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Ask Questions

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Cornerstone Business Group Inc 0225086119

Ask Questions

The past few years have been interesting, to say the least. Growing older is a privilege that many people don’t get. On the survivor side of that, is the myriad of unanswered questions that seem to suddenly pop up once someone is no longer there to answer them. When my parents passed, I realized that I had a lot of unanswered questions about our family. Then, my father-in-law passed, and all my agricultural questions were left dangling. I married the farmer’s daughter, so I had a lifetime of agricultural insights available while he was alive, and then I didn’t.

If I could offer my younger colleagues, clients, friends, and family members a piece of unsolicited advice, it would be start asking questions while you can. Visit family members that you don’t see often. Call, write, invite those you love to your life. One of my sons realized that he only had one grandparent left when his grandfather passed away. Now, he uses his Sunday afternoons to visit his grandmother. He rarely misses. I envy that, and I wish had done the same.

Of course, we’re all busy. We have things to do. We have our own lives to take care of, and that’s probably true for most of us. But, when they are gone, the unanswered questions that only they could answer will go unanswered forever. Do yourself a favor, sit with an aging parent or grandparent and write down their memories. Keep a journal of their life experiences. Not only will you learn a lot, but you will add a light to their lives that they may have thought had gone out. Ask questions.

Comments(18)

Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Mike - smart advice.  I admire the choice your son has made to visit his grandmother weekly.  Time is finite.  It becomes more meaningful the longer we are on this earth.  

Jan 31, 2024 04:23 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Mike- truer words were never spoken. I never knew my father's family and wish I'd asked questions about them when he was still alive. You know, when you're a kid at Sunday dinner with everyone, you're playing with your cousins and running around the yard. The last thing you do is sit and talk. 

My wish is that our young people sit down and talk with those who fought in Vietnam. Hear what war is like.  

Jan 31, 2024 05:40 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

That is really good advice, Mike.  I have an interest in genealogy.  There have been countless days, when I wish my dearly departed relatives could be brought back long enough to have them answer the multitude of questions I have.

Jan 31, 2024 06:16 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

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

Jan 31, 2024 06:17 PM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Hi Mike,
Absolutely! My parents both died when I was young, and I still have lots of questions.

Jan 31, 2024 09:17 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Mike my whole concept has always been asking questions and you discover if your buyer or seller is serious.... and then I make a decision if I want to work with them or not, Endre

Jan 31, 2024 10:15 PM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I love hearing that your son visits his grandmother weekly, he seems wise beyond his years.  We often look back after someone passes away and wish we had spent more time with them.

Feb 01, 2024 04:18 AM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Far too many laments not sending time with their aged relatives after the fact, and they are a wealth of knowledge and also deserve the attention.

Feb 01, 2024 05:48 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Great to see you this morning! And this is fantastic advice - unfortunately my parents and my in-laws are all gone but fortunately I was able to learn a lot of about my parents in the last few years before my dad died. Spending time with both older and not so old family members while they are here (and while we are) is priceless. Kudos to your son for spending time with his remaining grandma - that's a win-win.

Feb 01, 2024 05:56 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

Your post brings back memories of sitting with my grandpa, litening to his stories while my cousins played in the distance. Growing up in rural Georgia, he picked cotton and tobacco leaves for a $.25 a day, that was an eye opener for a young teen!

Fantastic advice, Mike, spend that time with loved ones before it's too late!

Feb 01, 2024 06:11 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Mike:

This is such valuable advice about family and asking questions before it's too late and you are lamenting "I wish I knew" and "If only I had asked!"

Jeff

Feb 01, 2024 09:28 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Realty ONE Group Advocates 484-237-2055 - Downingtown, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

This is so true, when my Mum died and we looked through all the old photos we realized we had no clue who most of the old relatives actually were. Don't miss the opportunity to sit and talk with those older relatives whilst you can.

Feb 01, 2024 10:56 AM
Margaret Goss
@Properties - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

Young people don't think of that - even with their own parents. My mother used to tell me stories about WWII and her harrowing part in it. I heard them so many times I think I started to tune out. Now that she's gone, I would give anything to sit with her again and ASK MORE QUESTIONS. There's so much more to know.

Feb 01, 2024 12:17 PM
Liz and Bill Spear
Transaction Alliance 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
Transaction Alliance Cincinnati & Dayton suburbs

Mike, THIS is exactly why we're moving to Shannondale.  It puts us within 30 minutes of most of Liz's family and just a little over 3 hours from my parents.  My Mom turns 80 in May, my Dad 83 in March.  I realize every time I leave their house it might be the last time I see them, and that hits me hard every time.  There's a lot that I've picked up from them over the years, still more I don't know.

Feb 01, 2024 05:16 PM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ
602-380-4886

Love it Mike!  And it's so true.....life goes along and we can easily can caught up in what appears to be 'important'.  Stop, take a moment, reach out to loved ones and ask questions.....it matters greatly!

Feb 01, 2024 07:53 PM
Steffy Hristova
HomeSmart Elite Group Tempe AZ Tel: 602.710.8161 - Tempe, AZ
Tempe AZ Realtor - Your Home Close to Your Work!

Mike, what a great reminder and we can probably all connect with the message of unanswered questions. I loved your disclaimer, and chuckled ...:)

Feb 02, 2024 07:00 AM
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® 240.593.2860 - Silver Spring, MD
Fluent in Real Estate & German, M.A. ABR ASP CIPS

Life gets so busy, and just like that another week, month, or year has gone by. I've spent a small fortune over the last two decades flying across the pond. I don't know how much exactly, but I do know that every trip was worth it! It's tough when you are 5000 miles away from your family, but in this case, technology is truly a blessing. Facetime is not the same but it does make things easier. 

Feb 02, 2024 01:12 PM
Joyce Marsh
Joyce Marsh Real Estate LLC - Daytona Beach, FL
Joyce Marsh Homes

We never know what life holds for us. Take advantage of living in the moment and reach out to those you love when you can.

Feb 08, 2024 04:37 AM