For me it started as just another cold Minnesota morning. It was cold and I was tired from pulling a long shift during a server migration, so I slept in a little bit. I don't usually turn the TV on in the morning but something I saw on Facebook about a plan crash "in North Buffalo" grabbed my attention. So I flipped on the TV and watched in disbelief. Then I called home to get an update on my sister, who lives in North Buffalo.
Once I knew she and all her family were ok my thoughts turned to the home that was hit. There were folks waking up, going about the day, and then it was over.
The lasting effect on me is a sense every time I leave the house to tell my kids I love them and if possible sneak a hug. I try to do this cheerfully no matter how tired and cranky I am. I internalized that day the reality that on the way to work I could die, or on the way to school they could... Or a plane could hit our home.
For some reason this crash more than 9/11 made me realize that our time does not end when we expect it to.
So I resolved myself to this... If Today is the day God takes me home I will leave no questions or regrets with those I love.
I do not keep debts and grievances for long and I do my best to make sure "I'm Good" with everyone I care about (and who cares for me). I never fight with my wife over trivial things like money, I never discipline my kids because I am frustrated and I re-bond afterwards, I never leave the home without telling them they are gifts to me, and I don't let disagreement with my family keep me from talking to them.
I'm not perfect at it of course but I am better than I used to be.
Dave, Conrad, and Matt have also written pieces for the Bull Run Remembers Flight 3407 project. You can find them through the links below under "More From Bull Run."