It was Friday night, December 29, 1972 and my parents were excited about flying to Florida to meet my grandmother and aunt for the holiday. They had cut their California vacation short because my grandfather took ill and they to fly home early. They were looking forward to the Florida sunshine and a few days of much needed vacation.
My sister and I decided we would drive them to the airport that night for their evening flight. We got to hug them and as we left the terminal, we took another look at them and waved. We didn’t know at the time that would be the last time we saw my parents alive.
My parents died when Eastern Airlines Flight 401 crashed in the Florida Everglades. Fortunately, there were survivors on that flight, but very sadly for us, my parents were not among them. My father was still in his seatbelt so they found him right away, but it took 5 days to find my mother. They didn’t give up on finding her and neither did we. We were able to bring both my mom and dad home to us.
It was a very difficult time for us, but our family and friends were a great support network for us and we definitely needed it and greatly appreciated it. Losing both of them at the same time was a tremendous shock and we felt the loss greatly.
It has been 42 years since that fateful night, but not a day goes by that we don’t think about them and remember them with love.
My heart goes out to all that have lived through a loss like ours and I just want them to know they are not alone. There are people that truly understand what they are going through. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you and especially today with the family and friends of Flight 370.
Submitted by Jackie Karpen