The true story of how my family reacted to the death of my dad in 2006. (Van Erdewyk is not my real last name)
- Marcus Van Erdewyk (39 years old; deceased)
- Aniena Van Erdewyk (37 years old)
- Garett Van Erdewyk (17 years old)
- Emma Van Erdewyk (14 years old)
- Tori Van Erdewyk (11 years old)
- Alex Van Erdewyk (8 years old)
- Ali Van Erdewyk (8 years old)
- Mitch Van Erdewyk (6 years old)
- Gage Van Erdewyk (4 years old)
- Jordan Van Erdewyk (18 months old)
Chapter 1: Finding OutEdit
Emma's POV I just stared blankly at my mom. What she had just said was still processing through my 13 year old brain. She was lieing......she had to be......But the tears on her cheeks were evidence. She repeated the horrible sentence again, "Sweetheart. Your dad's dead." I looked at the rest of my family. Garett was staring out, with no emotion showing, but there great pain in his eyes. Ali was silently sobbing on to her twin's, Alex's, shoulder. He was crying too. Mitch and Tori just stared at the floor with, like Garett, no emotion. Gage was 4, but he understood. He just sit in the corner, and banging his head on the wall. A year ago, we found out he had skin cancer. The same day, dad had been drafted into the army...... "No," I whispered, softly, "He can't." "He is, honey," My mom said, trying to hug me. I pushed her away and yelled, "No! He is not dead!"
"MOM! HE IS NOT DEAD! HE WOULD NEVER LEAVE US ALONE!"
"Emma!" Garett yelled at me, "He's gone! You're in denial! It's over! HE. IS. DEAD!"
"STOP FIGHTING!" sobbed Ali.
To add to the chaos, jordan started screaming at the top of your lungs. "Emma!" Garett said, angrily, "He's dead! He's gone! Stop being in denial! If you weren't so stupid, you would know he's gone for good!"
My face fell when he said that. Tears poured down my cheeks. I ran out, sobbing, "He's not dead! He can't be!" But, he was.
Chapter 2: The Secret GardenEdit
I sit down the bench. I was sitting in the garden that my dad and I had made years and years ago. I just stared at my dad's favorite roses. My dad hated to garden, but he loved flowers. I wiped my eyes. We spead so much time here. No one else knew about this place; just me and dad. I remember just sitting here, listening to my dad read stories. That, of course, was before the war....."Em?" I heard. I turned with hope of my dad, but I saw........my best guy friend, Daren. "Oh...hi Daren." I sniffed.
"I..I..heard your dad's death. It's everywhere now."
When I didn't replie, he sit down and said, "Em, I'm really sorry 'bout your dad."
"How did you find this place?" I asked
"I was looking for you at your house, but your mom said you ran out, so I just.....started looking."
"Oh." Was all I could say.
"Hey, the thing is....your dad died in honor of saving this country. He's being rewarded the Purple Heart."
I turned my head and glared at him, "Died in honor?! He was shot! That's being honored?!"
"Hey! I'm just trying to be nice!"
"He died 'cause of that stupid war!"
"Hey! That 'stupid' war happened 'cause of 9/11! 9/11 isn't stupid! We lost a ton of men and women!"
"I lost my uncle in there! I almost lost my life in there! My dad too! It's the stupid terriosts' fault! If that hadn't happened, I would be normal, my uncle and dad would be alive, and my family wouldn't be one step from breakin' done, so please jus-" I started to say before I screamed, holding my head.
Chapter 3: Breakin' DownEdit
I held my head, as a wave of pain shock me. This is what I meant by being normal.....This happened all the time after I tripped and hit my head, running for help for my uncle. I took a deep breath when it was over. "Emma?" Daren asked, shaking me. I just put my head on his shoulder, and sobbed.
After a few seconds (A/N: Ok....Minutes...), I sat up, remembering I was mad at him. I pushed him away. "Em-" He started, before I said, quietly, "You have no idea what my family and I have gone through. I've seen enough death to last me decades." And with that, I got up and ran home.
When I got home, there was a police car sitting there. I walked through the door to find a police officer and my mom. "We still have not-" When they saw me. "Emma?" My mom said, when I ran past them, and up the stairs.
Chapter 4: The Angel's TouchEdit
Emma's POV: The Next Morning.....
I just sat in my bedroom. I couldn't cry. At all. I just sat there staring at the hundreds of letters my dad had sent us. I stared at the new letter. The one the soldiers brought mom a day ago. It read: (A/N The real letter is buried...so...I just remember the important parts of it; the cap letters were handwritten)
We are sorry to inform you that MARCUS JOSEPH VAN ERDEWYK has been KILLED IN ACTION.
At the bottom, there was a name written in cursive and I couldn't read it. I sighed. This "forgeting and moving on" thing wasn't working. I heard the door open and close. I looked up to see......Jordan. The 1 year old wobbled over to me, mumbling normal things babies say like 'goo-goo, gaga-gaga,' and stuff like that.
She crawled on to my lap and smiled up at me. Her big hazel eyes were exactly like dad, Garett, Gage, and mine. "Hey, Jory." She looked and saw the old teddy bear dad gave me for my 5th birthday. She grabbed it and hugged it. I glanced at her neck, where I saw a spot. I turned and stared at it.
"What the......" I said. She never had a birthmark there..... I remembered what my mom and dad tought me, "A birthmark means an angel's touched the baby there and blessed it." I gasped.
