Monday, October 31, 2011

Dear Delta Airlines

"Someone told me DELTA stands for ‘Don”t Ever Leave The Airport.’ #utterfarce tweet by Piers Morgan"
Delta Airlines NEVER Responded to Tweets Posted on their 24/7 Delta Assists Twitter Feed to Remedy My Customer Complaint

I twittered several times on the Delta Assists Twitter Feed and included a link to this blog post. I deleted my email and phone number from the original post.

Dear Delta Airlines,

My son was killed in Afghanistan last week on his 14th deployment. The story is all over the Internet. I thought you'd be interested in the "service" I received from Delta Airlines trying to book two bereavement flights for my mom and brother.

Below you will find what I’ve been posting on Facebook. Facebook replies include: “Unbelievable. And so sad. No heart. I'm sorry you're having to deal with this on top of your incredible loss.”

Posted on Facebook, August 28, 3:08 pm regarding booking flight for my brother: Trying to book a bereavement flight with Delta Airlines. Took FIVE calls to book ONE flight. Bereavement fare isn't cheaper than Called their 800-number thinking it would be easier than booking online. NOT!
First call, 1:54 pm: Representative puts me on hold. I’m asked to take survey to rate the representative that I talked to for 20 seconds, then they hang up.
Second call, 2:02 pm: Quotes same fare as the online cheap ticket websites. Representative needs info I don't have.
Third call 2:17 pm: Representative doesn't speak English well enough to understand anything, plus ups the previous quote by $400. Can’t give me the fare the second representative quoted.
Fourth call, 2:30 pm: Wait on hold 5 minutes. Another hang up.
Fifth call, 2:36: Representative needed info I’m not allowed to give out, plus ups fare again, can’t honor the first quote I wrote down, because the price went up.

[I explained that I will not be given the name of the funeral home until I arrive for security reasons, because the Westboro Baptist Church protests at military funerals, And yes my son is on Westboro Baptist Church’s “press release.” Here is a portion of it: "Thank God for 15 more dead troops. We are praying for 15,000 more. We will picket their funerals in their home towns in respectful and lawful proximity thereto. Here is a Roster of the Damned: Sgt. 1 Class Kristoffer B. Domeij. We’ve turned America over to the fags; They’re coming home in body bags."]

Posted on Facebook: August 29, 7:15 pm: The Red Cross told the Army that they bought a ticket for my mother on DELTA AIRLINES, however, we have not received confirmation. Delta Airlines WILL NOT because of "protocol" will divulge what time her flight leaves. Only two flights leave Columbus, MS--one at 6 AM and the other at 11 AM. And yes I talked to the manager and again English was her second language.

The manager that I requested to talk to could not confirm or deny whether a flight had been booked. After all that is Delta Airline “protocol.” She asked several times what airline my mom was traveling on. Repeatedly told her that Delta Airlines is the only airline that flies out of Columbus, MS.  Told my distraught 80-plus mother, Nancy H. Springfield, to call Delta. Could find no record of a booking.

Decided to give Delta Airlines another chance on August 30, 10 PM to book a flight on August 31-November 2 for my mother.  Before calling I checked out the seating availability.
Posted on Facebook: Tried to negotiate with DELTA AIRLINES to get my mom to my son's funeral on flights with open seats. Manager says sorry can't lower fare. Can only go by what’s online. They'd rather fly planes with empty seats than negotiate the price. Will happily fly with empty seats unless you pay an exorbitant price. Columbus, MS: FLIGHT: 5530: Leaves 11:00: 9 seats left: Atlanta: Flight: 1123: 24 seats left: Salt Lake City: Flight 1957: 74 seats left.

Posted on Facebook, August 30: Today UNITED AIRLINES UPGRADED the Army Sergeant and myself today to FIRST CLASS without asking. The stewardess was beyond kind to me. Couldn't eat much. So she packed me extra snacks to take with me to make sure I ate. Wow! Can't believe the difference between United Airlines and Delta Airlines. When I flew to Dover Air Force Base, UNITED AIRLINES UPGRADED me to first class, without asking.

Unfortunately, Delta Airlines is the only carrier servicing Columbus, MS. From my experience with Delta Airlines this last week, "How can we help" is an absurdly ridiculous question.

Scoti Springfield Domeij
Below is what the news media is saying about my son.


Monday, August 3, 2009

A Time to Laugh—Mexican Lion

"I was not the lion, but it fell to me to give the lion's roar."—Winston Churchill

Mexican Lion

A dear friend calls me a "lioness." I often feel like a powerless mouse, but sometimes single parenting makes me roar. It takes the heart and strength of a lioness to overcome the fears of parenting alone.

One lion-hearted individual tired of people breaking into his shop. So he came up with this intimidating security system.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Overcoming Misery

"My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, "You sit here in a good place," and you say to the poor man, "You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool," have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives? Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?"—James 2:1–5 (NASB)

Overcoming Misery

I'm the most miserable when I think about—

  • what I don't have
  • what I can't afford
  • what others have that I want
  • what others who don't respect me think about me.

