Thursday, May 9, 2019

The Traitor

I asked my children, "You've heard your mother and I talk about a situation like this?"  They both replied, their statements were clearly, mama wouldn't want to be like this, not having a life.  I am sure the words were varied and it was most likely unfair to put them on the spot, but I was about to make a life ending choice for their mother, my wife.  Bear in mind my children are adults, my daughter with her own nearly adult children.  I am sure the comments were as hard for them as it was for me.  Joan and I had discussed this, discussed this, joked about it, talked about various options many times.  It always ended with, if I can't have a productive active life I don't want one.  We would also make comments about the costs of such long term life support when the chances of recovery were slim to none and neither of us wanted money spent that way. 
Never, under any circumstances did I expect to find myself in this position.  I always expected she would be making this decision about me.  Statistically, logically, everything said I would die first.  My plan was to die while traveling on business, accidental death, traveling death, the bonuses to insurances, card payouts, airline death benefits, rental car payouts would have left her more than comfortable no matter how long she lived.  That was the plan.  I guess God had another plan.

I gave the doctor my decision.  The word burned, it was visible in my mind, it hurt.  Logically I know it was the right decision, emotionally it will never be the right decision.  All our planning, all of our discussions still didn't help make the decision feel right.  Maybe those conversation aided me in the decision, I don't know.  Spiritually it still feels right.  I cannot imagine my unresponsive body slowly dying with my soul attached, not being able to move on.  Picture being inside a room with no windows, doors, you want out but you can't leave, not until that last breath and the people who put you here only meant the best for you.  In our desire to keep her, not lose her, we would have imprisoned her until the machines could not keep her body alive.

Next came phone calls, family and some friends. Joans mother and her baby brother arrived, her younger brother was in Washington state and was getting a plane.  My brother and his wife were packed and in a car heading up from Florida.  I can't remember over the next 39 hours who arrived, when, how long they stayed but many came.  Joans mother was hurt, angry, she sat at Joans side with her rosary.  She commented that she held me responsible because her daughter was perfectly fine when she gave her to me 38+ years ago.  There was nothing to say but "I'm sorry."  Later I heard her stating God had a lot to answer for.

I am not sure what I said, to who, the next couple of hours were a blur.  The hospital staff was amazing.  The nurses main concern was getting Joan settled for the night in a room and on a morphine drip to ensure minimal to no pain.  At some point Val and Cory brought in the grand kids.  I could see how hard this was on them.  I asked the grand kids if they wanted to talk to Nana, hold her hand and say their goodbyes as Nana wasn't leaving this hospital, it would be their last chance to see her and talk to her.  Austin walked over and what I remember is he commented through tears that Nana would never know his children or they her.  After a while Joan's mom had to go home so Scott and she left for the night.  I told my kids they might want to go home get sleep because it was going to be a long weekend.  They were concerned about me being alone with Joan, but that is what I wanted.  Friday night was going to be my night to make as much peace as I could with her.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

The next hour.

It took forever in my racing mind for the ambulance to arrive.  I am sure it wasn't as long as it seemed.  During that time there was nothing we could do but hold Joan and talk to her while she would murmur "it hurts". 
After a few minutes her food started coming up a bit and we were afraid she would choke or not be able to breath so we laid her on her side on the floor.  I hated putting her on the floor but breathing was more important.
In my mind I kept hearing the words stroke, massive, bad.  The ambulance arrived and I rode with her to the hospital.  The driver kept trying to get me to face forward and his prompting only heightened my concern.
As soon as we arrived at the hospital they took Joan off one way and me to a waiting room.  Knew it was going to happen, nothing to do but wait in the room.  Valerie and Brian arrived, the doctor and nurse arrived.
The doctor in a long winded way was trying to explain to me what was going on.  I finally stopped him, again my mind racing so maybe he did better than my mind allowed me to understand.  He explained she had a massive hemorrhage and I had a decision to make.
I asked what decision fearing the worst and he said, "We can take all measure necessary, or let nature take its course."
Pausing, I asked, what do you mean all measures necessary?  He replied, we can put her body on machines and keep it alive.  Yes, I heard, body and it.  Nowhere did I hear in his statement we can put her on life support and keep her alive.  Asking further I said, and what is, nature taking its course?
He said, she will die in the next 2-48 hours.
More panic, more breathing, I asked what happens if we put her on life support?  He replied we can keep her body alive for a long time.  I interrupted him, asked, will she ever wake?  Is she in there?
He replied, "We can keep the body alive for a long time, until the organs begin to fail but I do not believe she will ever regain consciousness."  He continued with something about the size of the hemorrhage.
I looked at Valerie and Brian, I heard every conversation Joan and I had on this topic over the decades in single moment.  I knew where my rational mind was heading and one word screamed in my head, one word I couldn't push away.


Saturday, April 27, 2019

20 Months!! I have been very remiss

Much has happened since my last post.  I won't take the time here to detail things, only summarize until I can get around to making a more complete accounting of things.
The rest of 2017 flew by.  Joan and I continued to decide what kind of house we needed, what price, location and such things.  Having 7 of us to house and a specific school district of course narrows the options.
We finally located the house, directly across the street from the rental we were in.  It cost more than desired, it was bigger than desired, but had all the features checked off so yeah, we bought it.

