Now is the only guarantee

1968 I was flying from New York to Copenhagen and then on to Rome. At one point the Captain came on and announced that we had a minor problem and would be landing in Gander, Newfoundland. I heard a voice behind me say’this is not minor and we will soon jettison fuel.”I turned and saw that the person making that statement was an Air Force Colonel with jet wings on his uniform. As we approached the airport we were instructed to take our glasses off and place our heads into a pillow. The level of anxiety was palpable and as we came lower and lower the plane was absolutely silent. The landing was rough and at one point the plane skidded sideways. Once the emergency crews came and assisted via ladders all of the passengers were taken to the Gander Motel and next to a restaurant with an open bar. Needless to say the liquor flowed and most were so traumatized that they over imbibed. We had to wait for almost 24 hours for TWA to fly in a new plane.
The upside of that event was that I was reminded how fragile and unpredictable life can be and more than occasionally I remind myself that the only real guarantee is the “now”.

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