Life is a Struggle but.....there's always Hope!

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC BK607690

Hi folks. I was going through some of my older articles this morning and came across this one. It reminded me of how we  get caught up in our own struggles sometimes and forget that others have it much worse.

Originally written in April 2008

Life is a Struggle...but.....there's always Hope! 

This post is not about real estate. BUT.....it's something I have to write. It will also not be politically correct so you have been warned.

TLW's last post mentioned one of our tenants that was shot and killed by the police department this past Thursday. This post will delve into this incident a little deeper.

We met this young man and his pregnant fiancée on Thanksgiving day 2007. Our Church sponsored a community dinner for anyone in the community who didn't have a place to go. When TLW and I arrived to help there wasn't much for us to do so we hopped in our car and went riding through the "hood" looking for folks who may want to come for a free Thanksgiving dinner. We had a few folks take us up on it including our future tenant and his fiancée. Let's name them..... Struggle and Hope.

Anyway, they were a beautiful young couple very much in love. They were very polite and very thankful that we found them. It seems they had been ostracized by their families and had no one and no place to go for Thanksgiving. Our invitation was accepted with open arms and they were welcomed, with open arms, at our dinner. It was a great day and we liked them.

As fate would have it, I received a call about a month later for one of our rentals. I recognized Struggle's voice right away and met with him and Hope about renting our house. They were currently crammed into an efficiency apartment that they were renting by the week.

Struggle was waiting tables at one of the local restaurants and was trying hard to find a place, they could call home, before the baby was born in May. We talked and we agreed to rent them our property at a little lower rent and we waived some of the move in costs to help them out. They were ecstatic. Hope was crying with joy and Struggle was smiling ear to ear.

It took him a few weeks of working extra shifts at the restaurant to be able to come up with the money to move in but he did. They moved in the second week of February. It was a very happy day.

All was going well. Just a sweet young couple in love and Hope's two year old son. I'll call him Spiderman since he LOVES Spiderman and is always wearing his little Spiderman outfit, while running around the house. He is a bundle of joy.

They had hope. And we were happy for them. It seemed like God had brought us all together. They needed a helping hand and TLW and I wanted to help.

On March 11th at 11:30 pm Struggle was shot and killed by the local police. We don't know the details. All we know is that there was an altercation in the Winn Dixie parking lot and he was shot by a 22 year old policeman and died.

TLW and I heard about the incident on the local news in the morning but had no idea it was Struggle. We found out when a reporter called me for an interview later that day. We were shocked to say the least.

A couple of hours later Hope called us. She was devastated, confused, mad and heart broken. We were too. She had been up all night trying to find Struggle. She had called all the hospitals and the police department but nobody knew, or were willing to say, anything. She thought maybe he had been in a car accident, she had just spoken to him at 11:00 pm on Thursday, 30 minutes before the incident. He called to see if she wanted him to bring home something to eat from McDonalds. That was the last she ever spoke to him.

Folks, we don't know why this happened. We don't know if Struggle was up to no good or not. We do know Struggle is dead and the police officers have been suspended, with pay, while this is investigated.

We also know, Hope, is now alone. We know she will be having their child in about 3 weeks.

I saw Hope yesterday. My Church had given me some money to take over to her, so I did. This young lady broke my heart. All I wanted to do was hold her and make the pain go away. I held her....but the pain stayed. The worst part was when Spiderman kept asking for "TaTa". She had to explain, to a two year old, that "TaTa" was hurt bad and would not be coming home.

I can't even imagine the pain this young lady is going through.

This entire situation got me thinking. What if I had been a young black man growing up in a rough neighborhood? What if when I was 16 and got caught for pulling up stop signs, as a prank, I had been sent to prison, instead of just being reprimanded, because I was white and the son of a Pastor? Would I have grown up scared of "the man", knowing that if I got caught for doing anything, I would be sent to jail?

So many unanswered questions. So much pain. Life is a Struggle but there's always Hope. Please pray for Hope.

***By the way, Hope lived in our rental house for about another year after I posted this article. We let her stay free for several months and then she got a job and did her best to pay the rent. She had a beautiful baby girl a few months after all of this went down. She currently has a decent job and her own apartment.

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***I am NOT an Attorney nor do I play one on TV. Click the button below for my Bio.

