Hi everyone. I had to ay something to someone as I have had a really unpleasant day trying to make arrangements for my mother to go to Germany next month. The reason for her trip is that the village in which my father lived until he was in his mid teens is installing what are referred to as 'stolpersteine.' to honor his parents, his brother and himself. His family was Jewish and were able to emigrate from Germany before the doors slammed shut. The vast majority of his relatives in that area were deported to Riga on December 13, 1941. My father's second cousin, Hilde, survived the ordeal, her younger brother having died just a few weeks before the liberation of Stutthof where they had been sent when the Soviet forces were approaching Riga. My grandparents had owned a clothing store in Germany and as was done during that time, their store and home as well as the greater share of their belongs were expropriated by the government at the time. Earlier this year I received an unusual email from a gentleman from this town, Rinteln, asking some questions about my grandparents. It was not clear as to the reasons for the questions and they were rather personal, however, my grandparents have been deceased since 1967 and 1973 my uncle since 1981 and my father since 1975 and so I figured it wouldn't hurt to find out the answers and return his email. Plus, his email stated that he had been trying for years to find relatives of my grandparents so I proceeded to call my mother and ask her the questions, hoping she could answer. Most of the questions had to do with the receipt of fair compensation for their store and home, what they were permitted to leave Germany with and other such questions. I emailed this gentleman back with the answers in a list type of format and thought that I would never hear from him again. Later that I day I checked my email and there was an email from Germany again. I opened it to find a letter starting with the words, 'my heart is heavy.' He then explained that it was his grandparents who were given the store and home of my grandparents. I was startled, but excited to hear from someone with whom a connection existed even if it was unusual. I spent much time explaining to this good man that he was not responsible for anything and reiterated the truth, my father always loved Germany and we always would have a Linden tree in the front yard as it reminded him of his childhood there. I apologize, but I am going off topic. In any case, he was looking for a member of my family because they were going to have the 'stolpersteine' placed in Rinteln for my family. Oddly enough, I had just read an article about the 'stolpersteine' no more than a week before. I didn't know how to respond as I was so touched by the gesture. I called my mother and she started to cry she was overwhelmed. We have been corresponding and several days ago I receive a notice that the 'stolpersteine' are going to be installed at the end of November. I go onto US Airways site to use miles to purchase two first class tickets to Germany. My mother is 89 and travel is difficult enough and she can not be sitting up in coach for 15 hours. I realized we were each short some miles and thought about the share miles and the 100% match offer that was going on, did the match and started looking for flights. I was shocked to find that during none of the month of November nor December were seats available for less than 100,000 miles more than the best mileage deal that is a possibility in low season. Needless to say, that was not a possibility. By the time I was seven years of age, my father and his parents were deceased and within five years my uncle had also passed and so I think it best that my mother go as she knows more about the experiences of my father's family in Germany. I assume it is her age as she does not feel comfortable traveling alone. She also suffered a stroke several years ago and I took care of her until she was able to care for herself. She did continue to live with me until last year when my sister asked her to move in with her in California. My sister is not the nicest person in the world and as of last month I moved my mother back in with me here in Las Vegas. Please understand that this posting is a way of getting out my frustration and nothing more, but the ironic thing about this is that her American Airlines miles would have helped substantially, however, they were absorbed back into American's system during the time she was recovering from her stroke due to inactivity. Right now, I feel that American and U.S. Airways are definitely meant to be together. (last time we were on American it was paid first class and the had three cats on the plane and my mother had to sit there with an oxygen mask on and we still ended up in the emergency room after the flight). How things have changed. Have a great day everyone!!!