Thursday is for being Thankful for being Humbled

Real Estate Agent with DFW FINE PROPERTIES 0506509

During the late 1980's, I was humbled. Getting married, having children, and becoming a widow was not my all American Dream. I grieved, but only after dark when the kids were fast asleep. Letting go is very hard. He wasn't supposed to die so quickly. We should have, but did not have life insurance. For the first five years, I could not let go and leave my kids alone during summer months while I had to work. Being a stay-at-home mom to becoming the breadwinner without a job was like tossing me into an open fire in the woods, far, far away. 

I am thankful I found Wyonegonic Camps in Denmark, Maine where my children and I received the full Wyonegonic experience. During my first year, I lived in the tiny ski cabin but for the remainder of the next five years, I lived in Nepahwin, the cabin you see in the photograph. 

While the kids went off with their Camp Counselors all the while we lived there, it was the most spiritual and inspiring time of my life. I learned to face my fears. I ate whatever the cook decided to cook three times a day, slept on a cot with a single wool blanket, and lived out of my trunk containing minimum clothing and shoes. When I wasn't at the cabin, I was working inside the Wyonegonic Office doing my job as bookkeeper.

If my ship sails from sight, it doesn't mean my journey ends,
it simply means the river bends. ---Enoch Powell

Why Do You Need to Know This?

Ever since 2020, the first year of the pandemic, I have been the shoulder for many widows and widowers who lost their spouse and are now learning how to live without their better half. Each time a person tells me how long they lived with their spouse (45, 50, 55, 60, 65 or more) it gets harder, and harder because nobody really knows their memories and how strong was their relationship. All I can best offer is compassion, support, and answers to questions I know, or try to find resources.

During the past few months, I have been enrolled in a series of "JFK60, The Assassination 60 Years Later." One of the most shocking things I have seen is how young President Kennedy looked in the photographs and movies as a young President, who lived much longer than my husband. Although I have enjoyed the camaraderie of the Baby Boomer's Generation, inside I wonder, what would my spouse look like today, and would he still love me?  Unlike the BB Generation, my spouse never made it beyond the 30+ years he lived. To me, my memory of him stopped when he was so young. Many people I meet today attending the series of JFK60, are just now facing life alone without their beloved spouse. The things I am most cognitive today about Seniors are:

  • Did they or did they not plan for retirement?
  • Where do they go after they downsize?
  • What tasks do they need to learn now that their other half is gone?
  • How many are afraid to sleep at night?
  • Are they eating right and getting enough sleep?
  • Do they have family, pets, or friends?

My Conclusion: Everyone, no matter how young or old, has to plan ahead. Physical, emotional, mental, and financial means are necessary. Life has no guarantees. Food and health care are essential. A sense of belonging and meaningful work or volunteerism makes one happier. 

As a Senior Real Estate Specialist, I continue to discover, those who were lucky enough to have spent many years together, find it more challenging to go on without their soul mate. There are many seniors trying their hardest to conquer their world independently without being harmed by scammers. Unfortunately, Medicare and Social Security isn't enough. 


Aside from quotes, all rights to photographs and content reserved for Patricia Feager REALTOR®. All information is deemed reliable; however, it should be independently verified by the reader. Any reproduction of this blog or use of AI is strictly prohibited.

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MBA (University of Dallas)
(Bachelors of Arts & Science)
Paralegal (Southeastern Career Institute)
Associates (3) (College of Lake County)
KU (University of Kansas)


CRS (Certified Residential Specialist)
SRES (Certified Senior Residential Specialist)
PSA (Certified Pricing Strategies; Mastering the CMA)
CRS (Certified Military Relocation Specialist)
RENE (Real Estte Negotitions Expert)

"With self-discipline most anything is possible." --- Theodore Roosevelt 





Comments (33)

Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Ed (Edward) Silva, 203-206-0754 

You bet! It really did take a toll on me; but I never let on to others, especially my children. My main goal was to muster up enough courage to do what needed to be done without instilling fear or giving up. It was very important for me to stay committed, and continue being humble. During my first pregnancy, I bought a plaque and hung it up that read: 

Children Live What They Learn

If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn.

If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight.

If a child lives with ridicule, they learn to be shy.

If  a child lives with shame, they learn to feel guilty.

If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.

If a child lives with tolerance, they learn to be patient.

If a child lives with praise, they learn to appreciate.

If a child lives with acceptance, they learn to love.

If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.

If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.

If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and others.

If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

Author: Dorothy Law Nolte

Ed, this verse was just as important for me as a mother, as it was to them when they were growing up. Those were the words we lived by. Life is like a deck of cards, you never know what you're going to get. You can win or you can lose, but you can never cheat.

Oct 12, 2023 10:18 AM
RPDFW @ Salas Home Team
Realty Preferred DFW - Plano, TX
#1 Team in Real Estate Specialty Services

Great story of your life. Thank you for sharing.

Oct 12, 2023 12:44 PM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Patricia we do not know the number of our days, and should not take one single day for granted.  You are a survivor.

Oct 12, 2023 01:47 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

RPDFW @ Salas Home Team

Thank you, I hope one day we can do business together. Flower Mound is not far from Plano.

Oct 12, 2023 02:58 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

George Souto 

Agree, We should never waste time or do harm to anyone. Three and one-half months were lived to the fullest. We even renewed our Marriage vows. 

Oct 12, 2023 03:00 PM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
The Grit and Gratitude Agent

Good afternoon Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP and congratulations on the feature. I am sure your posting touched many heart strings. Walking in someone else's shoes provides a plethora of experiences. Thank you for sharing yours.

