It Takes One Moment

Emerald - Hillsboro, Oregon
Entered on March 12, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: death
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One dramatic change influenced my outlook on life forever. There are things in this world you never think could happen to you, but they can, and they do.

June 15th of 2007 was the last day of school of my junior year of high school. I had a job interview at Jamba Juice. I was feeling anxious and excited for summer. It was a relaxing, sunny day.

My job interview went great and I left with a job. I walked to my car with a smile on my face. Everything seemed to be perfect, until I got a phone call. It was my dad. He spoke as if he had been crying; he was still choking on his words. I remember him just saying, “You need to come home now.” My heart skipped a beat or two; something was wrong. I kept running all the things that could have been wrong through my mind over and over again.

I pulled into the driveway and ran into the house. I saw my brother standing in the living room with a blank look on his face. I then saw my dad standing a few feet away with tears in his eyes and my mom sitting on the couch just the same. After an awkward silence, I found out my grandfather’s plane might have crashed that morning.

Sterile silence filled the room as we waited for a phone call. Then it became official. The night before my grandparents had spent the night. They were scheduled to fly my younger cousin, Benjamin, to Space camp. I remember Grandpa half-hugging me and patting my back as they were leaving. I stopped to give him a full, real hug instead. I felt I needed one.

It was said that the crash could have been due to the wrong kind of gas when it fueled before they took off. I know my grandpa did everything he could have possibly done, trying to keep that plane in the air. He was built to be a pilot.

I never realized the finality of death until I witnessed it. It did not feel real; it still does not. It seemed like that sort of thing would never happen to me, or my family. That was the sort of thing that happened on the news. This event changed and shaped the way I am and the way I think. I cherish everything I have so much more. I do not do anything differently, I just appreciate the things I do and the one’s I do them with differently. It proved how wonderful and fragile life is by showing me how final death is, how someone’s life can disappear so fast.

I believe that everyone needs to live every day doing the things they love. My grandpa loved flying his plane. Benj loved outer space; Grandma loved being with the ones she loved. Unfortunate accidents do happen, and I now realize that things like that do happen to people like me.