In 2009, Frank Tempone was severely depressed. As a result of what he calls a mid-life crisis, Frank left his wife and three kids to live on his own.
After two years apart, Frank reunited with his family. He brought his oldest son, Jack, to StoryCorps to apologize.
Click here for the transcript.
Jack Tempone (JT): Yeah, I was like the dad in the house… and like I took care of Dave and Ben sometimes and it was one of the hardest times in my life because I was without my best friend.
FT: I knew I was hurting you, but I felt like I had to get myself straightened out first before I could be your dad again. And I also want to tell you that I’m sorry that I caused you that pain when I left.
JT: It’s okay.
FT: That was a tough time but probably the proudest moment we ever had together was when I came back to watch you play that really important baseball game.
JT: The last game of the season.
FT: You must have gotten three hits, and I remember thinking "We did that together." You know, we practiced and that's why you did so well. It made me realize, I was ready to make sure that I was going to be as good a father as I could possibly be, and that was the impetus that got us back together.
JT: I felt like I was in paradise again because like, I just feel I relate to you so much…and like, I regained part of my life.
FT: I wanted to tell you, my father used to say to me, I was his closest buddy, we did everything together, and he said I stopped being his buddy when I turned thirteen. And you turn thirteen in three-and-a-half months and so, I want to know if you're gonna keep being my buddy past thirteen.
JT: I'm gonna be your best friend until I die.
JT: How does it feel when like when you know that you come from such a great family.
It feels great. When I was a boy, dreaming about what it would be like to have a wife and a house, I was gonna name my oldest son Frank, cause that would have been the fourth Frank. But, I didn't name you after me because I knew you were gonna be better. And the way you deal with people with your heart is…is something that I've learned a lot from. So Jack, I just want to tell you how proud of you, that I am. You are the best thing that ever happened to me. And, we'll always find a way to come back together?
JT: Yeah. We'll get through it as a family.