If you have ever wondered about the power of social media I am here to tell you that it is powerful. It is even more powerful when coupled with the prayers of many who are working together. This past Sunday I was the recipient of a miracle and I do not take this miracle lightly. It is a story that begs to be told and today is the day I am ready to tell it.
When Chris booked my return flight from Alabama for last Sunday he booked the early morning one that leaves Dothan at 6:30 am. I honestly was not too thrilled about that but then when I found out that the visitation for our dear North Iowa Blogger friend Amy was going to be on Sunday night I was glad because it meant I would make it back in time to go with my family of bloggers. I had offered for everyone to meet at my house before the visitation so that we could be together and share a bit before so the plan was to meet there at 3:30 pm. The plan was in place.
As is normal in all things air travel things don’t always go according to plan and a short delay out of the Dothan airport ended up in being a 4 hour delay which meant there was no way I was going to make my Atlanta connection or get to Minneapolis in time to drive the 2 hours home to go to the visitation. As I sat in the Dothan airport the realization hit me that it was not going to be possible to get back.
To say that I was upset would be probably the biggest understatement of the year. I was holding it together but I was beyond disappointed. I sent a message to the bloggers that it looked like I was not going to make it but to go ahead and meet at my house like planned. Everyone was so sweet and supportive and then Sara messaged me and asked what airline I was on. And then it started.
By the time I finally got on the plane to Atlanta Sara had my confirmation number and flight info and started to work magic. I was doubtful. When we landed I turned my phone back on to this message.
What happened next is amazing. I realized that all this had come to be when I saw about a million (well, maybe not quite a million) tweets with my handle in them to Delta asking for their help in getting me home when I landed.There were so many tweets but you get the idea from this picture. Not only did they tweet but Sara took the lead and direct messaged Delta Assist and worked with them to get me on another flight. Amazing.
I did not make that 12:05 flight because it was actually 11:42 when I landed and I could not get from Concourse D to Concourse A by the time I deplaned at 11:56 so I went the Delta help desk because all of my friends back in Iowa and beyond were tweeting up a storm. They had gotten me this far and they were not giving up yet.
When Elaine at the Delta desk pulled up my information she said “Did you know you are on standby for every flight today?” I looked at her and said quite simply “I’ve got people.”. She agreed I must have and said that I was just added as number one on the standby list for the 1:47 flight and I about cried. Number 1 is good. The best you can get. Then her eyes got really big. I mean really big and she said “ooooohhhh”. I couldn’t decide if that was a good “oh” or a bad “oh” and she said “Wait a minute. Someone else is working on this at the same time.”
Then it happened. She looked at me and said “You now have a confirmed seat on the 1:47 flight to MSP. I don’t know how that is possible but you do. Go scan this paper and it should print out your ticket with a seat assignment.”. I know. I know. It was a miracle. This was a day when planes were all overbooked and there were tens of people on standby because of weather related delays and cancellations.
If I could have I would have hugged Elaine and I told her she had absolutely been the best and I would never forget her and off I went. The rest is history. I had plenty of time to get from there to my gate and sit still for 45 minutes making calls and texting and tweeting my news that I WAS going to make it after all.
The bloggers met at my house and took a selfie in front of my fireplace (and my sad looking Valentine’s roses that were pretty before I left for Alabama) in honor of Amy because she took selfies before there was a word for selfies. It makes me smile every time I look at it and even though I am not in it I am there.
The plane got in early, my suitcase arrived with me (that was another miracle) and I went directly to the visitation which was attended by probably 800 -1000 people. I found my sweet friends and went down the row, one by one, hugging and crying and loving each and every one of them.
We were able to spend precious time together grieving and remembering our sweet Amy and now we realize even more how precious and fragile life is and how wonderful our relationships are. #AmysGift has become our hashtag for all things that remind us of Amy’s spirit and vitality and life.
So to my sisters and brother (can’t leave Bryan out) a big THANK YOU for the tweets, the prayers, and the constant reminders that you wanted me here and did everything within your power to get me back. It was bittersweet but so important to be able to be with my friends for this tribute to our friend. My special thanks to the folks at Delta who made the impossible possible. It truly was a miracle and I will be forever grateful. I know Sara will be writing a post about this probably on her Social Connections LLC page so I will definitely share when she writes that post because she was the one who spearheaded the Twitter campaign on my behalf.
To those naysayers who say that social media is not important I beg to differ with you. On this Sunday in March it made the impossible possible for me and I will be forever grateful.