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What's Your Personal Story by Kathleen Daniels

Real Estate Broker/Owner with KD Realty - 408.972.1822 CA DRE#01366594

This post is an entry in the ActiveRain February 2022 Challenge

What's Your Personal Story? 

I was born in Burlingame, California at Peninsula Hospital, the youngest of six (6) children, thereafter, rendering me the “baby” in the eyes of my five (5) siblings. Being the last-born child played a huge role in my personal story of caring for my mother in later years. I was the only one she trusted to honor her wishes in caring for her as she grew older. Sadly, my other siblings were either incapable and/or did not care.

There won’t be a book written about this. I have no desire to write and publish a book. My book is what I write and publish online. 

We lived in a 3-bedroom, 1 bathroom 1,000 square foot home, 5,000 square foot lot, with a one-car attached garage.

My parents had a room, my two eldest brothers shared a room, and my three older sisters and I shared a room. The girls’ room had two bunk beds.

I grew up in a time when kids played outside, and it was safe.  My mother made all of our clothes and being the youngest, I wore a lot of hand-me-downs. We sat at the dining room table every single night for dinner. 

Were we poor?  If we were, as a child I certainly did not know it. We had food, we had a warm bed, clothes, routine medical and dental checkups, and went to church every Sunday.  No doubt my parents did the best they could with what they had and loved us with all they knew how to love.

Did my upbringing influence who I am today, and who I am still becoming?

You bet, absolutely.

I went out on my own at 16 after graduating from high school a year early. Not the formal graduation, just getting my diploma after finishing up summer school at a Jr. College completing the courses I needed to graduate.

At age 16, I was working full time at Nasa Ames Research, had my own car, and was 100% fully responsible for myself and continue to be to this day.


Life-Altering Experiences

A Nasty Divorce that rendered me a single parent with shared custody of my son. Working full-time as a paralegal, with my son in private school, I worked part-time as a waitress during the weekends and evenings I did not have my son just to make ends meet. I would do it all over again for the blessing and gift of my son. We have a very close bond. I love him beyond what any words could describe.


You Have Cancer is a story I have shared before. It changed the way I look at life, what I eat, and how I live. Toxic people and energy vampires must go! 

I learned how completely unimportant hair really is and that a bald head does get cold.



Caring For My Mother was a humbling experience that I count among my most treasured gifts. I thought raising a child was the hardest thing I would ever do in my life. To date, it may actually be among the hardest things I've done.

Caring for my mother like a child, managing her financial matters, and making medical decisions was a task she knew I would honor. During this time, I really got to know her. When her ashes were delivered to my door, I literally fell to my knees in my living room. I held her for hours and just talked to her. I never stopped missing her or talking with her. 


Losing So Many Friends to cancer has on many occasions brought me to my knees. The most recent was one of AR’s own, Lottie.

The battle they all fought, the physical and mental anguish of wondering if all the harsh treatment they endured will save them, saying “I do not want to die” as they are put on hospice care is life-changing. Every person that has died has left me with a treasured gift of their friendship.


All of my life-altering experiences have built strength, character, resilience, and a deep understanding of the importance of humor. Even in dark times, I will find a way to laugh. Anyone who knows me has likely heard my roaring laugh. 

Every single day, through meditation, I  feel immense gratitude. The elevated emotions of gratitude bring me to tears. It is felt by the body, heart, and mind. Tears of joy for the blessing and gift of life.  


Humor - this post is long and it feels somewhat deep for me so why not end it with a real estate joke? 

“An elderly client bought a new home and the enthusiastic real estate agent sent flowers for the occasion. When the new owner read the card, it said “Rest in Peace”. The owner was furious and called the florist to complain.

After he angrily told the florist of the obvious mistake, the florist said, “Sir, I’m really sorry for the mistake, but it could be worse. Somewhere there is a funeral getting flowers with a card that reads: “Congratulations on your new home”.”

Bahaha! 🤣


As for what I will (no hoping) still accomplish in life – continue to live my life’s purpose, which I have grown to know more fully over the years, to help people, and count each day as a blessing. 

