Frankly Speaking

No, I’m not about to give a confession.

Frank was my father’s name, or Frankie to those who loved him, which now explains why my mother called him Frank.

I remember the night after not seeing or even speaking for over a year, I had to go tell her he had died.  In her usual insane fashion, she greeted me as if we had just spoken and  perfectly normal I popped in close to midnight.

Did you eat?  Her eternal stock question.

I had a friend who drove me who later said, it’s like we stopped at an all night diner on the freeway.

When I told her, to my surprise and delight, she burst into tears. They had been divorced for at least five years, and with the exception of one visit when I brought him over all drunk and disheveled with Shultz, his dachshund, she took and cared for, they never met again.

I know now what I didn’t know then, why she stopped loving him, and finally understand.

She was 17, he a couple years older when they got married right before he went off to war.  I have some of their letters that would break your heart.  But alas, when he finally came home three years later, my mother was a different person.  All grown up, hardly remembering the man she said she’d love forever.

They stayed married for close to 30 years.  He a wild drunk that eventually killed him, she the Ava Gardner of her day.  When I read about the real Ava almost putting her Frank’s lights out, I sigh heavily wishing he could have given my dad a few pointers.

My mother had more boyfriends than shoes and she had a closet full of those barely trying  to hide either.  My dad loved her anyway, as he refilled his whiskey glass, his liver slowly taking flight.

If she had just cut him loose earlier I know he would have found someone to love him again, but oddly enough, she was afraid of what the neighbors would think, and the irony? They knew she was a flaming femme fatale keeping their husbands under lock and key.

But that night in the old kitchen when I told her Frank was no more, she sobbed, I guess remembering the soldier named Frankie she once loved so many years ago.



About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
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19 Responses to Frankly Speaking

  1. What a sad story, Susannah, but you tell it so brilliantly.


  2. Gail Kaufman says:

    That is sad. It looks like they were a beautiful couple when the photo was taken.


  3. micklively says:

    A poignant tug at the heartstrings. Thomas Hardy had a belief that the fates were ever arranged to court disaster and misery. You’re in good company.


  4. First things first …. kudos on the gene pool.
    You are lucky to have those letters, and an understanding on the what filled in the blanks in between.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Was thinking, it probably wasn’t a unique story. War made everyone panic. I’m certain she at first felt he might not come back. Then when he did, everything was so different. Appreciate it being read because I know it’s not exactly a feel good piece.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. skinnyuz2b says:

    What a touching piece, Susannah. I find that the older I get, the more insightful I become. I see the same is true of you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • For most of my life, I didn’t understand blaming her for everything. I see now despite what one can call inappropriate behavior, she did her best at the time, and he didn’t have to be the doormat he was. He was sick. Alcoholism, something else I didn’t get, is truly a disease. Sigh

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Elle Knowles says:

    Sometimes there is more harm than good by staying together just for the sake of the wagging tongues or for the children. So sorry you had to be in the middle of it Susannah. May your happy memories outweigh the bad ones. ~Elle


  7. E says:

    I’m glad to have stumbled upon your writing this morning. Lovely and sad and familiar. Hi.


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