Friday, April 15, 2011

Never assume

There is a house for sale in our neighborhood that's been on the market for two and a half years. A long time by anyone's standards. When we decided to list our house I, of course, felt the need to research this property extensively, profiling it as our competition and finding ways to out-sell it. When I looked online I instantly assumed an older couple lived there as the house hadn't seen many updates or changes in quite a few years. It was cluttered and outdated and I wondered why the people who lived there wouldn't put more time and effort into making it look nicer. We wondered why these people kept their house on the market all this time--couldn't they see it wasn't going to sell? Then yesterday Madelyn and I were out taking our nightly walk and I saw the lady who lived in that house out mowing the yard. She wasn't old, nor was she unkempt. In fact, she was quite pretty, and probably in her mid thirties. I stopped to introduce myself as I've been randomly known to do, and asked her what the activity had been like on her house since we were trying to sell as well. Turns out she bought the house with her husband, they had a sweet little boy, and her husband passed away leaving her this large yard and house, not to mention their child, to care for singlehandedly. You could practically hear my stomach drop. Here I had spent all this time making judgements about the people in this house who I didn't even know and the lady living there was the sweetest, kindest person you could imagine. And she is a single mom. A widow. All I could think to do was tell her that if she ever gets in a bind and needs something, she can always come to our house for help. And I hope her house sells. In fact I hope it sells before ours. She's facing a burden everyday she physically and emotionally can't manage and she clearly needs a break. And I clearly needed a kick in the butt. And the heart. And I got it, loud and clear.

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