He’d been told he needed shoulder surgery in 2010, but he didn’t want to put the band on hold, Regina Banali explained in a recent Facebook post. She noted that death was “the only thing that could have ever separated us” and thanked him for “the best 11 years and nine days ever.”
“I’ve gotten through my first week without him, and it has been very difficult,” she wrote. “Missing him is so hard. … We had a great love and the best life together. When he got sick, I loved taking care of him, no matter what. He was a tough fighter, but cancer was tough on him.”
She added that “not many people knew that he also suffered from a bad case of tinnitus from years of playing and not protecting his ears. He also suffered from a torn rotator cuff on his right shoulder that needed surgery in 2010. … He had just gotten the band back together and didn’t want to take a year off to recover from surgery. He played through it, and over time it went well past the point of surgical options.
“Doctors could not understand how he was still able to play. He didn’t want people to know about it, but he suffered from that a lot. It is a relief to know that at least he is no longer in any pain or sickness.”
Regina described Frankie as “the most incredible person I have ever met.” “You couldn’t not love him if you were in his presence and under his charm,” she said. “He loved so hard. His love for me was enough to last me for a lifetime. Every step forward, every day I live, I will have his love with me.”
Adding that her role in life has changed, she concluded, “Now and for the rest of my life, my purpose is to be a steward of his legacy, his life’s work and to care for his daughter and the people and things he loved and cared for.”