the survival of a ton of shoddy relationships, college, roommates, flat tires, wardrobe issues, and swimsuits.

Good luck, Frank. Remember that you're leaving a piece of your heart and that you MUST return to visit it as much as possible. It's in the contract, and yes... there is ALWAYS a contract.

Badness Jones | 6:42 AM

Hugs!

Billie | 6:43 AM

Everyone needs a good Frank!

Good luck to you where ever you may be.

Chelsea Robbins | 7:26 AM

Damn you Rebecca for making a pregnant girl cry all over my desk before work even starts!

I love your stories!
I love the picture with Frank and Archer.

suzi | 7:34 AM

Darn, I wish I had a Frank. I guess my husband is my Frank. Still, your Frank sounds a lot cooler... This was a great post--found you from Momversations and so happy I did!

Average Girl In Average World | 7:40 AM

That was sweet, he shared his pot ;D

JK

What a great gift, him making the "scrapbook" before he left. Sad. I cried. Thanks...

She Likes Purple | 7:45 AM

I'm crying too.

Noob Mommy | 7:59 AM

What an awesome tribute post. I hope Frank reads it and balls his eyes out :) Sniffle...as I practically did.

Anonymous | 7:59 AM

Hi~

That was lovely. I have a sneaking suspicion Frank also knows what he has in Rebecca. I love that you express your gratitude and love as well as you do.

Peace to both of you~
Karen

sweetmelissa818 | 8:04 AM

You're so lucky to have someone in your life like Frank. I've never had a friend that good. They're once in a lifetime friends and you have to hold on to them with all your might (without scaring them away).

Amanda | 8:26 AM

He is such a kick ass friend, you are so lucky. He will be missed.

Amanda

MissAnna | 8:44 AM

What a sweet, sweet tribute. You are both lucky to have found such great friends in each other :-)

goodfather | 9:07 AM

Beautiful tribute. I'm sorry he's leaving. It sounds like you are both richer for knowing each other.

Miss M | 9:10 AM

And for making me cry too!!! I loved it. Damn pregnancy hormones. I have a few friends like your Frank, and it would feel the same way for me if they left. Hang in there mama...

JachiCue | 10:28 AM

I don't even know your Frank, but I cryed. I love it.

i'm Carrie, lovely to meet you… | 1:02 PM

o...m...g... cheese, lean cuisines and lube. i've been wasting my time with the wrong people as friends.

sister, that is something a girl doesn't find everyday. i can totally appreciate how you're feeling.

hugs

Anonymous | 2:38 PM

Oh man. I don't know Frank and probably never will, but how I cried. I'm so sorry he's leaving. You guys are so lucky to have found such kickass friends in each other. Hugs.

bmcwavesgoodbyetocrazyunclefrank | 3:53 PM

meh. one less person i need to step over to get to you.

(sorry, babytalk. i know you're sad. but hugs are easy to hold onto if everyone just moves to portland. frank, too)

feel good. deep love.

April | 4:57 PM

aw, i'm sure he'll continue to be a part of your life. er, lives. :-)

Rachael | 8:09 PM

Oh man, now Frank is making ME cry. I love Frank. I wish I had a Frank right here.

courtney | 8:45 PM

I want a Frank! Good luck to him and good luck to you, too! You'll be okay and you won't lose touch with such a great friend. I'm sure of it.

Becca Reigh | 10:43 PM

ahhhh that's so sweet my best friend just moved away a few months ago too right before finding out she's gonna be a mommy too it's hard being so far away but we have the phone and the internet and go out of our way to KIT when we can it will be ok. more good times are coming

motherbumper | 8:09 AM

I can't believe Uncle Frank is moving. Distance won't make a difference in the strength of your friendship and it makes a damn good excuse for road trips but still, it's sad. I wish him safe and successful moving juju.

Anonymous | 2:30 PM

is this for real? it's super funny.

Anonymous | 2:10 AM

I knew a girl who made friends with a random guy who was sitting in the park and smoking a doob. She agreed to go out for pizza with him because he made her laugh and he told her she had a face like an angel.
People warned her not to have anything to do with him but she refused to listen.
"He has the deepest, most soulful eyes I've ever seen, He reminds me of a painting of Christ I once saw by Goya. Surely someone so gentle could never harm me," she said.
When we insisted it was a bad idea to go off with a stranger, she told us we were acting like a bunch of frightened old women. Where was our sense of adventure?
That night, she dressed in the sundress that made her eyes a remarkable shade of turquoise, slipped on a pair of sandals and skipped off to meet her new friend, She felt sure her life was about to change. She was on the threshold of an exciting journey!
They found her body two years later in a shallow grave in the Jersey pine barrens.

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 3:43 PM

Uh...

Mom101 | 7:58 PM

Aw, so sorry to see he's leaving. I know how much he means to you.

And he didn't kill Thalia when he babysat for her when she was a wee tot so for that I'm forever indebted.

Bye Uncle Frank! Lots of luck wherever you end up.

Olga | 8:53 PM

SO..Anonymous' comment is intense. I don't know, I think we should still take our chances on befriending strangers, more likely that we'll find a Frank than end up in dead New Jersey.
I want a Frank!

Steph | 9:39 AM

Now I miss Frank and I've never even met him. :(

dadshouse | 6:36 PM

I'm loving the pics, especially the one of the bowling king. And then I read the story - wow! What a great friend. That's how people should meet all the time. Randomly and in person. None of this internet dating, someone find me a friend on craigslist bullshit. Nice post.

andreaaskowitz.com | 8:08 AM

At first I thought Frank was just riding in the cart to be funny. Victoria tried that. Of course when you're pregnant, no one's gonna protest.

I'm sorry he's leaving town. I hate that. I want everyone I love to live in my village. I want to walk down the dirt road to get my bread and wave to all my friends and neighbors. Basically, I want to live in a world like Belle, before she gets antsy. I don't think I'd get antsy. I don't know why we all have to move so much.

alperen | 7:43 PM

thnks

Sarah | 6:36 PM

What the...!
That anonymous comment is horrible!
I was reading this to chill out before going to bed, now I'm gonna have nightmares.
Sigh.

Funny video though, everyone needs a good friend like Frank.