When Tragedy Strikes...

Real Estate Agent

A little over two months ago, a woman that attended the same High School as me was horrifically murdered in public by an ex-partner/assailant (who also attended the same High School).  After murdering the woman, I still remembered as a pretty, young girl, only two years older than myself, the assailant tried to take his own life, which eventually did occur several days later.


This entire tragedy took place in quiet, much loved community, at the woman's successful and admired boutique which happens, sadly, to be situated right next to a very popular local ice cream/eatery many locals and visitors frequent.  This establishment also employs mostly college students because it is only open from Memorial Day to Labour Day each year.  

This incident took place on Labor Day, one of the busiest days of the year for the community.


I write this post not to sensationalise, but to encourage those of us who serve our local communities, to remember and ask, "What more can I do?" which I have to give  credit to John O'Leary for challenging me to ask that same question.  If you have not heard of John O'Leary, I HIGHLY suggest you check him out!


The woman who was murdered has two beautiful sons, both still attending High School.  I noticed an ingenious Meal Train had been set up by another "What more can I do?" thinker.  I signed up for the month of October.  

With heavy heart, I carried the meal and held the hand of one of my children while we walked to the front door of the home where the two, now motherless boys live.  Their grandmother graciously received the meal from my child and I.  We spoke for a few minutes.  It was not difficult (I had a prior career that made me face these situations all too frequently) but I wanted to do more.

So, I checked the Meal Train this month.  There was room for more opportunities to make dinner and I signed up.  

And so in the days and weeks coming forward, I will continue to ask, "What more can I do?" and be ever so grateful I have the support of my family, the health and ability to do good work, provide great service, volunteer, teach in any way I can that love wins and write about this, because to share these intimate life events with others, is to remind and keep alive the spirit in all of us that with just a little effort, care and concern, we can as just one, single, individual make a difference.

Posted by

~Aimee Schmitt

Broker Logo

Serving Central PA With Excellence! 

Office:  (717) 769.2986 ext. 116

Mobile: (717) 821.8772 

Email: realestatebyaimee@gmail.com



Comments (39)

John Dotson
Preferred Properties of Highlands, Inc. - Highlands, NC - Highlands, NC
The experience to get you to the other side!

Aimee, you are the kind of person that really makes the difference.  If the world were filled with more caring folks such as yourself it would be a finer place!

God Bless you for your thoughtfulness!

Nov 06, 2015 10:18 AM
Aimee Schmitt

Thank you John Dotson and thank you for reading my post.  It was a difficult process for me to write about.  My true hope is that it inspires the AR community to appreciate and share more kindness too :)

Nov 06, 2015 11:05 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

Such a tragic loss of life and senseless crime. It's challenging enough to lose a parent or loved one ... I cannot get my mind around what takes place in the mind of one who commits such horrific acts. Small acts do make a big difference.  So nice to hear the community is mindful of the needs of the family and are doing what they can to help.

Nov 06, 2015 10:29 AM
Aimee Schmitt

Thank you for reading my post Kathleen Daniels.  Yes, our community will not let these boys forget we care :)

Nov 06, 2015 11:04 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Beautiful and you are proof that one person can make a difference.

Nov 06, 2015 11:59 AM
Aimee Schmitt

Thank you Margaret Rome.  Myself and countless others in this community have stepped up to the plate and cooked for over two months for the family and I still am amazed at how many people keep signing up...we are into December now :)

Nov 08, 2015 04:05 AM
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

A good reminder that we all can do more and that we can make a difference.

Nov 06, 2015 01:09 PM
Aimee Schmitt

Yes we can Joan Whitebook, yes we can :)

Nov 08, 2015 04:05 AM
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Aimee, my heart goes out to the family and friends of the young women and her assailant. This is a tragedy beyond words. How fortunate that the community continues to work together to make a difference in the lives of her children and other family members.  This is a reminder to hold our friends and relatives close.

Nov 06, 2015 01:33 PM
Aimee Schmitt

Thank you Sharon Parisi and yes hold your friends and relatives close, even strangers who may need help.  There is never a way to know how just one little, positive effort you make can change another's mindset forever.

Nov 08, 2015 04:07 AM
Claude Labbe
Real Living | At Home - Washington, DC
Realty for Your Busy Life

That is crazy sad. I won't make comments about mental illness or guns or anything else, because frankly, I don't have the solution.

I do like John O'Leary who will be publishing a book in the spring, but I'd never heard of meal train.  What a great idea.

Part of me does think that living in a smaller town may help these boys heal faster than the rural countryside alone, or the urban city without a true sense of community.

Nov 06, 2015 01:46 PM
Aimee Schmitt

Thank you Claude Labbe for reading my post and yes I canot wait for John O'Leary's book, On Fire, to release in March.  In the meantime you can follow his Vlog or FB page where he posts "awesomeness".  

Nov 08, 2015 04:10 AM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

What a tragedy. My deepest condolences to the family and friends. So sad...

Nov 06, 2015 05:39 PM
Aimee Schmitt

Thank you Inna Ivchenko  for your kind thoughts and words.

