Claudine was a tough cookie. I was referred to her through her nephew Dana who's a contractor that I had worked with. When I first met with her she made it quite clear that she was NOT happy about selling her family home. She felt like she was just fine living there by herself, and didn't need the help her family members insisted she needed. She had raised her family in that home, and spent her last years with her husband there.
When I got on board, she had finally conceded to her family and agreed to list. That being said, in the beginning it wasn't clear if she considered me friend or foe. I met with her at her home many times before we actually went on the market. Sometimes we would talk about paperwork, and sometimes she would just want to share her many memories of her time in her home. Whatever she needed is what I gave. As a child, I lived with both my great grandmother as well as my grandmother, so I've always had a soft spot for the "well lived" generations of people. ;)
Once we went on the market, she felt very unsettled. She wasn't used to strangers in her home, and she was still really struggling with the idea of selling. I held her hand through everything and eventually found some amazing buyers from an open house. I'm so grateful that I got to help both sides in this situation, and that the buyers were so patient. We navigated our way through repairs and got to closing. There were many tears shed by Claudine throughout this process, and it meant a lot to me to be able to be there for her. There were times when she yelled at me, and times when she hugged me, but the part that sticks out the most to me is when, after closing, she told me she loved me.
I was able to be there for her through one of the toughest decisions she has ever had to make, and because of that we formed a bond. She's settled into an assisted living home now, and I look forward to my visits with her. We go to mexican food dinners, and I deliver her homemade Christmas cookies every year. She is now in her 90's and feisty as ever. I hope that never changes.