This post is Kathleen Daniels entry in the ActiveRain February 2022 Challenge Co-Hosted by Carol Williams and Miss Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker 



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Probate Real Estate Services
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I specialize in probate real estate.
As a Certified Probate
Real Estate Specialist
my focus is on helping Executors and Administrators
avoid headaches
before they start.

“From the moment we met Kathleen, we were impressed with her professionalism, knowledge, patience, respect, humor, attention to detail, and compassion.  She's the Whole Package ~ excellent agent and wonderful human being!  In a potentially stressful experience, we have felt in good hands all along.  We are so grateful and recommend her without hesitation!”

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Comments (25)

Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

Your childhood sounds similar to mine, only most of my siblings were considerably older and already away from home when I was born.  I often lament that kids in my day were "free range."  We felt free to roam and feel safe doing so.  Within two blocks of my home was the library, the park with swimming pool, and two movie theaters.  From the time I was six, I would wander off with a few cents from mom, to use at the pool or movie.  I am sad that my grandkids can't enjoy that same freedom.

Feb 05, 2022 06:18 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist

You triggered more memories of getting a quarter to go to the movies and buy candy as well. I like the term "free-range" Myrl Jeffcoat we really could be gone most of the day and parents did not worry.  

Feb 06, 2022 08:32 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

CONGRATULATIONS Kathleen, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!  

Feb 05, 2022 06:19 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist

Thank you for the feature Myrl Jeffcoat I certainly feel right at home in this club. 

Feb 06, 2022 08:32 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Kathleen - there are familiar threads in your personal story which many of us can identify with including the importance of humor as part of it.  Thank you for sharing it.  

Feb 06, 2022 04:40 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist

Humor keeps me going Michael Jacobs. No doubt many can relate or identify with my personal story. Thank you for stopping by and commenting. 

Feb 06, 2022 08:34 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I am so sorry to hear about your brothers and sisters being unwilling or unable to care for your mother.  She is very lucky to have you!

Feb 06, 2022 05:15 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist

Thank you, Brian England - that is the sad part about my story and yet their unwillingness left me with more to treasure in getting to know my mom more.  

Feb 06, 2022 08:35 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, Kathleen... I already knew the individual parts of your story... but had not thought about it as a whole, the way you've presented it here. You've overcome many difficulties in life and have come out the other end as a brilliant example of courage and resilience. We could all take a lesson in survival from you. The example you set makes me proud to consider you my friend.

Feb 06, 2022 05:56 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist

Hello Miss Nina Hollander, Broker it seems that many of the AR challenges cause us to share things that have already been shared. 

I am proud to know you and consider you my friend as well. Another blessing in my professional story that is yet to be written. 

Thank you for stopping by and commenting. 

Feb 06, 2022 08:40 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Thank you for sharing your story. The challenges of your life resulted in a determined, strong, resilient woman with a sense of humor. Although I suspect you were always those things - but life made them all stronger.

Feb 06, 2022 06:25 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist

Hello, Kat Palmiotti being the youngest of six kids may have been the foundation that created my determination to be strong in life. 

Thank you for stopping by and commenting. 

Feb 06, 2022 08:43 AM
Debb Janes
Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
Put My Love of Nature At Work for You

Thanks for weaving your story together Kathleen. O It’s hard to describe what a gift it is to care for a parent or parents. Rewards are plenty, but It’s often exhausting.  Physically and mentally. I enjoyed the joke too :). 

Feb 06, 2022 07:48 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist

Hello Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD - caring for a parent or parents is an experience that does not translate into words. There are no words for what we feel - and it is mentally and physically exhausting.  Good to know that you enjoyed the joke. 

Thank you for stopping by and commenting. 

Feb 06, 2022 08:45 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Kathleen and Thank You for sharing your story with us here in the Rain.  i wish I had pictures of my family and up brings but my brother got them all when my parents past away.

Feb 06, 2022 08:37 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist

Hello Will Hamm - I am sorry to hear that your brother did not share family photos.  Perhaps he can scan them and share them with you. 