These thoughts range from wanting a husband to wishing for a better paying job to desiring a spacious, beautiful home. Because if I had these things then the disrespecters might treat me as if I have value. I find their negative stereotypes of single-parent families especially irksome.

My anguish serves as a microscope to myself and a telescope to God. When I look close up at myself, I see self doubt. When I search for God, I'm liberated from my attachment to fine things and others' biases. I refocus on putting my ultimate trust in God alone. I prefer to observe myself through God's eyes.


Set free.

Rich in faith.

Heir of his kingdom.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Time to Laugh: The 84-year-old Bride

A Time to
Laugh: The 84-year-old Bride

Did you know that laughter relaxes your body, increases your immune system, releases endorphins, and safeguards your sanity. And what single mother doesn't struggle with the insanity of the mother load of responsibilities. So what can we younger gals learn from an 84-four-year-old bride?

There's Always Hope

When a 84-year-old bride married for the fourth time, an interviewer asked her questions about her life, her husbands and their occupations.

She smiled and said, "I married a banker in my 20s, a circus ringmaster in my 40s and a preacher in my 60s.

"What's your current husband's occupation?" The interviewer asked.

"A funeral director."

"Why did you marry men with such diverse occupations?"

"Easy, son. I married one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, and four to go."

Friday, May 29, 2009

Diamonds on My Crabgrass

"Let your life lightly dance on the edges of time like dew on the tip of a leaf." —Rabindranath Tagore

Diamonds on My Crabgrass

Dreary, overcast clouds greeted me as I stepped outside, further depressing my already gray mood, until…

Water drops dressing my tenacious crab grass sparkled like dewy diamonds, cheering my spirit. Desiring a National Geographic photo, I wanted to get down to crabgrass level.

No time for wet belly photography, Scoti.

Too Much to Do, Too Little Time

My tight schedule only provided a sliver of time to run errands. I jumped in the car, wondering, When a thick layer of clouds blocks the sun's ray, how is it possible for the dewdrops to catch the light and sparkle? Too often the shadowy haze of the never-ending duties of single parenting obscure the smiles of God's beauty surrounding me.

The priceless, watery jewels' glad voices beckoned. My muse insisted, "Grab your camera—now—and capture their ephemeral magnificence."

I'm too busy.

Would I give into the pressing demands robbing me of this moment to lift hardship's black veil, dimming the sunny spots in my soul? My withered heart suffered from emotional drought. It needed watering.

I ran back into the house, grabbed my camera, and began photographing the fair, sparkling beads shining pure under the gloomy sky.

Click by click…

Each captured droplet refilled the dry emotional well of my heart.

Drop by drop.

And my heart danced.

The Dew of Heaven

My Bible provides a shimmery light piercing the darkness of my life's struggles. God's words are as fresh as the morning dew. His warm love dries my teardrops.

In the valleys draped with depression, I draw hope and energy from his promises. Like the fragile dewdrop's journey, my sorrows will last but a day on God's calendar. Tears of mourning precede tomorrow's bright morning.

Just as the cloudy sky failed to hinder the dew's glisten, I ignored the tug of life's mêlée to stop and enjoy a brief moment of God's antidepressant on display.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Pain or Promise: The Price of Children

"Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children."—Charles R. Swindoll

When my monthly childcare bill and apartment rent surpassed my monthly take-home pay, I lived in panic mode. I worried, How will I provide for my sons? When Kristoffer entered first grade, I couldn't afford school clothes.

God provided.

Laurie, my babysitter and dear friend, gave me the clothes her son, Scott, outgrew. As winter approached, I couldn't afford a winter coat for Kristoffer.

God provided.

Years before, my grandmother bought coat lining and I'd purchased navy blue corduroy on sale. Perfect compliments for Kristoffer's new bomber jacket. I stayed up all night sewing a coat, finishing it at dawn, just in time to drive him to school in his new, warm coat.

I found it very painful to overcome my guilt and expectations that I couldn't give my sons more opportunities and things that only money can buy. I wish I'd spent less time allowing money stresses to drain me emotionally and more time thanking God for his provision. Looking back, we survived, thrived, and clung to God's promises.

Single parents often grieve about what they can't give their children, instead of focusing on what we can provide: a strong work ethic, a 'can-do' attitude, and trust in God's ability to meet our needs.

The Price of Children

Single parents worry about the cost of raising a child. Why? It's expensive to raise a child alone, especially without the benefit of child support. The United States Department of Agriculture released the report "Expenditures on Children by Families, 2007" which estimated expenditures two-parent and single-parent families spent on children from birth through age 17. When you look at the cost for single parents—$140,520—it seems insurmountable. And those six figures don't include a college education.

But what does "the cost of raising a child" look like when divided equally by 18 years?

  • $7806.66 a year (my yearly childcare costs were more than this figure)
  • $650.56 a month
  • $162.64 a week
  • $21.83 a day
  • Barely a dollar an hour

The Rewards of Raising Children

And exactly what did I receive for my $140,520 investment?

