"Only God should be privileged to live alone"

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Broad & Bailey Realty LLC

My mother is moving in with me, along with my wife and 3 children. Yes, there will be difficult times, but over-all I think it's the best thing. My children will be closer to their grandmother. My wife is very open and understanding with my mom, and as a result I think both will benefit. Me, well, it's my mom, the woman who gave me birth and raised me when I needed her most. How could I turn my back on her now?

This morning, feeling like she may be a burden to us, my mom said "I wish I had enough money to buy an apartment." For me, the money is not as much of a factor as not wanting my mom to live alone. I recently saw a great movie called the "Edge of Heaven" where one character says, "Only God should be privileged to live alone." I have plenty of apartments where my mom could live either rent-free or low rent. And even if I couldn't do it alone, then my 2 brothers would happily help.

It got me thinking about a tenant that I had in the past. I bought a building, and one of the tenants was a very old woman, living alone (I'll call her Eva). I remember her as being a very sweet old lady I would stop by and chat with her every now and then. She spoke so proudly of her late husband and how they emigrated from Poland. She spoke highly of her daughter "The doctor" and her son-in law "The Doctor." Oh! And of course the grandchildren! There were 2 of them, a boy and girl, both attending prestigious Ivy League Universities.

About 7 years later, in 2005, Eva passed away. Her daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren all gathered to collect her belongings. I had only met her daughter in the past, and as I watched them come and go for several days, I felt like I knew them through the stories I was told. I quickly realized that the bond was one sided, as they walked by me with barely a glance. To them, I was a stranger. On the verge of tears, I contemplated talking with the grandchildren (who were now post college) and telling them how proud their grandmother was of them. Only I couldn't because it seemed that they lost (or never had) a connection with their grandmother, so I didn't bother.

For years, I felt really sorry for Eva, but on that day I really felt sad for her grandchildren. They lost so many precious times with their grandmother that they will never be able to recover. How could I not take
my mother in? I owe it to my children and their grandmother. I admire the person responsible for creating the mother-daughter house, only I wish it were called grandmother-granddaughter instead.

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Rainer
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Robin Chlad
Realty Executives Southern Arizona - Tucson, AZ

I love spending time with my grown daughters and their families.  I feel grateful to be included in their lives.  Unfortunately, we don't all live in the same state.  My mom lives by herself and I'm really hoping we will live together when she gets the nerve to move here.    It's tough to up route parents but Tucson is a whole lot warmer and easier lifestyle than living in upstate New York.  I really appreciate your message.

Jul 14, 2008 09:24 AM #20
Rainer
56,978
Peter Nikic
Broad & Bailey Realty LLC - Valhalla, NY

Robin, wow! you have grown children (and grandchildren?) would never guess from your profile pic. Yes, I would imagine it would be a lot better for your mom in arizona, but I know sometimes it's tough to just get up and move across the country especially as people get older. luckily for the space age we can always fly for visits. and let's not forget the Internet and video chatting with grandma :-)

Jul 14, 2008 09:59 AM #21
Rainmaker
534,689
Liz Moras Migic
Chilliwack, BC
Chilliwack, British Columbia - Realtor

A very touching post Peter!  Are you Croatian?.....I think its very neat that you've invited your mom to live with you - and I also think its very loving and gracious of your wife...........having grandparents in your life is a blessing - for your kids..............and re your story about Eva......I've always had a soft spot for older people...

As for a one-sided bond.........that hit a bit of a nerve........it wasn't one sided......it was You and Eva..........the fact that her kids didn't know the role you played in her life is sad, I've seen the same thing happen.  Someone fills in the role the kids should be fulfilling.............and they never even acknowledge that fact that someone stood in for them, and provided something they weren't there to....hmmmm..

Jul 14, 2008 04:38 PM #22
Rainer
56,978
Peter Nikic
Broad & Bailey Realty LLC - Valhalla, NY

Liz, sorry, not Croation. My wife is great with my mother . . . very open and understanding . . . it is probably the single most important thing that makes this possible.

You hit the nail on the head. that's exactly what happened. I initially started this blog with the focus on Eva, and my original title was supposed to be "why should I support your mother?" or something like that. I can't say that I played the part of her child, but her rent was extraordinarily low (30% of what it should have been), but I didn't have the heart to raise it. On top of that I spent much time with her over the years. So I guess I may have played a bigger role than did her own children.

When no acknowledgement was made, I realized that they did not know my role with her, which means they didn't have much of a role with her. that was sad.

Jul 14, 2008 11:06 PM #23
Rainer
52,868
Patrice Estess
PB APPRAISALS - Kerhonkson, NY

Wow, you sure did hit a spot there...got me in tears.  You are doing the best thing...tough or not, I applaud you, especially after that story, bravo to you...enjoy the time you have left with her...

Jul 15, 2008 01:53 AM #24
Rainer
56,978
Peter Nikic
Broad & Bailey Realty LLC - Valhalla, NY

Patrice, thank you. hopefully we will have a lot of time since she is still not yet 64. btw, the photo above is my grandmother (she's 80 - mom's mom) with my daughter. I just thought it was a perfect picture for this blog.

