“I was only nine years old, but I knew what death was. It was the end. When it came to my dad though, no amount of rational thought could outweigh my feelings. I watched the footage over and over again, trying to validate my hopes and dreams, believing there was a minute possibility he made it out of the building alive.”

After his father died on 9/11 in the World Trade Center, nine-year-old Matthew John Bocchi began an obsessive quest to find out exactly how he died. He researched video tapes, pictures, blogs, anything to answer the question that loomed in his mind: was his father one of the jumpers? In the wake of Matt’s grief and anguish came a devastating act of violence by a family member. This unforgivable betrayal of trust sent an innocent and vulnerable young man spiraling down a bottomless pit of drug and alcohol abuse, which nearly cost him his life. Now at twenty-eight years old and sober, he recounts his story—one full of joy, happiness, sorrow, grief, and most importantly, hope.

Embark on the first story told from the perspective of a child who lost a parent on 9/11. The lesson he teaches us is clear and intricate: No matter how far you fall, you can always get up. No matter how far you stray, you can always find your way home. And no matter how wide you sway, you can always pick up the pieces and stand tall.