Oct 12, 2023 03:09 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Leanne Smith 

Every time a Senior (less spouse) comes my way, I am humbled even more. Because I married young and his life was cut short, we didn't have as many years as the seniors I serve today. Although their stories are hauntingly familiar, they are very dfferent. I am able to build trust quickly by listening and knowing how to respond to their needs, even if they forget and ask the same questions. Getting rid of their loved ones clothes seems to be the hardest and next is learning finances or other things they counted on their spouse to do. I never tell them what they need to do, unless they ask. Respectfully, listening is very consoling and very helpful. 

Oct 12, 2023 03:19 PM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP  There are no guarantees in life. We never know what tomorrow will bring.  It is smart to plan for the future and be secure.  Live your life with no disrespect intended as no one knows if they will wake up tomorrow. Never go to bed angry tell those you love that you love them and have no regrets. We leave this world without any physical possessions.  - Congrats on your Featured Post 

Oct 12, 2023 04:28 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Patricia:

Thanks you for such a touching, thoughtful, and inspiring story which raised some important questions (financial and otherwise) for all to consider, for themselves and for their loved ones. You had so many challenges and yet you overcame, and look where you are today. It's so important to plan for the future since one never knows when that future might be cut short.


Oct 12, 2023 08:11 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Hannah Williams - I was surprised to learn my post was featured and I appreciated the selectioin by the AR Feature Fairies. In return, I learned a lot about what members thought based on their responses. Learning how to respect ourselves and others (as inferred by your comment) leads to understanding and greater appreciation for what we have with honesty and compassion towards others. Afterall, how else can one truly be thankful without being humble?


Oct 13, 2023 03:11 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Jeff Dowler, CRS - It is a lot easier to get caught up in minutiae than it is to get out of an unexpected situation when the rug has been pulled out from under you. When that happens, there is a domino effect. Learning to stay out of debt is critical for peace of mind. Unfortunately, no matter what your reasons are or how financially secure you are, or how well you live pay check-to-pay check, there is no mercy when bills are due, especially outlandish medical bills. 

On the day I was summoned to get to the hospital ASAP and told the news before I walked into my husband's hospital room, I was told: 1) He has terminal brain cancer; 2) His driver's license has been revoked, 3) His company is in the process of terminating his employment, 4) You will have to call the insurance company to find out if your family can still have medical insuranace, 5) His Paramedic license is no longer active. He was a volunteer Paramedic and volunteerism means no pay.

That was the beginning of our final journey as husband and wife. Death was knocking at our door but faith helped me to get through it. 

Oct 13, 2023 03:32 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Humble is what I strive to become and I think I still have a very long way to go before I attain that goal.

Oct 13, 2023 05:03 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Brian England - You're a lucky man. I was much younger when I was humbled. 

Oct 13, 2023 05:29 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Brian England - Like you, I count my blessings. In our business of selling real estate, it helps to have a better understanding for senior needs, especially when a spouse has passed. My experience helped prepare me to help them. 

Oct 13, 2023 05:41 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Wow! A very powerful post that makes me stop and feel grateful for what I have, even though I went through a very ugly divorce a long time ago.  I can't imagine the feeling of being a young widow. I halfway knew your story, but from this angle it's an entirely different take.  Going through a camp experience must have been such an about-face, but at the same time a clean slate to begin the work necessary to give your kids a sense of well-being and at the same time start your life from scratch.   Being THERE for others who have lost a spouse is such a caring, supportive gift for them. Kudos to you!

Oct 13, 2023 09:32 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ -  I appreciate the time it took for you to read and comment on my story. There are so many loney Seniors out there today who spent an incredible number of years with the same spouse. Now widowed, it is very hard on them because it is as if part of them has been amputated. 

I am sorry to learn you experienced a painful/ugly divorce. That must have been very difficult for you. You came out a better person. I am happy things turned out well for you. 

Oct 13, 2023 07:17 PM
faye schubert
Retired - Branson, MO
Living the Branson Lake Life


What a powerful testimony of life's path.

You have travelled a difficult road and now providing help to those experiencing life's most personal turmoil and sadness.

Nature is the perfect place in my mind to start to experience peace and start to unravel the stress.



Oct 14, 2023 06:02 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

faye schubert - Boy was I humbled! I stepped into another world. At night when I heard the mournful cry of the loons on Moose Pond, they released the screams out of me and all those things I had to go through that I couldn't express in public, especially in front of my children. As a parent, completely on my own, I learned coping skills that taught me new responsibility, not only for my children, but in business, and in my social life, as well. Managing how to shift gears and follow directions taking a different road in communication with nature, in solitude gave me visions of ways to act with courage. But it takes time.

Helping Seniors in real estate circles back to me. The ripple effect after death are wide. There are many Senior Citizens feeling like they are going up stream in a canoe, without a paddle. 

Oct 14, 2023 09:38 AM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

Having enjoyed conversation with you and knowing your backstory, I marvel at your strength and resilience, having been forged by fire.  The strongest things are.
You have kept your softness, too, though. Your generosity of spirit.
ALL blessings to you, my angel friend! 💖 😇

Oct 15, 2023 06:35 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Candice A. Donofrio - The remedy to overcoming fear, is not to bail out. Courage and confidence go hand-in-hand. Vicariously, as children grow up, they begin to understand and learn to trust, they become stronger and more prepared to meet their own challenges. 

I also enjoyed our conversation and getting to know more about you. I learned you are much more than Candice. You are the definition and the meaning of Praganan, a word that defines intelligence, wise, and clever. I am so glad we got to know each other better and I wish you an abundance of blessings. Thank you for being my angel friend! 

Oct 15, 2023 03:11 PM