It has been many moons since I posted on this blog. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, actually, and feeling rather guilty. This blog was never supposed to be something that I posted in every day, but I certainly have gotten quite bad at having any sort of regularity. That is why I’ve been trying hard to set aside some time to write a really great post.
But let me tell you, I was not prepared for it to be this one.
This last week, we lost a very important member of the Sinatra family.
Frank Sinatra Jr. passed away this week of cardiac arrest while on tour in Florida. I’m certain that the family is heartbroken, and I’ve been thinking about it a lot myself.
To be completely honest, I don’t know much about Frank Jr. I know that he was kidnapped while his father was filming the movie Robin and the Seven Hoods, and I know that it took some time for him to come to terms with the fact that he would always live in his father’s shadow and legacy. I don’t know much more than anybody else, unfortunately.
That is why I’m not going to pretend that I do. But what I am going to say is that it is a very sad day in the world of Sinatra fans everywhere. I can’t help thinking that this is the passing away of something very, very important, even if I’m not quite sure what that means. It also means that one of my biggest life goals, to meet Frank Jr., will never become a reality.
So now I can only send condolences to the family and hope that everything will be alright.
And here we are with only 6 more days left! Less than one week until Frank Sinatra Day, everyone! Because today marks the last day of our narrative, I just want to say that it has been extremely fun for me to give you the condensed version of Frank’s life. It has tested my knowledge a little, though I will proudly say that I only had to do research perhaps two or three times just to check specific years. Everything else I knew from heart. And so, let’s begin.
By the 1990’s Frank was in his late 70’s and early 80’s and was largely retired. He made his last movie and television appearances in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. His last public singing performance was at his 80th birthday party. It was a huge party where many, many stars showed up to pay their respects to Frank and his amazing career, the empire state building was lit up in blue. He sang My Way.
At this point, almost everybody that Frank had known and loved had already passed on. In her autobiography, Barbara talks about the last few years of Frank’s life and it seems almost sad. He would look around the empty house with those blue eyes of his and say things like, “This place ain’t doing to good for a hotel.” But honestly, I think you have to look past that. Frank had lived an amazing life and had so many wonderful memories. He had a wonderful wife that stayed by him every step of the way for 27 years, if you include their five years of courtship as well as 22 years of marriage. As the last one of all of his friends to pass away, he got to be the one to remember. One of Frank’s most well known quotes is, “I would like to be remembered as a man who had a wonderful time living life, a man who had good friends, fine family – and I don’t think I could ask for anything more than that, actually.”
On May 13, 1998 at the age of 82, Frank was rushed to the hospital. Barbara wasn’t with him at the time, ironically enough, but made it to the hospital in time to say good-bye. It had been obvious that Frank’s time was coming, but it still seemed rather sudden. The funeral was huge. Their were sky banners and, and special permission was even given by President Clinton to put a flag on Frank’s casket in the private ceremony. Barbara also talks about this in her book. Frank had loved his country so much, and had such an amazing respect for it. However, he had not been a soldier and he knew it. Barbara wasn’t sure that Frank would’ve wanted that honor because of that. Nevertheless, he was given that honor and the world said a last farewell the the man whose career had so touched everybody’s life in so many ways. It was absolutely clear that Frank Sinatra would always live on.
And now, the end is near; And so I face the final curtain. My friend, I’ll say it clear, I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain.
I’ve lived a life that’s full. I’ve traveled each and ev’ry highway; But more, much more than this, I did it my way.
Regrets, I’ve had a few; But then again, too few to mention. I did what I had to do And saw it through without exemption.
I planned each charted course; Each careful step along the byway, But more, much more than this, I did it my way.
Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew When I bit off more than I could chew. But through it all, when there was doubt, I ate it up and spit it out. I faced it all and I stood tall; And did it my way.
I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried. I’ve had my fill; my share of losing. And now, as tears subside, I find it all so amusing.
To think I did all that; And may I say – not in a shy way, “No, oh no not me, I did it my way”.
For what is a man, what has he got? If not himself, then he has naught. To say the things he truly feels; And not the words of one who kneels. The record shows I took the blows – And did it my way!