Serving Single Women

The Chivalry of this Fifteen Year Old Blew Me Away

 

The silvery-haired woman stepped into the utility room of her new house to receive instruction on how to maintain the furnace and various mechanical doodads.

She’d been recently widowed and had spent the last weeks and months searching for a home for this new chapter of her life. It was a huge undertaking for her to prepare the house for sale, then de-clutter and pack. She sifted through thousands of items, each holding their own memories, and went through the process of letting go of them. Of letting go of the house and all of its memories too. It was a challenging process. And that was just the selling part of it – there was still the process of looking for a new place she had to walk through.

Every step of the way, I was amazed to see her family right there, in the house, helping her with every piece of it. Her sister, her children, even grandchildren pitched in. In particular, one fifteen-year-old grandson seemed to be there often, helping sort and pack her things, helping move.

On this day, possession day, I’d arranged for the home seller to meet with my buyer to give her the rundown of maintenance. There, in the utility room, my silvery-haired buyer stepped up to the water pipes for instructions. The buyer’s sister and the fifteen year old grandson and I all crammed into the small room with her.

The seller bent and pointed to a valve. “Here’s how to release the pressure on this valve…”

It was good of him to take the time and explain it all, but I wondered how much the woman would remember or understand. Through their whole marriage, her husband took care of the mechanical aspects. Suddenly, all this maintenance was dumped on her. Not only did she not know how it all worked, but it was a LOT of detailed information to take in at one time. I wished there was a better way.

The grandson, I noticed, had been watching with intense eyes as the seller pointed to this and that. Then he said something that nearly made me gasp. “How often should I release the pressure on that valve?”

I? As in, he would do this for his grandma?  I glanced at the buyer’s sister, who wore a look of surprised tenderness.  My chest swelled with such joy I thought I would burst. I looked away, afraid I might bawl my head off. The air in the room seemed to thicken with emotion, but the buyer and even the boy didn’t seem to notice.

He was intent on listening to every single instruction. There was no Grandpa to take care of her anymore, and he would see to it she was not left alone and overwhelmed.

Most fifteen year olds would be hanging out with their friends or in front of a video game, but this gem of a person was sacrificing his weekends and summer days to clean, pack, move, and watch over his grandma, perhaps reciprocating her loving protection and guidance of him.

It was a deep joy to witness. One of those moments that floods you with a new hope in humanity.
These are the moments I live for – moments of hope and joy and love.
And what an honor to behold them and be invited into these moments as a part of my work.

In those moments of stress or worry, cling to the good memories. The inspiring stories you’ve witnessed or somehow been a part of. Remembering them will brighten even the darkest day.

What’s a lovely story you’ve been a part of?

-Tina Plett

Sutton Group-Kilkenny Real Estate

What Single Moms Can Do Now That Was Impossible Before

imageOnce upon a time I was a single mom, and didn’t own my own home. I could only rent, and it stunk. What stunk even more though, was that at the time, the culture was such that a single mom couldn’t really buy. They could be looked down on and judged, but to acquire a loan or mortgage was a hurdle too high for most.

But times have changed, and a single mother can now make a loan. I cannot tell you how excited I am to see a single woman buy a house on her own.

I recently had the honor of receiving three referrals, all of them single moms. I was so happy to help them find and buy a home. Having come through divorce and being a single mom, I know how hard it is. It means so much to me to help women get on their own feet, and to be part of the celebration of starting fresh. It’s especially rewarding to watch them take these steps if they’re coming from a difficult path – I understand the pain behind, and celebrate with them the newness ahead.

I’m so glad that the lending institutions and schools and workplaces are willing to acknowledge these mothers. They are single for different reasons, and ought not to be turned away just because of their singleness.  Back in my single mom days, I was led to believe I would never accomplish anything – that I would never have a rewarding career, or maintain a mortgage. It was a terrible label to slap on a woman.  Today though, these women are being validated – their money is as good as a man’s. Things are different than the generation I came from, and I LOVE to see that.  Even better than seeing it, I get to have a part in their reward and success by helping them find a home of their own.

Talk about job satisfaction.