  • naming rights: first, middle, and last
  • glimpses of God every day
  • lots of kisses, hugs and laughs
  • more love than my heart ever dreamed it could experience
  • endless wonder over rocks, bugs, clouds, video games, and Lego® creations
  • someone to come home to everyday that loved me

For $140,520, I enjoyed childish pleasures. I

  • climbed trees
  • finger-painted
  • carved pumpkins
  • colored Easter eggs
  • found escaped snakes lost in my house

I didn't need an excuse to

  • watch Dumbo at least 122 times
  • read Green Eggs and Ham more times than I could count
  • watch Disney movies
  • wish on stars

I treasure my sons'

  • school art projects
  • handmade Christmas decorations
  • handprints set in plaster
  • painted handprints on sweat shirt
  • handmade cards for holidays

I was a hero for

  • retrieving my sons safely off the roof
  • taking the training wheels off a bike
  • removing splinters and bumblebee stingers
  • buying nails by the pounds to build a tree house
  • coaching my son's basketball team, even though I didn't understand the rules

For a $21.83 a day, there is no greater bang for the hard-earned, single-parent buck. In the eyes of a child (before puberty), I ranked right up there with God. I

  • made boo-boos better with kisses and Superman Band-Aids
  • calmed scary nightmares
  • soothed broken hearts
  • policed slumberless parties
  • grounded my sons for bad choices
  • loved them unconditionally

I received a front row seat in history to witness

  • stitches, stitches and more stitches
  • boys, toys, dogs, and frogs
  • graduation from preschool
  • graduation from kindergarten
  • graduation from middle school
  • graduation from high school
  • graduation from basic training
  • graduation from special forces school
  • graduation from special forces survival training
  • my first born's first born

Along the way my sons and I obtained educations in:

  • life's ups and downs
  • house remodeling
  • landscaping
  • bargaining
  • car repair
  • and God's provision

I love my sons with all my heart and passed my values onto them. Now it's their turn to count the cost of loving—sacrificially, unconditionally—no matter what surprises life springs on them.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Maker’s Mark

"I collect antiques. Why? Because they're beautiful." —Broderick Crawford

The Maker's Mark

I love my Victorian quadraplate chocolate pot. When the pot maker formed my beloved pot, he stamped his mark on it. The maker's mark determines its worth. Wear, tear, dents, and damage diminish its value to the discriminator's eye.

As a child, antiques and ancient times captivated me. Oak and walnut antique furniture, old china, and depression glass decorated the homes of those I loved most—old people. As my legs swung from their antique dining chairs, they all sang the same vintage chorus, "Jesus loves you. Love Jesus."

The Bible and historical novels prompted my imagination. What would it be like to sashay around a palace in a beautiful dress fashioned from silk that traveled the Silk Road? What if a prince of a godly man courted me, sweeping my heart away along with his profession of forever love?

I wish my pot could share its memories with me. The first time I cleaned my pot, I wondered, Who was your original owner? Did they love you as much as I love you? How did you get that dent on your lid? Who disfigured your patina? Why were you discarded? Did the owner's heirs find you out of fashion?

My pot may have been a wedding gift given to celebrate love. A pewter-colored patina surrounds the once newly monogrammed "B." The worn handle shows that "B" loved it enough to use it often, rubbing the silver plating away. My less-than-gleaming memory maker probably graced "B's" table for many holidays, family celebrations, and special dinners for guests. Now it sits on my antique table. I enjoy filling it with hot water and my favorite tea to serve those who sit around my table making new memories to cherish.

The dents, dings, and worn silver on my antique chocolate pot remind me the inhospitableness of life and the hospitality offered by my Maker.

How to Fix Dents, Dings or Worn Silver

Rough use inflicted by others damages, discourages, and depresses me. Finances, bosses, friends, in-now-out-laws, family, and stressful circumstances dull hope's patina. I look for my Maker's imprint on my heart, searching for his mark that restores my emotions, spirit, and outlook.

Discarded by the baby daddy? For your husband is your Maker, whose name is the LORD of hosts; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, who is called the God of all the earth (Isaiah 54:5).

My Makers Mark? God stamped me:




Overwhelmed by negative thoughts? Because of the multitude of oppressions I cry out for help. God my Maker gives me songs in the night, teaches and makes me wiser. I worship, bow down, and kneel before the LORD my Maker (Job 35:9-11; Psalm 95:6).

My Makers Mark?




Fearful about your future? May you be blessed of the LORD, Maker of heaven and earth (Psalm 115:15).

My Makers Mark?




Feeling shamed by your circumstances? He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. He who mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker; whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished. My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth (Proverbs 14:31; 17:5:
Psalm 121:2).

My Makers Mark?




Struggling with abandonment? The Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them—the LORD, remains faithful forever (Psalm 146:6).

My Maker's Mark?




Making All Things Beautiful in God's Time

The old things I value most are not vintage collectibles stamped with a man-made mark, denoting their worth. My priceless treasures include my family, old friends, well-worn relationships, and long-time companions—God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. I no longer value as truth the scratches or dents hard-pressed by men upon my heart. I prefer the restoration stamp of my Maker's mark—beautiful.