*Disclaimer - big time. This is a true story and the names have been changed to protect the innocent.
I just kept telling myself “I’m just the realtor, I’m just the realtor.” That’s what I thought. After selling *Ethel’s sister-in-laws condo (see previous blog,) she and I started more of a friendship than a client/realtor relationship. I’ve always felt a connection to my clients but after what Ethel asked me to do next, it was definitely going to the next level. It was very sad to hear that *Marge was suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease and did not have any immediate family (other than Ethel - who was 86 at the time) to help her out. That is why I helped with removing everything and selling her car. Ethel told me that she did not like where Marge was and thought best to move her to a better facility that would take better care of her. Her family (up north) put her, how do I say this tactfully, in a cheap “home” for the elderly.
Ethel and I went to go visit her to bring her some items left from the condo and what I saw made me sick. Please do not get me wrong, the “supervisors” were very nice but the home (actual single family home near by) was small. There were three elderly people sitting on a couch watching television and one in his room (wasn’t going to look) and another on a lounge chair knitting. To be honest, it smelled. This was not good. Not sure of the circumstances but, Ethel asked me to “kidnap” Marge and get her out of there. Obvious question - “why can’t she just leave?” Well, I guess there was the family up north that wanted her there because it was “paid” for and the home wanted her there because it was a contract. Either way, we were getting Marge outta there. The next day we had our “plan.” Ethel had her car and I had my van (to put Marge’s belongings in.) We got there and told the supervisors that we wanted to take Marge’s clothes (which were so old) to have them cleaned and some of her stuff to donate. No one said a word. Marge’s room was in the back and we got all of her stuff together quite quickly. Marge was such a sport about it. We kept telling her we were going on an adventure. Well, it was, really. To think, it was only three garbage bags of clothes and a box of pictures and collectibles that we got. I told Ethel to stay with Marge as I calmly took everything to my van and came back to get Ethel and Marge out without anyone suspecting anything.
Like a scene out of the movies, I had to help Ethel who had a walker and Marge who walked slow with her walker out the front door. Again, no one was saying anything until we got the front door. “Where are you all going?” My heart stopped and I said quietly to Ethel, “get Marge to your car - I’ll take care of this” You guessed it, Ethel said “what honey? I can’t hear you!” I cringed. I just opened the door (which was locked) and practically pushed these women out the door. Not pretty, but they got out. I coolly said that I was going to take Marge out for lunch and we’d be back by one in the afternoon. Ok - forgive me Father for I have sinned. Big lie. I had to get both women in Ethel’s car and me in my van and while I’m doing that, I’m now screaming at Ethel to “hit the gas and get out of here!” She did.
We arrived at Ethel’s new “home” which was a wonderful facility for specifically for such diseases as Alzheimer’s and had on staff real certified care givers. I have never forgotten that day. The post-script to the story, the family up north “forgave us” and the “home” got their money for the time Marge did not come back from lunch. I still to this day talk with Ethel and am blessed to have met her and her family. Next blog, buyers 101. Ton o’ blessings to ya until next time!