It was early September 2001 and I was in Washington DC at an academic conference. I was scheduled to leave on September 9th. I unexpectedly ran into a friend from graduate school (Lorenzo) that I had not seen in years. He is also the godparent of my son, Sebastian. We traveled throughout Mexico and lived together during graduate school, and he wanted me to stay and catch up.
He convinced me to stay and visit with him and his cousin, who works for the Pentagon and lives in the DC area. I called and got my return flight to Los Angeles changed. I was scheduled to leave the morning of September 11.
After dinner, I thought, "I need to get back and help with the kids." They were 2 and 3 years old at the time, and a real handful.
I called the airlines to ask if I could get my original return flight. They made the switch. If I had stayed in DC to visit the flight I would have been on was American Airlines Flight 77, the plane that slammed into the Pentagon.
I think about this every September 11th, and try to remember it whenever I think I'm having a bad day.