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"Death of Father" significant experience essay

rebrose 8 / 20  
Dec 23, 2010   #1
I am not sure if I should use this essay for my common app or not. I wrote the body paragraphs from a child's perspective and I don't know if it really works. I don't know if the essay truly addresses the prompt. I would GREATLY appreciate feedback.

Some events can come to define a life. Most often, these events are sudden and unexpected and irrevocably change the framework of existence. However, it is not the event itself that defines a life but the reaction to the event.

I focused on an old TV; across the screen a strange man in a three piece suit walked the corridors of a dinosaur museum at night. I focused on the screen before me to block out the chaotic shapes. I saw hands, feet, pants rushing around me. They were blurs quickly disappearing into a mysterious hallway. I was in a bright, white room because Mommy got a call from Daddy's friends. Daddy had to go to the hospital and we had to go meet him. Mommy quickly changed my brother, sister, and I from our white footie pajamas into school clothes, jeans and t-shirts.

We walked into the hospital, the automatic doors yawning open. Mommy went to talk to a lady in a big round desk. The desk was so high I couldn't even see the lady's face. Mommy sounded worried when she talked to the receptionist. The receptionist sent us to this room with bright fluorescent lights, a white tiled floor, white walls, and a TV. I hadn't seen Mommy since we came into this room; a voice had called her into the mysterious hallway. It seemed like she had been gone hours, maybe even days, I couldn't tell. I just watched the TV with the strange man on it and clenched my jaw. I hoped Mommy would come back soon with Daddy because my head was starting to ache.

Mommy came back from the hallway; she looked tired and sad. She was crying and a group of blurry shapes embraced her, they patted her back and smoothed her hair. A thought spread like wildfire in my mind, 'If Mommy is crying, you should too because something bad has happened.' But I wouldn't let the tears fall. If I cried the grown-ups would think I was a baby. 'Big girls don't cry," that is what Daddy always told me, and I was a big girl. I repeated this phrase in my head ten, fifty, a hundred times and with every repetition I laid another brick in the walls holding back my tears.

"Do you want to see Daddy one last time?" asked Mommy.
I shook my head, I couldn't walk through the hallway where at the end doctors in unsightly green scrubs would stand around a bed with Daddy in it, a Daddy who wouldn't look up if I called his name but would lay there expressionless. This reality was too horrific, too alien to face. So I pretended for a little while longer that I didn't understand what was happening. Mommy went back into the hallway without me.

When Mommy came back she was holding a plastic bag, it was made of thick white plastic so I couldn't see through it. But I wanted to see what was in the bag. So as we walked out of the hospital into the serene and silent summer night I looked into the bag. Inside were Daddy's clothes and new white basketball shoes, which hadn't even gotten scuffed. As I peered into the bag Mommy said from above me, "Rachael, Daddy died."

'He is gone forever.' I thought this not with grief or mourning but resignation. I knew that no matter how hard I prayed, how well I behaved, or how much I begged I could never bring Daddy back.

"Oh Kelly, she's too young to understand," said my Aunt Kathy.
I skipped to the car not wanting to.
I realized the consequences of that night more acutely later, as my responsibilities increased tenfold. I had to become the minder of my younger sister and brother; it was my job to keep them out of trouble. I had to help my mother make dinner, clean the house, and keep our schedules straight, as she suffered under the burden of single motherhood. Sometimes it seemed, to me, that I was the only sane one in the family and I was preventing us from spinning into chaos. I felt as if we were scrambling towards oblivion looking for what we had lost. I thought that I would crumble under these new pressures. But all these new responsibilities and obstacles made me more resilient to other hurdles life would throw in the way. Most of these hurdles involved others telling me what I could, or could not do. 'You can't go to college because your parents didn't,' or, 'If you do go to college, you can't go anywhere out of state.' But I defied their rules for me because I am an exception. And so, I began to think why not make myself a greater exception?
KCole92 2 / 2  
Dec 23, 2010   #2
I'm not the perfect essay critic so I wouldn't want to tell you anything I'm unsure of but Your essay sounds great and takes me back to my childhood. Your essay tell a imaginative story. You use really great similes and metaphors.
sharman93 2 / 3  
Dec 24, 2010   #3
I like your essay in that it has a really personal feel to it.

Here are some points that I think you can work on -

In your last line you mention that you ' defied their rules for me because I am an exception '. I think you should support this statement with some example or reasoning since it isn't really clear as to how you are an exception.

Same goes for your last line - what do you want to do to become a greater exception?

I may have misunderstood the last two lines but this is how I felt reading them...I think if you make the ending a bit clearer and more powerful the essay will be really good.

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