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Rainer
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Collette Sarmento
Cameron Real Estate Group - Wakefield, MA
781*258*9718--Your Agent For Life

You are a very kind and caring person to try to help her!  You will get that back one day!  Thank you for Paying it forward and taking care of people in general!

Have a great day!

Sep 24, 2011 01:33 AM #1
Rainmaker
4,796,627
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Beautiful story Bryant.  Makes you think that when you think you have some trouble, there's others a lot more in need of hope.

Sep 24, 2011 01:36 AM #2
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Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

BB, first I had to stop crying before I commented. You said your post was not PC, who gives a damn about PC, but in my NOT so humble opinion on this matter, this post should be read to every police man, every child in school, everyone. And by the way, if they don't shake their heads and shed a tear, they should not be allowed to carry a gun, they should be made to live on the streets for a month or two.

I hate this, it makes my stomach turn. What this economy should teach each and every one of us is that so many of us are one paycheck (or less) away from being homeless.

I am glad Hope is ok, as ok as she can be in this type of situation. I am not surprised that you and TLW did what you did, you are just that way. Good people who think nothing of helping others. It is how it should be. And I am a bit ashamed that these type of things might be considered to be NOT PC. Who ever thinks that is seriously NOT PC in my book.

Thank you for posting this.

Sep 24, 2011 01:38 AM #3
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Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 - Gaithersburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

BB, thank you for sharing this, I missed reading the first time around. . I wonder how his family took the news. . since they were ostracized. . what in the world is more important to separate your love from a family member that is just starting in life with a 2 year old little spider-man?  I bet that family carries the burden now . . life is so fragile. . 

Sep 24, 2011 01:46 AM #4
Rainmaker
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Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Thanks guys. I was loooking for something positive to post today but when I reads this one again I knew it needed to be shared again.

Sep 24, 2011 01:50 AM #5
Rainmaker
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Ginny Gorman
RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate - North Kingstown, RI
Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond

Well BB this is more than touching and what a follow through & follow up on this one...goes to my post today that you are no bump on a log & neither is TLW!  thanks for sharing

Sep 24, 2011 01:59 AM #6
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Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County

What a story. In 2011, it still applies. Many folks are so fixated on their minutiae that they forget the big picture.

Sep 24, 2011 02:55 AM #7
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

BB, If I were nearby, I would be giving  you and TLW great big appreciative hugs! This was perfect to bring us up to date. We wish Hope and her family all the best.

Thanks for sharing again.

Margaret

Sep 24, 2011 06:24 AM #8
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Karen Crowson
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Rancho Bernardo, CA
Your Agent for Change

What a sad story.  I'm so glad you posted the update. With stories on the news, we usually hear the initial story, but very rarely how things turn out. I'm sure Hope is grateful that you have stayed in touch.

Sep 24, 2011 11:34 AM #9
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Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Bryant- I'm glad you did share this story.  That was very kind of you and TLW to go beyond what others might have done.  And I'm glad you posted the question.. What might you have done if you have been a young black man growing up in a rough neighborhood.  I'm glad Hope is doing ok.  Thank you for being you. 

Sep 24, 2011 02:45 PM #10
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Hi BB!  I wouldn't expect anything less from you and TLW--and I know that at that time, you guys had your own struggles and yet, you still gave and gave.  I so believe in Karma and you two certainly live by example.  Such a poignant story.  I heart you two!

Sep 24, 2011 04:34 PM #11
Rainmaker
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Michelle Gibson
Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. - Wellington, FL
REALTOR

BB - Wow, my heart goes out to Hope and her family.  You and TLW are such amazing people and I'm sure made a difference in Hope's life.

Sep 25, 2011 11:43 AM #12
Rainmaker
1,509,240
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

It is sad how many times this story gets re-lived. Life is a struggle - for some, a bit more of a struggle.

Sep 27, 2011 12:35 AM #13
Rainmaker
888,475
Gail Robinson
William Raveis Real Estate - Southport, CT
CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT

BB - I'm not at all surprised at what you and TLW did.  Your hearts are big and beautiful!  Life is not fair.  The cards are certainly stacked against those less fortunate.  Have you heard from Hope lately?  Sometimes I feel like life is a struggle, but in comparison, it's a bed of roses.  Thank you for putting things in perspective.

Sep 27, 2011 01:46 PM #14
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