The Tenderest of Holidays!...A Thanksgiving Story From Today

By
Real Estate Agent with Douglas Elliman Real Estate 30HA0800896

The Tenderest of Holidays!...A Thanksgiving Story From Today

( I wrote this post right during the Thanksgiving weekend and took it down because a member told me she thought it had too much information in it--meanwhile, I see a story like the football player and his actions and it brings everything up all over again, including this experience of mine.  So, I wanted to share it again with all of you since I have had several requests for it..Thanks for reading it.)

As I was driving back home this morning to Southampton from Sagponack after working with a young woman and her 3 children, I wasTHANKSGIVING--A VERY TENDER HOLIDAY overwhelmed by tears that would not stop---they slipped out of my eyes without me even realizing it until my face was drenched--then I could hardly see to drive! Peeling onions had the same effect on me earlier today as I prepared part of Thanksgiving dinner... but they did not leave me in such a state as I was in now....I had to pull over to pull myself together...then the sobs came and I was a lump of emotion behind the wheel of my car, trying to stop the flow of tears to no avail. I am not the crying sort!!!

It is the week of Thanksgiving and it is slow in real estate right now,  especially here in the Hamptons. There are a lot of people in need right now; none as much need as the person whom I just met today. Thanksgiving has always been the most tender of all holidays to me and this situation exemplifies that feeling.

I got a call from a young woman this morning, her name is Maggie ( I don't want to use her real name here) She was calling about one of my year round rental listings. She says she lives in Riverhead and needs a year round house, nothing fancy, for her and her 3 kids. She also said she needs to be in the house by December 1st.

Something in her voice gave me the feeling that she is in a pickle--she really needed to find something and fast and since that house is already rented for year round, I needed to find her something that was close to Riverhead but was more than a beach shack. I could have told her that she won't find anything this fast, especially around this holiday time---people are away---people are hard to reach...and year round rentals are almost all rented now because of the economy. I could have told her she was wasting her time and that she needed to go look in another part of New York, like maybe Hampton Bays.

...But I did not; something made me go forward and show her the only house available in the area.

This young woman needs a fresh startI met her at a house in the more remote part of Sag Harbor; she was an attractive, well spoken tall young woman of about 35---her kids were typically active young ones, a little disheveled but well behaved. There was a long driveway to the house which is small and cheaply furnished with just the bare essentials. There is a fireplace and there are decent appliances plus a full basement...not too bad; and it was clean.

This is a rare and not a typical customer for me to get. I work with very few rentals as a fact. She was pleased that the house looked like it would work--her budget is lower than the asking price and I told her I would try to get the owner to rent the house to her.

"Do you work?" was my next question as we finished looking at the house..."I work at an office in Hampton Bays, but I will not be paying the rent" she said haltingly....I carefully listened as she spoke: "I am in a special program at The Retreat in West Hampton; I am not from around here. They sponsor me and they will be paying the rent on my behalf"....

My mind slowed to gather my thoughts---I had to stop to think... I know The Retreat: It is a privately funded place for battered women to go for help. This retreat protects their charges in a cacoon of privacy with no contact with the outside world while they live in the residence. But there comes a time in most cases where they need to make living arrangements for those who are most vulnerable to the needs of a growing family for instance. Living in fear for her life--not a good thing!

That is what has happened here. This young family needs to find a place to start over--safely away from the threatening and menacing behavior of a controlling husband and father.

At this time of year, a young mother, looking to find a place to live in dire circumstances is the most frightening thing I can imagine. I can not help but think: "Thank God she has a place to go like The Retreat!"

In my own family, I have an example of the dreadful, fearful life of a battered woman. She was my sister Laura and she didn't stand a chance in her case because she never told a soul of her plight and she lost her life in such a horrible way.

We never knew she was in trouble with her Air Force Corporal husband; she never told us anything and she lived so very far away....HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS--AND I FEEL I HELPED HER FIND IT

So, on this night before Thanksgiving, a most tender of all holidays, I feel I have a chance to do something for this young woman that I could not do for my precious sister.

I called the owner of the house  just now and I told him of the situation....I told him she is a lovely woman who is in real need for a home for her and her children and I am so convinced that she is a perfect tenant for him and because she can pay him only a small part of what he is asking for the rent that I would not be taking a commission on the deal...this to help to make him whole. Because the rent is paid through The Retreat, he will be sure to get paid.

When I called to tell her she has a home to live in she was so quiet; I heard her crying silently. The children playing and laughing in the background made me feel so thankful!

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the retreat
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thanksgiving time is so tender
i feel i found her a home
the only house available

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Rainmaker
323,839
Melissa Brown
Helen Adams Realty - Charlotte, NC
Realtor - South Charlotte NC Homes for Sale

Paula, that is one of the most tender stories I've ever heard, and I am so thankful that you were the one to help her. I'm so sorry to hear about your sister.  Thank you for your selfless deed.

 

Nov 22, 2012 03:39 AM #30
Rainmaker
494,549
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Melissa: Thank you so much for reading this and I too am happy I was the one to work with her--it was no accident! Hope you are enjoying your Thanksgiving...

