I first met Ray and Margie about five years ago right after they had signed a commitment to move to a Senior Living Community.
Ray had been in the Air Force and had lots of stories and Margie was always talking about getting out her skateboard and cruising around (she of course did not own a skateboard, it was just her sweet sense of humor).
Both Ray and Margie were excited to move but also very nervous about letting go of their home. Margie told me right from the start that if I told her she needed to remodel her kitchen she wouldn’t do it...apparently remodeling a kitchen will kill a husband in no time flat as that’s what happened to all her friends. So we left her kitchen just exactly as it was because that was important to her.
We got Ray and Margie moved very quickly but being willing to let go of the house and sell it was another story.
It took about one year for them to go back and forth between their new home and their old home before they were ready.
Every family we serve is different and some need to sell quickly for financial reasons while others need to take their time processing this next step...at Tailored Transitions we are here to work at your pace, NOT ours.
Fast forward, Ray and Margie had been married 72 years and lived in that home the better part of those years. There were memories of their children, improvements they were proud of, and belongings on top of belongings on top of more belongings. We went through each and every item with them and as we did that we learned about them, their children, and their families. It was an awesome experience to say the least.
But on top of that we learned a valuable lesson about families. You see, this super sweet couple that we all loved, admired, and respected were estranged from all but one of their children. There was no amount of persuasion we could find that would get the other children to come see their parents as the end was nearing.
What we learned from that was that you cannot judge a family. We do not know the past, we only know what we see in that brief window of time we are with them. Where there is estrangement there is a reason and it’s a reason we have not experienced therefore cannot judge. While we were sad for Ray and Margie we were also sad for their children and for whatever their past held...children do not walk away from their parents without a good reason.
We learned to be gentle, to be kind, to be understanding, and to help our clients and their families find acceptance in what has been their reality throughout the years. It is not for us to say what is right or wrong, our ONLY job is to be compassionate to everyone involved.
Every family brings a new learning experience and this was a big one. I learned a lot about life, love, and that families aren’t perfect and aren’t ever going to be. I learned not to judge a past I don’t know and not to push for a reunion that others aren’t ready for.
As always, I feel blessed and I feel like I am gaining so much wisdom that can be put to good use in my own life. Hopefully by sharing these stories I am also helping others...
Stacy Mardesich, Realtor/CEO