Thank you for stopping by and commenting. 


Feb 06, 2022 08:53 AM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Dear Kathleen what a beautiful story! You touched my heart, made me tear up and fill me with joy, love and laughter -  all in a few short paragraphs. I knew a lot of this from your writings over the years, but not all. I didn't know you were the 'baby but I do know what that means, not for me but my 'baby' sister. What a blessing your were able to be there for your Mom and take care of her every need.  I am certain she is and still is beyond grateful for your love and caring. Thank you for your very deep and well thought out entry into the contest. Wow......amazing!  That would be YOU!

Feb 06, 2022 09:37 AM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten

Kathleen that is a gift to make it though cancer without your Mom knowing and finding a way to help her till the end.  Brings tears to my eyes just thinking of it 😘

Feb 06, 2022 01:32 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist

Oh yes, the "baby".  I told my mother many times she saved the best for last. All kidding aside, she would have been abandoned and alone without the baby caring for her.  When I had cancer I prayed I live long enough to see her to the end Miss Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker Thankfully, my prayers were answered and my mother never knew I had cancer.  Thank you for your kind words. 

Feb 06, 2022 10:13 AM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Featured in BananaTude


Feb 06, 2022 09:38 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist

Thank you for the Feature Miss Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker 

Feb 06, 2022 10:13 AM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten

Well deserved feature Kathleen!  I love these contests. They really bring out such wonderful stories like yours!

Feb 06, 2022 01:33 PM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

God seldom puts obstacles in front of people that cannot handle them.  You have seen every challenge and took what was needed to survive and be a stronger person for that.  Wishing you nothing but good going forward, as there comes a time, when enough is enough.  Your life challenges are similar to my wife's and she starts every day with a smile

Feb 06, 2022 02:16 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist

Thank you, Ed Silva - Like your wife, I wake up with a smile. Not sure if it is the same one I was wearing when I went to sleep or a new one. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

Feb 07, 2022 07:42 AM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754

I do know that part of the smile is because I have already made the coffee

Feb 07, 2022 07:44 AM
Eileen Burns 954.483.3912
Trans State Commercial Realty Inc. - Fort Lauderdale, FL
FLorida Real Estate Connector

The peaks and valleys of your life shared with your Active Rain community members is a treasure Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist .  I hear so many like stories about families who choose to not participate after our parents built the solid foundation.  What a blessing to spend the sunset years with your Mom!  

Learning to let go of toxic folks is a trying task especially when you grew up with some of them who resisted.

Losing good friends makes us think about our mortality and how we proceed onto the next chapter.  Hang in there - you are loved by many😎

Feb 08, 2022 09:01 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist

Hello, Eileen Burns thank you so much for your heartfelt comment. You may know me a little better than others here in the Rain. So true about looking at our own mortality.  We know it is going to happen. We just don't know when or how.  💛💙

Feb 08, 2022 04:17 PM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist - What a heartwarming story.  It says a whole lot about you that your mother trusted you literally with her life and all that matters. .  It is not easy to share a story like that.  Both My parents suffered from cancer.  I lost my mother way back in 1996. So I feel your pain. Thank you for sharing your story with us. 

Feb 08, 2022 01:05 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist

Hello Sheri Sperry - MCNE® - It certainly was not easy to share that story. It was kind of a hold my breath moment. I am sorry you lost your mom so long ago and that both of your parents suffered from cancer.

Thank you for stopping by and commenting. 

Feb 08, 2022 04:19 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

Oh my gosh, Kathleen! While I knew your stories, seeing it all written so eloquently in one spot brought tears to my eyes again! I am so very thankful that you were able to see your Mom through her illness. In your heart & soul, that has got to be one of your biggest blessings.

And, thank you for the belly laugh in the end - you knew your readers were teary!!

GREAT entry into this month's challenge. You set the bar high for the rest of us! 

Feb 09, 2022 04:43 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist

Hello Debe Maxwell, CRS - It did start to feel a little deep so I felt it would be nice to toss in a little humor.  Thank you for stopping by and commenting and for your kind words. 