Nov 08, 2015 04:11 AM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

We all shall remember that we have only some time to live. We always should give out our best, be our best, enjoy every moment. 

God bless. 

Nov 06, 2015 05:42 PM
Aimee Schmitt

It is difficult to be "in tune" all the time, 100% but I am grateful I have reached so many with my post to help remind us to keep it in the front of our thoughts and actions throughout our busy lives.  Thanks so much for your comments Inna Ivchenko.

Nov 08, 2015 04:13 AM
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

How sad that things like this happen... It sounds like you live in a wonderful place where people truly come together in the face of tragedy and make a difference. Thanks for sharing this idea of a "meal train" - 'Hope I never need it, but I will remember...

Nov 06, 2015 06:55 PM
Aimee Schmitt

Thank you Margaret Woda, this is a pretty wonderful place full of great peeople and great things to do and appreciate.  I want you to know  "Meal Train" can be used for other purposes as well, a sick friend/neighbour, someone who lost a home due to fire, whatever the case may be.  I hope you never need it too!

Nov 08, 2015 04:20 AM
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce

We take the "just do it" approach...if you ask...would you like dinner...it's 
"don't go to all that trouble..." Just do it is just what needs to be done.

Nov 06, 2015 09:00 PM
Aimee Schmitt

Yes Sally K. & David L. Hanson, you got it...just do it and don't ask questions, don't think it's silly or overboard or whatever, just do it...because it will make a difference.

Nov 08, 2015 04:17 AM
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Aimee and welcome to the Rain. What a chilling, scary post and yet poignant. Teach the children and they will grow to understand.......

Nov 06, 2015 09:49 PM
Aimee Schmitt

Thank you Sheila Anderson for reading my post and commenting.  

Nov 08, 2015 04:16 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Suffering that takes place in and out side of a human is agonizing. God help us as we help ourselves and each other thank you Aimee Schmitt 

Nov 06, 2015 10:16 PM
Aimee Schmitt

Thank you for reading and commenting on my post Richie Alan Naggar.  It helps to see the message is making an impact for my fellow AR members.

Nov 08, 2015 04:15 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

That is such a sad story. The family is benefiting from your "what more can I do?" question, and we are all challenged to think, "What more can I do?" even when there are no tragedies.

Nov 06, 2015 11:02 PM
Aimee Schmitt

You are so right Kat Palmiotti!  Thank you for the emphasis on the "What more can I do?" challange and check out John O'Leary if you can :)

Nov 08, 2015 04:14 AM
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Such a tragedy and good for you for writing about this story and taking action for the meal train.

Nov 06, 2015 11:11 PM
Aimee Schmitt

Thank you Rebecca Gaujot, I watched John O'Leary speak shortly after this tragedy took place and thought THIS is what it means for me when I ask, "What more can I do?". 

Nov 08, 2015 04:03 AM
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com

A hot meal may not seem like a lot to some but it's one less thing they need to think about providing for themselves when their provider was taken from them. Thank you for being a servant to those boys!

Nov 06, 2015 11:38 PM
Aimee Schmitt

Thank you Nicole Doty, I am a mother to three small children and to think about them losing me and not having me to protect them and teach them breaks my heart.  

Nov 08, 2015 04:02 AM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

I am glad you stepped in. So much can be done at the local level. Often we complain at the news and give up, not realizing that making a commitment to help at the local level is empowerment because you can see lives changed and the expression of gratitude.

Nov 07, 2015 03:15 AM
Aimee Schmitt

So true Joe Pryor, it is the little things that count and the smallest effort can = HUGE differences.

Nov 08, 2015 04:00 AM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Aimee Schmitt  How kind of you to make dinner for this family and to take your children with you . By doing this you are teaching them compassion .  What a tragic story .

Nov 07, 2015 04:59 AM
Aimee Schmitt

Thank you Hannah Williams, you are so right, I want my children to see compassion and learn how to give it, to teach them that from pain we can bring joy, even if only for a little while.

Nov 08, 2015 03:59 AM
Bill Reddington
Re/max By The Sea - Destin, FL
Destin Florida Real Estate

Good for you. I remember reading about the story. Just too many wacko jobs out there.

Nov 07, 2015 12:14 PM
Aimee Schmitt

Bill Reddington there are some very disturbed individuals out there, it will not however, make me lose my compassion or willingness to give :)

Nov 08, 2015 03:57 AM
Sham Reddy CRS
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

Thanks for the share!!!

To share intimate life events with others, is to remind and keep alive the spirit in all of us that with just a little effort, care and concern, we can as just one, single, individual make a difference.

Nov 07, 2015 07:42 PM
Aimee Schmitt

Thank you Sham Reddy, you got it!

Nov 08, 2015 03:55 AM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Aimee Schmitt that should be the mantra of our life - What More Can I do for you?

I am fortunate to have listened to John O'Leary in person few times recently, thanks to my association with Buffini & Company .

And congrats on one more featured post.

Nov 08, 2015 02:57 PM
Aimee Schmitt

Isn't he just amazing Praful Thakkar?  So grateful to have the opportunity to ask that question.  Thank you for the congrats.

Nov 10, 2015 11:40 AM