My real estate career moves about as fast as I will let it, or pay attention to it.  I have no real desire to put 60 hours a week into a job/career and I like working with people one on one so a large volume of clients is not what I want.

We moved into the house May of 18, asked Howard to paint several rooms for us and he painted wonderfully.  Joan and I started tearing the yard out.  When I say tearing the yard out I mean it.  The prior owners kept the yard neat but the over abundance of plants and the size covered most of the house.  Kitchen and dining room windows you could not see out.  11 holly bushes some 15 feet tall and 12 feet across.  Things that should have been bushes were now neatly trimmed jungle 10 feet deep from the house.  A cherry tree that was completely hidden and being choked by weeds. 
Joan would work with me from about 6AM to 10, get cleaned up and go stay with her mother the rest of the day.  We were having a blast!!  We could see the results of our work and we were striving for a common goal.  It didn't hurt that she knew the money we saved on the yard work would go directly to the kitchen upgrades she wanted.  
Neighbors would stop by and say things like, "Wow, we can see the house!, I can walk on the sidewalk again, thank you!, It is so beautiful!, Now we have to work on our yard!"  The compliments kept coming in.

By late June 2018 we had 80% of the ripping out completed.  Things that didn't get ripped out were severely cut back, shortened, thinned.  We were already planning what would go where and how the final product would look.  I felt pleased, content for the first time in a very long time.  Felt like something useful had been accomplished.  We had taken over 47 truckloads of brush out of the yard, stomped them down in the truck, strapped it all in and each load was over full.

Friday June 22nd I had a closing to attend, had sold my good friends the Wackerlys home.  It would be time to start hunting for their next home.  The day was going well, the next stop that afternoon/evening was a big family celebration.  We must have arrived in 4 cars, Joan coming from her mothers, me from the house, Val, Cory, the grandkids, Brian and Kat.  We met at the Mellow Mushroom.  The meal was great as their pizza always is, we were getting ready to leave, Joan stood up, she was on my right, Val on my left looked right past me and said "Mom?" with a confused look. 
I turned in time to see her holding the back of her head saying, "it hurts, it hurts!".  Our eyes met, I saw them lose focus and she started to collapse.  Val and I kept her from falling into the floor, Brian and Kat called 911, Cory took the grandkids out of the building.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Technology Refresh at RE/MAX

Today we roll out new Agent/Associate pages and a new lead system.
Spent the better part of the morning ensuring all pages linked properly and that the information shown is correct.
I       think      I      updated     everything     properly......
Yeah, you see hesitation in that prior sentence.  

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Housekeeping Done

So now that the blog housekeeping is done I will need to go to facebook and linkedin to alter them to this page.

In the meantime, the past few months have been interesting.
Several potential clients, none contracted as of yet.
1) Looking to move from a rental to a house, disappointed that little to nothing worth buying is in her preferred area.  I believe she is off thinking about alternative locations or simply staying in her rental for another year.
2) One potential investor.  Sharp but undecided on what is really wanted.  I consider this part my fault and part them being new to the distressed property world.  Thankfully I completed and gained my SFR certification.
3) The closest to being a real client, family moving from their first home to something larger.  I find working with them really enjoyable and helping to suggest ways to prep their house for sale reminds me of the things Joan and I have done to our homes over the decades.
4) Last, a lady who may decide to move because the county is taking a chunk of her land.  I don't think she ever thought about moving before and had no intention to ever move.  The question, will the upset over the county actions wane and once it does she will be content to stay where she is or is the move bug strong.  For my part, I want her to decide what is in her best interests, not mine.

Education over the past few months, I have a fund that expires in August so I must gather all that makes sense and complete it before the end of that month.  My short sales, foreclosure and REO education was great, added to my existing knowledge of this market.  Skills are climbing on all the available tools RE/MAX, the MLS's and REALTOR® associations make available.
Contract forms (everchanging), stips, conditions, loan rules make for a challenging day.

I am enjoying it and it is a great change from the world of Technology.

Merged Blogs.

As expected, having a blog specifically for real estate is unnecessary in my case.   I am not an avid blogger but I do like to have notes from time to time to declare milestones.  So I have deleted the Agent specific blog and will from now on, post everything, where it be writing, real estate, technology or personal here.

This does mean the link to the real estate specific blog mentioned on March 28th is no longer valid and I will remove the side bar address link.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Whirlwind Month

As my last post indicated I passed the Ga Real Estate Exam.
Since that time I have joined with a local RE/MAX Affiliate called RE/MAX Unlimited on Stilesboro Road in Kennesaw.
Scheduled my Post-License class for the first week of April, jumped into a HUD class as well as a couple of others.  All short classes but helps cover the post license and continuing ed requirements.
Lots of new systems to learn, from finding property, to processing contracts, bidding on HUD homes to setting up my web presence.
CRM and Lead Generation system, business cards, signs, and such things.

Updated my LinkedIn page to be current with my new career.
Created a Facebook Business page to go along with the personal page.
Added a new Blogger page for Real Estate.
And customized my RE/MAX Agent page.

Much of the initial grunt work is done.  Lets see much fun and how profitable this new path can be....