Nov 22, 2012 03:44 AM #31
Rainmaker
420,686
Michelle Francis
Tim Francis Realty LLC - Atlanta, GA
Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease

Paula,

God bless!  This is what Thanksgiving is all about:-)

All the best, Michelle

Nov 22, 2012 04:23 AM #32
Rainmaker
494,549
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Michelle: I think you are right--it is almost the best thing I could have asked for today!

Nov 22, 2012 06:14 AM #33
Rainmaker
645,097
Bill Reddington
Re/max Southern Realty - Destin, FL
Destin Florida Real Estate

This type of story helps you feel good about being an agent. Thank you for going the extra steps. Understand the tears, got them myself. Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 22, 2012 06:29 AM #34
Rainmaker
494,549
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Bill: Thanks for reading it--and thanks for the Happy Thanksgiving--Hope you have a good one too! 

Nov 22, 2012 06:49 AM #35
Rainmaker
686,609
Hella Mitschke Rothwell
(831) 626-4000 - Honolulu, HI
Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker

Paula: What an incredibly moving story. You are truly wonderful to help this woman and her children. I have a feeling this helped you as well emotionally, with makes this a doubly inspiring story. Happy Thanksgiving you and your family.

Nov 22, 2012 07:08 AM #36
Ambassador
2,556,088
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

And thus the uncontrollable emotions. There are little miracles every day of the year, but contributing to make a miracle happen on Thanksgiving day has to feel special

Nov 22, 2012 07:09 AM #37
Rainmaker
494,549
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Hella: Thank you so much--and yes it did help me too! I was totally taken by surprise by my reaction to the situation; but when I look back on it, there really ws nothing to do but what I did...

Ed: Yes, I guess you could say that--I do think that providence stepped in here, and I happened to be the one who was needed under the circumstances...

 

Nov 22, 2012 08:33 AM #38
Rainmaker
660,492
Kathy Stoltman
Rockwood Realty - Ventura, CA
Ventura County Real Estate Consultant 805-746-1793

I think your sister was guiding you, what a great story, we need more good stories like this.

Dec 06, 2012 03:17 AM #39
Rainmaker
494,549
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Kathy: It was one of those times when it all fell into place and the amazing thing is many people are in these dire straits and have no clue what to do. Then you have an instance such as the football player and his girlfriend, where at first it was such a shock to everyone--then we started to get the real story and the abuse was there and building to a crescendo with many witnesses. It makes me fall down, sick at heart to hear more stories like this.

Dec 06, 2012 03:23 AM #40
Rainmaker
683,919
Pat Champion
Coldwell Banker Camelot Realty - Mount Dora, FL
Call the "CHAMPION" for all your real estate needs

What a touching story I know your Sister would be proud of you for making a difference in this women's life. Have a wonderful Holiday.

Dec 06, 2012 03:40 AM #41
Rainmaker
494,549
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Pat: I know she is still instrumental in my life---this last big news item sent me into a state of mind where I could have gone into another major slump but I have been feeling her presence with me, especially since this Thanksgiving. Thank you for reading it.

Dec 06, 2012 03:50 AM #42
Ambassador
3,836,870
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Paula- I'd say there most definitely are guardian angels around.  I'm glad you reposted this, and I'm very sorry about your sister.  We never know what's going on in the lives of others and I'm so glad that this young lady somehow found you. 

Dec 06, 2012 06:25 AM #43
Rainmaker
494,549
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Kathy: Thank you for your support--I do believe there are guardian angels. I studied physics when I was younger and my professor used to make a point of disucssing the fact energy is indestructible and therefore never disappears. We as humans are made up of energy and when we die, it is merely our physical body that dies--our energy (or spirit) remains and even though we can't see it, the energy is there...I think that is what happened here--Laura's energy was all around us that day.

Dec 06, 2012 06:33 AM #44
Rainmaker
649,614
Christine O'Shea
Christine E O'Shea Broker-Associate - Naples, FL

That is simply beautiful, an angel brought her to you through your sister so you could help.  Have a very happy Holiday.

Dec 06, 2012 08:57 AM #45
Rainer
158,984
Suzi Sandore
RealtyONEGroup - San Diego, CA
North County San Diego Homes

Paula, thank you for sharing this beautiful and very personal story. I am sure your sister was with you and guiding you from the moment you answered that phone call and heard something in that woman's voice until you were able to call and tell her that you had secured her a home. 

Dec 06, 2012 10:04 AM #46
Rainmaker
494,549
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Christine: Thank you so much for reading this--I think you are right...I felt that is what happened.

Suzi: I think so too--It has altered my life in a way I can't even explain.

Dec 06, 2012 06:12 PM #47
Rainmaker
2,247,667
Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

You certainly know how to impact someone's life. Thank you for sharing the post with all of us. This generosity will come back to you many times.

Dec 06, 2012 06:28 PM #48
Rainmaker
494,549
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Joe: Thank you for reading it...I am so grateful for my own good fortune in life and I want to share it with others--this came out of the blue and now I see how the intricacies of life operate: We just don't know what's important and what will alter things forever; I am living my life from this day forward with an openess and acceptance I did not have before. 

Dec 06, 2012 06:52 PM #49
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