Chapter 5: A Lost Memory (A/N: I call this is the 'lost memory' 'cause I don't remember everything about this)Edit
Third Person POV
A 6 year old Emma hopped into her uncle's office. "Emma.." Marcus said, breathlessly, "Slow down!" "Sorry daddy." Emma said, running to hug her aunt, Laura. Emma's uncle, Ron, smiled at his brother, "Looks like you got a handful right here." Marcus laughed, "There's 4 more at home." "Bye Emma. Have fun." Marcus shouted through the art studio. "Bye-Bye daddy!" screamed Emma.
After a few minutes (or hours, it felt the same to Emma), Emma looked at the clock. 8:45. She smiled as her aunt and her co-workers started painting. She looked back. 8:46. That's when the building shock. Emma looked up when something shock the building harder. Emma screamed when she blacked out.
Emma opened her eyes, and coughed. She sit up and groaned. "Rooooooon? Laurrrrrrrrrrra?" She called. When she heard moan. She ran over to the pile of rumble, and dug. She found Laura and Ron. Laura's eyes were closed, but Ron was staring at her.
"Emma?" He cried, "You need to leave. Now! Go get help! Run, sweetheart!" Emma ran off, screaming, "Help!! Help!!!! HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" She triped over a pile of the building, and fell down the 2 flights of stairs. She hit her head on the bottom of them. She felt blood pour down her face. "Help......" She whispered, then her eyes closed.
Chapter 6: 'Daddy's Home'Edit
Back to Emma's POV
A few minutes after I see Jordan's 'angel's touch', I was still thinking about it as I walked down the hallway of my house. It was never there.....Maybe...Just maybe...It was dad's touch....telling us..and Jordan..he was still there for us. I smiled at the thought.
"Um...Emma?" I heard someone whisper. I turned to see Tori....and Mitch? Oh no. What did they do now? "What's wrong?"
Mitch looked around and whispered, "Tori was in our room, and she called for me, and when I went in...there was a strong presence."
"Like, "I dropped my voice to a whisper, "A ghost?"
Tori was shaking so much her brown curls were quviering. "Tori? Did..did you see it? Did you see the ghost?"
She nodded fearfully. "It was just a mist...but...it wasn't scaring.....it was a kind presence...it was a nice spirit."
"Did you know Jordan has a angel's touch on her neck?"
"Really?" They both said. "Yes. I saw it today. At the same time, you saw the ghos- I mean spirit-presence thing."
"That's....weird." Tori said. "I know." I sighed. Mitch added, "Dad's funeral is tomorrow..Emma, mom wants you to sing and play the piano...She says your good...but....Dang, I miss him...." I looked at Mitch to stop, when Tori burst out crying and ran back into her room, slaming the door. "Great job, Einstein." I muttered.
"What are you blaming me for!?"
"Tori, and the little kids are still hearbroken about this."
"One, Tori's older than me. And we're all heartbroken!"
"I know that....." And I walked back to my room, slaming the door behind me
Chapter 7: The FuneralEdit
I just stared at the floor. Today was the day. Today was my dad's funeral. And I wasn't going. I heard the door open, and close softly. I looked up to see my mom standing there. "Hi sweetheart." She said, sitting on my bed. I looked at her, and saw something I've never seen on my mom. Pain. Her blue eyes were fulled with it. Even her blonde curls were less curled.
"Are you coming?" She asked, rubbing my back.
I shook my head. She kissed me on the top of the head.
"If you change your head, you can come down."
You need to go, I thought to myself, You need to. It's your dad. It's the last time you'll ever see him.
I got up then. And walked down the stairs and ran to the small church where the funeral was. I opened the big doors, and walked in.
"Marcus was good man, who loved his family and friends dearly. He gave his life for-" Father Shot said, when he saw me. He cleared his throat, "-others. And now, for the final song." He looked at me, and smiled. I ran up to the piano. Mrs. Kerkhoff smiled sweetly at me, and moved over. I sat down and started to play and sing.
"Pie Jesu, Pie Jesu, Pie Jesu, Domine,
Dona eis, Requiem, Sempiternam,
Sempiternam, Sempiternam, Reeeee-quiem!"
Mrs. Kerkhoff joined in, and then the whole church. When the song ended, everyone clapped. I took a bow, when I saw a familiar black head rush out of the church. Everyone started leaving, so I ran out. I knew where he would be in a second. I ran to the Secret Garden, and saw.....Daren sitting there.
"Hey, Daren." I said, sitting down.
"Hey." He said, quietly.
"Sorry....'bout our fight. I was just angry and confused." I confessed.
After a short silence, he said, "You're not the only one to lose someone in the war."
My eyes wided. "Daren...I'm so sorry. Poor Chance....." Chance was Daren's older brother. He joined the same time as my dad.
Daren wiped his eyes. "It's ok. Now, I understand how you felt."
"I'm really sorry 'bout Chance." I then remember a song my dad sung to us alot when we were little. (A/N: Italic is me, the bold is Daren, and the underlined is both of us)
"I will always do my duty,
no matter the price,
I've counted up the cost,
I know the sacrifice.
Oh, and I don't want to die for you,
But if dyings, asking me,
I'll bare that cross with honor,
'cause freedom don't come free.
I'm an american soldier, an american,
Beside my brothers and my sisters,
I will proudly take a stand."
Daren smiled at me, and smiled back. He put his arm on my shoulder and said, "Maybe. just maybe. Someday. The war will be over."
"Yeah, " I said, softly, "Maybe."
Songs: Pie Jesu - Karl Jenkins and American Soldier - Toby Keith