Jul 15, 2008 03:25 AM #25
Rainmaker
534,689
Liz Moras Migic
Chilliwack, BC
Chilliwack, British Columbia - Realtor

Hey Peter, sorry about that, I read another post afterwardson your site  where someone sent you an email in what I though was Croatian, plus typically names ending in "ic" are.....oh well, maybe another former yugoslavian country.......and even that pic of your grandemother, I thought she looked slavic! lol  See how we jump to conclusions!  Your mom is only 64 wow that really young, you will have a long time with her no doubt!  >-)

Jul 15, 2008 03:55 AM #26
Rainer
56,978
Peter Nikic
Broad & Bailey Realty LLC - Valhalla, NY

Liz, you're right, my grandmother is slavic (Montenegrin) and yes you read that other blog right, there is a croatian woman who sent me a contact that I used as the example :-). also "ic" is slavic (croatian, serbian, montenegrin, etc)

My mother's family is Montenegrin (formerly Yugoslavian) and my father's family is Albanian from Montenegro.

Jul 15, 2008 06:49 AM #27
Rainer
13,409
Nathan Cook
BCR (Brazosland Classic Realty) - College Station, TX

Good for you, Peter...it is right to honor parents! God promised to bless those who do.

Jul 15, 2008 01:42 PM #28
Rainer
56,978
Peter Nikic
Broad & Bailey Realty LLC - Valhalla, NY

Nathan, thank you, I already feel blessed, but if someone wants to throw an extra couple of $mil my way I won't say no :-)

Jul 15, 2008 01:54 PM #29
Rainer
15,965
Wendy Ferguson
Arkansas Property Brokers - Conway, AR
CSS, CFS

I recently lost my grandmother this year.  I had dinner with her almost every Sunday.  She cooked for our entire family (25 people) every Sunday because getting together was sooo important to her.  We haven't seen much of each other since she passed away but I don't think I ever realized all she brought to our family through simply cooking lunch every Sunday.  I miss her tremendously.  She was an angel.

Good for you that your enabling your children to know that same relationship.  They will remember the next few years for a long time.  I know it will require sacrifice on your part but your family will gain so much.

Jul 15, 2008 01:57 PM #30
Rainer
56,978
Peter Nikic
Broad & Bailey Realty LLC - Valhalla, NY

Wendy, I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother. you were very lucky to have her. don't worry, you will all see each other again. she instilled it in all of you. it's just a matter of time and finding another anchor.

Jul 15, 2008 02:02 PM #31
Rainmaker
534,689
Liz Moras Migic
Chilliwack, BC
Chilliwack, British Columbia - Realtor

So I wasn't far off..:-)  do you speak the language?....I was born in Zagreb but came to Canada as a baby - my grandfather was Bosnian...........at one time we would have been fellowmen..........now we are in a different way...:-)

Jul 15, 2008 08:23 PM #32
Rainer
56,978
Peter Nikic
Broad & Bailey Realty LLC - Valhalla, NY

Liz, you weren't far off at all. when I left Montenegro, it was still a state of former yugoslavia (yes, we were countrymen;-)

I am fluent in serbo-croatian (now it's all seperate - croatian, serbian & montenegrin:-) and albanian including reading and writing. I just have to work on my english:-)

Jul 16, 2008 12:25 AM #33
Rainmaker
534,689
Liz Moras Migic
Chilliwack, BC
Chilliwack, British Columbia - Realtor

Well i speak/write fluent croatian too......so if we ever have to write in code we can...:-)  Also I was looking at your city, "Pleasantille"  oh my gosh what a great name, you must be able to play the movie "pleasantville"  off that all the time!  :-)

Jul 16, 2008 03:57 AM #34
Rainer
6,449
Angela Lucaj
Amerigo Realty - Canton, MI

You are imparting a great gift to your kids by taking in your mother.  I never knew my grandparents well enough.  They all died by the time I reached age 11, though I have aunts and uncles old enough to be my grandparents! :)  Very touching story.

Jul 16, 2008 01:38 PM #35
Rainer
56,978
Peter Nikic
Broad & Bailey Realty LLC - Valhalla, NY

Liz, pa mi mozema da se rasporazumjemo u hrvatski jezik. jes, ja zivim u pleasantville, i mnogo puta kazem ljudima da je isto ka onaj film pleasantville :-) razumijes? hvala puno.

Angela, faljiminerit tu per kta fjal :-) a mer vesh? mir per tu se i ke axat, dajat, halat e tezjat ci i ke si gushi e gushja :-) adin me ljezua en shqip?

Jul 16, 2008 02:10 PM #36
Rainer
67,322
Lu Kalaj
Vision Realty Centers - Brighton Township, MI

I couldn't agree with you more.  Family, and being there when its really counts.  We don't live to ourselves and for ourselves.  A wise person once said, "It takes 1 woman to raise 6 or more children, but it takes 6 or more children to take care of 1 old woman."

There are blessings beyond measure when you do what is right all the time.  That includes what you are doing.  All women will be mothers and grandmothers one day, and we women need to do for others as we want others to do for us. 

Great job blogging, thank you for your encouragement in your comment response to my blog.  God is good all the time.  Have a great rest of July.  Lu

Jul 18, 2008 12:58 AM #37
Rainer
304,164
Cynthia Tilghman, RealtorĀ® Onslow County NC Home Specialist
Kingsbridge Realty, Inc - Hubert, NC

Hi Peter,
Your story has a happy side and a sad side.  The happy side, of course, is the way you are taking care of your Mother and the wonderful memories and relationship that would come from that.  The side side, is Eva's story.  Her children and grandchildren may have been privileged in some eye's but very deprived in mine.

Jul 18, 2008 12:59 AM #38
Rainer
56,978
Peter Nikic
Broad & Bailey Realty LLC - Valhalla, NY

Lu, thank you. great saying "It takes 1 woman to raise 6 or more children, but it takes 6 or more children to take care of 1 old woman." I never heard it before, but makes a lot of sense.

Cynthia, thank you, yes there was both sadness as well as happiness. A special part of life can either be had or be lost.

Jul 18, 2008 01:03 PM #39
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