Frankie is Dead


University of Central Florida

Orlando, Florida
ENC 1101
Professor: Tonia Rigsby
Student: Emilio José Ruiz
Date: 29 January 1999
Subject: A description of the day I lost my big brother.
Purpose: A task essay written in first person,
reflecting on a personal experience using
descriptive and narrative techniques.
Occasion: An opportunity to express the feeling
of losing the closest person in my life.
Audience: My peers in ENC 1101.

What started out as a normal day ended as a day that changed my entire perception of life. It was a beautiful summer day. One that seemed as though nothing bad could happen. However, I will remember June 18, 1996 for the rest of my life. I woke up Tuesday morning with my usual hangover from the night before. Since it was such a beautiful day, I made plans to go to the beach with some of my friends. Then came the usual phone call from my mom. She wanted to know what I was doing that day. After explaining my plans, I quickly hung up with her and took off to enjoy the sun. After another day at the beach, that evening I went to work. I worked for a few hours until my manager came up to me with an unusual expression on his face. He told me I needed to go home. I thought that he was playing a joke on me even though he still had a sad look on his face. I decided to call my house to see what the problem was, or if there even was one. My sister, Karen, answered the phone sounding upset. I wanted to know what was wrong; however, she told me to come straight home. This made me realize that something was not right with my family, and I started wondering what could have happened. As I was leaving work, I was surprised to see my two uncles at the door. My closest uncle asked if he could ride with me back to my house. I took the long way home instead of my usual way. There was not much said on the way home. It seemed as though he was struggling for words. As we were approaching my house, he told me the worst four words I have heard in my life, "Your brother has died." I was so shocked I stopped my car in the middle of the road and turned to him. He told me to be strong, not to show that I was hurting, and to support my mom and the rest of my family. When I got to my driveway, Karen was waiting for me. She hugged me and kept saying, "1 can't believe it Frankie is dead", over and over. I was not quite ready to see my mom yet so Karen and I went for a long walk. She explained what had happened; he was involved in a helicopter crash. She told me what kind of condition my mom was in and prepared me to go inside my house. When I first saw my mom she was screaming and crying "mi hijo" (my son). She kept saying it over and over. When I finally hugged her, the first tears started rolling down my face. She kept asking me why, and I had no answer for her. That is when I knew my life would never be the same. Later, I went into my room to be by myself. I found a picture of my brother and crumbled it up. This is when I started to cry and felt as though I could never stop. All of my family that lived in the area came over that night. This death was so unexpected to my family and we helped each other deal with our separate pains. Even though I knew my whole family was hurting, I felt as though the pain I was feeling was different. My parents had separated when I was very young. Frankie was fifteen years older than I was and I looked at him not only as a brother, but also as a father figure. It did not seem fair that this happened. As I grew older, our relationship became closer and now he was gone. My adult life was just beginning, just when I thought that I would need him to be there most. I felt as though he was gone too soon. My mom woke me up the next day. For one moment I thought everything was all right. When I saw my mom's expression I remembered what had happened. My brother is dead, yet I packed to see him one last time. Instead of packing to go again to the beach, I packed to leave for Tennessee where he was going to be buried.