In The Eyes of A Son

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September 11, 2001, it’s 7:30 A.M. and I open my eyes to the sun gleaming through my windows upstairs. Just like every other morning I get dressed, get ready for school, and feed my bird Pete-Pete. But today just wasn’t another day for school. Today was my 11th birthday and career day. Ever since I started attending school in Preschool, all I ever heard about from the older kids on my street was how exciting and fun career day was. I had been waiting forever for this day and now finally I was in 6th grade about to have the best day ever, plus it was my birthday and it made my day even more fun. Just as I finished putting my finishing touches on for school, I heard my mother scream “Ben, breakfast is ready.” I ran downstairs to eat and in front of my eyes I see a huge mound of presents on the dinning room table just for my birthday! “Don’t even think about it Ben, as soon as your dad and you get home I’ll order pizza and then you can open your presents” my mother said to me. “Ok mom” I replied. After my dad and I finished our breakfast, we left the house at 8 A.M., headed off to my school.


My school didn’t start till 9 A.M. but we lived in downtown New York City and it took awhile to get there and we wanted to be a little early. After driving for a half hour we finally made it to my school. All my friends and their parents were already there and ready to go. My dad then signed in and told me he was the 15th parent to speak. My teacher Mrs. Hall started the class because everyone was there. I was so excited for my dad, “The Firefighter” to speak I could barely pay attention to the other parents talking about their jobs. It was 9:45 and Tyler’s dad “The Plumber” was about done talking about plumbers crack and he was the 12th parent. Just then I hear my dads pager go off and I look at him with doubt in my eyes as he excuses himself from the class to make a phone call. Seconds later my dad comes running into the classroom, comes to me and says “I’m sorry son I’ll make it up to you” and runs out. Everyone just looks at me in confusion and I just shrug my shoulders and put my head down.


After all the parents were done speaking, the Principal walked in looking very worried and told everyone to take their seats. He said he had very important news to tell us. Once everyone took their seats, the Principal informed everyone that around eight this morning the two Twin Towers were both hit by planes that were hijacked by terrorists. He then told everyone what importance the World Trade Centers were to America. Mr. Barker then turned the T.V. on so everyone could see what was happening. After sitting in shock for ten minutes I realized that was why my dad rushed out so quick and he was down there in that big mess helping everyone. I was in disbelief for the next hour when finally my mom showed up to take me home. As soon as I saw her face I could tell their had been tears in her eyes. On the way home I explained how my dad left in such a hurry and she tried explaining to me about the whole disaster and what she said she heard was about the same things the Principal told us. Finally an hour later we got home, and the whole time we were at home all my mom did was clean. Even tho I was happy and excited to open my presents this morning I didn’t want to open any of them. After awhile I got tired of sitting around, so I decided to take a nap. Around seven that night my mom woke me up and told me dinner was ready. While my mom and me were eating dinner she was just complaining the whole time about how my dad wont answer his phone, and I tried explaining that he was busy. When we finished dinner I helped my mom with the dishes and went back to bed.


9:30 A.M. I wake up to someone knocking on our front door and I go to get up to answer it but I heard my mom open the door. I lay in my bed thinking of who it could be because everyone that knows our family well goes to the side door. I stay still in bed trying to hear what’s going on and then all of a sudden I hear a big thump and then I heard the worst thing ever, I could hear my mom crying again. I knew that the knock on the door couldn’t have been good. I jump out of bed and I come to find my mom in the door way just laying their. I lean down to pick her up and comfort her still unsure what had happen. My mom grabbed me and held me so tight, and through the tears in her eyes she looks at me and tells me with her shaky voice that my father, the firefighter, and my #1 hero is dead. I look at her with shock and try and stay so strong but I couldn’t. My mom grabbed me even tighter and I just couldn’t help but sit there and cry so softly in her arms. All I could think to myself is that my dad, the man of the house was gone, he was never coming back. He never got to see me grow up or anything. I wanted to be just like him when I grew up and now I had noone to look up to. My mom and I didn’t get up from that spot where she fell till later that night. She finally asked if I wanted dinner but I was so upset I just shook my head “no” and walked into my parents bed to lay down on my dads side of the bed. I lay their still in shock and I could smell his scent on his pillow still from the morning before and tried understanding how he was gone just like that.

I must have fell asleep in my moms bed because I woke up next to her crying still and turned over to look at the clock and when I went to check the time I saw the picture of my dad and me on our hunting trip from not too long ago. It was ten in the morning, and I began thinking to myself that it had to be a dream. When I turned back to my mom I went to ask her if it was a dream, but she knew what I was going to ask and just shook her head no and said “It wasn’t a dream sweetie.” I burst into tears again and just lay their so lifeless. The phone began to ring and I go to get up to answer it but my mom grabs my shoulder and says “Don’t bother, it’s probably just your grandmother checking on us.” For 15 minutes straight I laid their and just listen to the phone ring over and over. Finally my mom jumps out of bed in anger mumbling “if that phone rings one more time.” I heard her say hello and then their was silence. A couple seconds later I heard her say “Thank you so much sir” and hang up. She came running through her door telling me to get dressed, “That was the hospital, they found your dad and he’s ok” she said. After we got dressed and left it seemed like it took forever to get their. It took us an hour and we finally got their. We rushed around and eventually someone led us to my dad. I walked into his room and again another shock to my eyes, he was burnt everywhere and so many broken bones. He lay in his bed looking so helpless and ful of pain that I was speechless. The doctor took us outside of his room and explained to us how he was trapped under rumble and their were several fires, and that he had to have many surgeries and he was about to go into his first one. My mom and I waited at the hospital for four hours and finally got to see my dad. He looked better then he did the first time and could actually talk to us a little. We stayed at the hospital all day and all night right by my dads side.


My dad was in the hospital for about two and a half weeks. When that one day we got the call to take him home. My mom was so excited that she almost left without me but she realized it and waited for me. We finally beat all the traffic and got their to find my dad all ready to go. We loaded his things into the car and all the way home he told us so many stories about the disaster at ground zero. Once my dad and my mom and me got home, my mom wanted my dad to rest, but he refused to because he had a surprise for me. My dad took me into the kitchen and their in front of my eyes was a bigger mound of presents for me. “You better start opening, so you can get done before you go to bed.” My dad said “Thank you so much dad.” I replied. He whispered to me “I told you I would make it up to you son.” I just turned around to open my presents with a big smile on my face and thought to myself that this was the best day of my life by far.





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