Unbeknown to me, the husband of a very dear cousin was also scheduled for flight 401 and had I known, I wouldn't have minded the overnight in Miami as I would have had company for the evening. As I recall, the earlier flight was scheduled for 3:30pm. At about 3:00 pm, I received a call from the Eastern Airline desk informing me that there was a cancellation for the earlier flight, the number of which I can't recall. Since my baggage had already been checked, it took me only a few minutes to get to the departure gate and board the 3:30 flight. I had previously called my sister to inform her of my plans, and as far she knew, that's what was happening, and I didn't have time to call her and tell her of the change in schedules. I made my connection in Miami and by that evening I was in Costa Rica. I was met by my father, my uncle Julio and my cousin JJ.
We placed my bags in the car, and instead of going into the city, we took the road to Puntarenas, a beach town, and the next morning we were swimming in the Pacific Ocean. We were out of communications with the rest of the family in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, but after a relaxing day, we headed back to the city. Everyone had gathered at the house of my aunt Ruth, so we went there. My cousin Judy opened the door at looked at me as if she were seeing a ghost. Her face was strained with grief and all she could say was, "you're alive!!"
We had no idea of what had occurred. Flight 401 had crashed killing most of the passengers including Ronny Jaye, my cousin's husband. Frantic calls had been made by my sister to the Eastern Airlines as she was sure that I had also been on that flight and there was no mention of my whereabouts, and I didn't appear on the passenger list. The family was convinced of a double tragedy and my survival was due to a miracle that saved my life at the last moment. Not knowing that Ronny was on that flight and a last minute cancellation saved my life. I carry this memory in my heart and somehow feel close to all those people that died on that fateful day. May God have them in His presence, I shall always be grateful to whomever canceled at the last moment and to my Lord for sparing my life.