Feb 10, 2022 08:54 AM
Buzz Mackintosh
Mackintosh REALTORS - Frederick, MD
“Experience, reliable, leadership”

Thank you for sharing your story. I can relate to your cancer story, as my wife was told she had breast cancer 10 years ago and it does change the way you look at life. Beautifully written ending with humor and we live life one day at a time.

Feb 13, 2022 05:09 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist

Thank you Buzz Mackintosh - it is good to know that your wife is 10 years cancer-free.  October 2022 will be my 10-year cancer-free anniversary. I cannot imagine it not changing how someone looks at life.  

Feb 19, 2022 09:01 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Dear Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist - I am grateful to know you! Up until you were 16 living home, your story is very similar to mine. Instead of being the baby of the family, I was that classic middle child who never seemed to fit. Having 3 bedrooms back then, was a luxury that many other families didn't have. 
Although you suffered through the pains of divorce, the bond you formed with your son is probably exactly what you needed. Gosh, he's gorgeous and  you are too! As far as having to take care of your mom, what a blessing it was for her to be taken care of with love and respect by you. I doubt she would have been cared for any better by your siblings or anyone else. As you plowed through your own cancer treatment so shortly after the passing of your mom, you did it with grace and understanding more about the human body than you ever learned from some biology book. And you claimed victory! God was not done with you yet and you have helped others get through it too. Because of your true understanding, Lottie became a dear and close friend. Her loss is our loss too and I was glad you were there for her in the end and supportive of her and her family. May you continued to be blessed and live through every challenge with victory, grace and gratitude. You are the most grateful and loving person I know. I wish you good health, happiness, love, and respect by all. Hearts to you, not just on Valentine's Day. You've got a friend. 

Feb 13, 2022 04:41 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist

Dear Sweet Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP thank you for creating tears of joy and sadness for me this morning as I read your words.  It's all been a life-changing gift.  I talk with one of Lottie's daughters about once a month. She and I will soon rendezvous for lunch.  

Hearts, Hugs, and Much Love to You, my friend.

Feb 19, 2022 09:05 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

Beautifully written Kathleen. You had a special bond that was unbroken with your mom, the true care and unconditional love were evident. I came for a large family as well and interior real estate space was scarce, 2 sets of bunk beds in each bedroom for the kids (4 girls/4 boys).

Feb 14, 2022 12:32 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist

And as children growing up we did not think anything about the lack of space in our home. It was just that way it was. And you learned the value of family and love and kept that tradition going in your life as you created your own family Miss Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can! 

Feb 19, 2022 09:07 AM
Lynn B. Friedman CRS Atlanta, GA 404-617-6375
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty - Love our Great City - Love our Clients! Buckhead - Midtown - Westside - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist 
Thanks for sharing the journey with us. I count myself fortunate to have been on the sidelines - admiring you - as you switched career focus, as you recovered from the cancer threat and as you lovingly cared for your mom! You are indeed entitled to feel proud as you move ahead to new achievements. All the best - Lynn

Feb 15, 2022 02:53 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist

Lynn B. Friedman CRS Atlanta, GA 404-939-2727 My mom and so many others that have died live within me in so many ways. All gifts and treasures that live in my heart. Thank you for your kind words. 

Feb 19, 2022 09:12 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Kathleen - I can see your life experiences built your character.  You can be grateful for the experiences.  I know I am of mine.  I love your attitude of gratitude.

Feb 17, 2022 06:29 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist

Hello Grant Schneider - Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I truly am grateful for so much. Live is a gift and a blessing. 

Feb 19, 2022 09:13 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

I have met people in life of whom I like for no reason other than they are likeable to me and I find that satisfying. Please include yourself and I want you to know that when there is a counting, I count you twice dear lady...you are loved

Feb 18, 2022 11:25 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist

Hello Richie Alan Naggar I feel the same way about some people - it is like a magnetic pull or attraction to who they are - their very way of being. Thank you for your kind words ... and I count you as well. You are loved too. 

Feb 19, 2022 09:15 AM