Monday, February 24, 2014

The Airplane Miracle

The days following Josh's passing were nothing short of hellish.
The physical feelings were like nothing I'd ever experienced.
It ranged from sick to my stomach to boughts of uncontrollable sobbing.
Yet, there were plans to be made.
Josh lived here in Utah, just 2 or 3 miles up the road from our family, with his mom for most of his life.
About a year before he died, he went to Texas to live with his father in the same town I lived in until I was in 1st grade when my family moved to California.
That is where he was when he died.
His father began right away with funeral arrangements, so that meant there were lots and lots of family that needed to get to Texas, and fast.
The viewing was held just 3 days after he was found, then the funeral was the following morning. 
It all seems like a whirlwind.
Right away we got online looking for airline tickets, searching for the best deal.
The cheapest price we could find round trip was about $450.
That day was filled with millions of phone calls back and forth and coordinating, finding out who could go, who had to stay for school or work and figuring out the best way to get everyone there that need to get there.
I checked with pilot friends for buddy passes for my sister, but their airlines did not fly into Dallas/Fort Worth.
We tried a hundred different ways to find flights, to no avail.
In fact, that evening, my sister Elizabeth and her husband, Kerry's home teacher had stopped by their home out of the blue.
Elizabeth and Kerry told him of their nephew's passing and that we were trying to get flights for lots of family.
As that sweet home teacher left he offered a prayer and in it he specifically prayed that we would all be able to find affordable flights and that we would be looked after.
Little did we know that our connection to heaven would be better than any other connection we could find with all the people we knew.
Flights did not get booked that day, so the following morning  we got back online to book the flights.
Prices had skyrocketed overnight to about $750.
Regardless of the price we had to get them, there was no way any of us would have missed going for Joshy.
I was put in charge of getting tickets for myself and my other 3 sisters, all of our husbands had to stay with our kids and for work. There's no way we could have brought everyone that wanted to go.
Christine's family were getting their own and there were other family members who booked their own flights separately.
Christine's family had, by far, the most people to buy for. 
As I was online looking, Kerry called, he was looking for a deal, too.
Here we are talking and searching for any other deal we could find.
All the airlines were within a few dollars of each other, so we resigned to go ahead and buy the $750 tickets.
To ensure we were on the same flight, I would pay with my credit card and let everyone pay me back.
Just as I had put in the dates and how many tickets we wanted to purchase, Kerry shouts, "WAIT!"
He had found a deal on one of those flight booking websites, I believe it was
The tickets were $325 each! Less than half of anywhere else.
The catch was that we couldn't pick our flights or even which airline, instead they gave us a window of time that our flights would be departing on the specified day as well as a window of time for our return flight.
And the window was not even bad, it was like between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm.
It wasn't even the red eye.
Plus, they both ended up being direct flights, NO LAYOVERS!
We quickly snatched up our tickets and were beyond thrilled with our deal. 
We were flying Delta and both of our flights left at totally doable times.
While I was waiting for the confirmation for our tickets Kerry grabbed another phone to call Jerry, Christine's husband.
Kerry got Jerry to the site where we had found our deal.
When Kerry called Jerry, he was on the computer at that very moment in the process of purchasing the $750 airline tickets for all the people he was trying to get to Texas.
He had already entered his credit card information and had hit 'submit'.
He was waiting for a confirmation number.
He quickly hit the power button on the computer, crashing it, hoping to cancel out that order before it charged his card.
It worked!
He then was able to purchase enough $325 tickets for everyone who needed to get to Texas, paying less than half, saving him literally thousands of dollars.
Wow, talk about an adrenaline rush. 
About an hour later Kerry decided that since the tickets were not as much as he had thought, that he might come along as well.
He got back on the site and entered the same search.
All the tickets were gone, the prices were back to $750.
Kerry decided to stay home after all, but content in the thought that we had witnessed a miracle.
Those tickets were there just long enough for all of us to get our tickets, it felt as thought the hand of God was directing us, guiding us and holding us in the tender palm of His hands.
Even in the middle of the worst tragedy I had ever felt, I felt the hand of God, His very love and care. 
"I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up."
D&C 84:88

What an amazing answer to that beautiful prayer.


Emma said...

a tender mercy for sure! Thanks for sharing!

Karen M. Peterson said...

I wondered what had happened with the flights. What a tender mercy that was. I'm glad it worked out.

Donna said...

You should submit this to the Ensign. The more I think about everything that happened, the more I am convinced that the WHOLE experience was one miracle layered on top of another, on top of yet another. We were certainly watched over and cared for, weren't we? And I feel like that tender care hasn't ended. Every day I see a miracle. I

Anonymous said...

I am so glad you were able to go and that it didn't break the bank doing it. Sorry I couldn't help...