Today, November 1, 2014 at 1055 hours, our own treasured member, Frank Merlino, ended his extended 8 month battle with leukemia. He fought courageously since February and bounced back from numerous setbacks time and time again. This morning, Steve was contacted by the hospital to get there as quickly as possible. His organs were failing and the time was coming. Today was going to be the "decision" day anyway but Frank being Frank, he made the decision himself. He was surrounded by love these last few days and he knows we all love him. He waited until we were all there and then he slipped away. How beautifully poetic that he left us on his 75th birthday.
Arrangements are being made but there will probably be no viewing and there will most likely be a non-denominational service at his graveside.
There are people you meet in life that show themselves to be real, genuine and honest with unfailing integrity. Frank Merlino was one of those rare people. I can't express how much he has meant to me, his family, our circle of friends and...well...just about everyone who knew him. And he loved this place! And we loved him! It is almost a cliche to say that he'll be missed...but he will be. But I know he'll always be with us in some way. I just thank you, Frank, for being you.
All Blue Pride members are reminded to adhere to our terms of service....
The funeral plans so far....well....I'm not exactly ecstatic over them, if I may give my opinion. It is going to be a small event but with the plans in constant flux, it (to me) is taking on Princess Diana status. The last thing that is needed is drama....and now there's drama. My drama tolerance is kind of low right now. Frank would be livid if he knew that there was any outright c_ntiness was going on. Or maybe he'd be rolling on the floor laughing.
We said our final goodbye to Frank earlier today. There was a viewing for his family members, and I had the honor of being included. Steve was there although he said he wouldn't be. And not to seem petty but two good friends of Frank's and mine were intentionally excluded from attending the viewing. This after being of great help to Steve in the early days of Frank's ordeal. And one (who is a member here) had visited him in the hospital a few times early on. They were invited to the cemetery but ultimately chose to not go at all, due to "someone's" unnecessary pigheadedness. There were only about 10 people at the funeral home. Anyway, he looked good and I was glad to be there. The graveside service was nice in spite of the rain. A local minister that the funeral home had contacted did a nice service, even though Steve had insisted that he didn't want a religious one. I think he may have burned a couple of good, strong bridges in the last few days. But that's on him. I don't mean to appear petty or snarky. It is what it is at this point.
Anyway, Frank is gone and he isn't engaging in that horrendous battle anymore. I'm glad he is finally at peace. We'll go on because that is what he'd want. And because, well, we just have to, don't we? And we'll be happy and we'll joke around here and act the fool sometimes!
I'm posting this video of one of his favorite singers, Patti Page, reciting the 23rd Psalm, which was read at the service. It would have been awesome to have Patti there to recite it...but she couldn't......dead, you know.... He was so traditional and 50's, God bless him! I'm going to buy a bottle of one of his favorite liquors, Compari. How 50's is that??!! And I'm gonna drink the whole thing. I don't care if it takes me a whole week, a month, a year or 5 years. Every last drop. For Frank! I'm also going to make a donation in his name to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Did I ever mention that when he was in his late teens or early 20's that he used to regularly go to Philadelphia to dance on American Bandstand? Burner, you're too much! Rock on!
Last Edit: Nov 6, 2014 19:04:08 GMT -5 by bluepride
Interesting thing happened today. I was checking on a voice mail that I received earlier today. After listening, the phone automatically played the next oldest saved message. It was Frank calling me to tell me to watch that night's episode of Blue Bloods. When he called, I was on my landline with someone else and he called the cell. I returned his call on my landline afterward. He did sound great though! The next week he would be in the hospital for the last few days of his life. And now I don't think I'll be erasing this call. There is a possibility that I'll be making a tribute video and posting it here on BP. A good possibility!
Just an FYI...or update......Last week was the first anniversary of Frank's passing. I just felt compelled to drive to Connecticut to pay a visit to his resting place. So I did. I almost hit a rather large dead deer by the median in the left lane on I-95 North. But I avoided it, glad to say. I guess Frank thought he'd play a trick on me! Nice try, buster!!