PAULA'S SOUTHAMPTON BLOG: The Tenderest of Holidays!...A Thanksgiving Story From Today

The Tenderest of Holidays!...A Thanksgiving Story From Today

The Tenderest of Holidays!...A Thanksgiving Story From Today

( I wrote this post right during the Thanksgiving weekend and took it down because a member told me she thought it had too much information in it--meanwhile, I see a story like the football player and his actions and it brings everything up all over again, including this experience of mine.  So, I wanted to share it again with all of you since I have had several requests for it..Thanks for reading it.)

As I was driving back home this morning to Southampton from Sagponack after working with a young woman and her 3 children, I wasTHANKSGIVING--A VERY TENDER HOLIDAY overwhelmed by tears that would not stop---they slipped out of my eyes without me even realizing it until my face was drenched--then I could hardly see to drive! Peeling onions had the same effect on me earlier today as I prepared part of Thanksgiving dinner... but they did not leave me in such a state as I was in now....I had to pull over to pull myself together...then the sobs came and I was a lump of emotion behind the wheel of my car, trying to stop the flow of tears to no avail. I am not the crying sort!!!

It is the week of Thanksgiving and it is slow in real estate right now,  especially here in the Hamptons. There are a lot of people in need right now; none as much need as the person whom I just met today. Thanksgiving has always been the most tender of all holidays to me and this situation exemplifies that feeling.

I got a call from a young woman this morning, her name is Maggie ( I don't want to use her real name here) She was calling about one of my year round rental listings. She says she lives in Riverhead and needs a year round house, nothing fancy, for her and her 3 kids. She also said she needs to be in the house by December 1st.

Something in her voice gave me the feeling that she is in a pickle--she really needed to find something and fast and since that house is already rented for year round, I needed to find her something that was close to Riverhead but was more than a beach shack. I could have told her that she won't find anything this fast, especially around this holiday time---people are away---people are hard to reach...and year round rentals are almost all rented now because of the economy. I could have told her she was wasting her time and that she needed to go look in another part of New York, like maybe Hampton Bays.

...But I did not; something made me go forward and show her the only house available in the area.

This young woman needs a fresh startI met her at a house in the more remote part of Sag Harbor; she was an attractive, well spoken tall young woman of about 35---her kids were typically active young ones, a little disheveled but well behaved. There was a long driveway to the house which is small and cheaply furnished with just the bare essentials. There is a fireplace and there are decent appliances plus a full basement...not too bad; and it was clean.

This is a rare and not a typical customer for me to get. I work with very few rentals as a fact. She was pleased that the house looked like it would work--her budget is lower than the asking price and I told her I would try to get the owner to rent the house to her.

"Do you work?" was my next question as we finished looking at the house..."I work at an office in Hampton Bays, but I will not be paying the rent" she said haltingly....I carefully listened as she spoke: "I am in a special program at The Retreat in West Hampton; I am not from around here. They sponsor me and they will be paying the rent on my behalf"....

My mind slowed to gather my thoughts---I had to stop to think... I know The Retreat: It is a privately funded place for battered women to go for help. This retreat protects their charges in a cacoon of privacy with no contact with the outside world while they live in the residence. But there comes a time in most cases where they need to make living arrangements for those who are most vulnerable to the needs of a growing family for instance. Living in fear for her life--not a good thing!

That is what has happened here. This young family needs to find a place to start over--safely away from the threatening and menacing behavior of a controlling husband and father.

At this time of year, a young mother, looking to find a place to live in dire circumstances is the most frightening thing I can imagine. I can not help but think: "Thank God she has a place to go like The Retreat!"

In my own family, I have an example of the dreadful, fearful life of a battered woman. She was my sister Laura and she didn't stand a chance in her case because she never told a soul of her plight and she lost her life in such a horrible way.

We never knew she was in trouble with her Air Force Corporal husband; she never told us anything and she lived so very far away....HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS--AND I FEEL I HELPED HER FIND IT

So, on this night before Thanksgiving, a most tender of all holidays, I feel I have a chance to do something for this young woman that I could not do for my precious sister.

I called the owner of the house  just now and I told him of the situation....I told him she is a lovely woman who is in real need for a home for her and her children and I am so convinced that she is a perfect tenant for him and because she can pay him only a small part of what he is asking for the rent that I would not be taking a commission on the deal...this to help to make him whole. Because the rent is paid through The Retreat, he will be sure to get paid.

When I called to tell her she has a home to live in she was so quiet; I heard her crying silently. The children playing and laughing in the background made me feel so thankful!

 

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                                     **ALL INFORMATION AND CONTENT IN THIS BLOG IS ORIGINAL TO PAULA I. HATHAWAY.  The views expressed herein are my personal views and do not reflect the views of Douglas Elliman Real Estate

 

Paula I. Hathaway, Senior Broker Associate, Douglas Elliman Real Estate

Southamtpon Village Real Estate Specialist since 1995;  Also Specializes in North Sea, Noyac, Water Mill and Bridgehampton, New York

Diamond , Gold and Chairman's Circle Awards; Top Producer since 2005

 

Click here to see my Hampton's website to see all my listings; please email me or call me for all your real estate needs in Southampton, Bridgehampton and Watermill:  http://www.elliman.com/paulahathaway

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Comment balloon 49 commentsPaula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA • December 06 2012 04:50PM

Comments

Paula, what a beautiful thing you did!! I'd say you've helped that mom and her kids have a lot more to be thankful for this Thanksgiving!! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving yourself....:)
Posted by Nancy Conner, Olympia/Thurston County WA almost 6 years ago

Paula, that is a very touching story. That lady and her children were very blessed to have had you to help her. you were also blessed to be the one that she called, after what your sister went through. My heart and prayers are with you.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Posted by Liz Hill (YOUR CHOICE REALTY CORP BROKERAGE) almost 6 years ago

Nancy: I certainly hope so--it is heartbreaking to me to know that there are still so many women in that kind of a position!

 Liz:I feel that it was a little bit of Providence there...She obviously was so grateful to have someone who would go to bat for her...Have Happy Thanksgiving too! 

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) almost 6 years ago

Wow...what a beautiful and heartwarming first half of the story. And such a sad 2nd part for your family.  I have a sister in law who went through what your sister did and we were lucky enough to find out and get him out of her life.  I am happy for the family you helped and so sad for your sister and your family.

Thanksgiving is a time for rejoicing and rememberence...and giving thanks for not only what we have...but what we had.

Your sister was taken from you way too early but her memories cannot ever be taken away!! I know you will be thinking of her even more on Thursday than some other days...

What you did was right ...and good...and I hope it has a happy ending for that Mom and her kids....

Have a safe and joyful Holiday.

Posted by Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker, Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940 (Mike McCann - Broker, Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska) almost 6 years ago

Mike: I am so worried about her though...she is so vulnerable. There was something so fragile about her yet the way she handled her children, you could see the loving care and discipline and the strength underneath it all. She will be fine, I am sure of it because if she is not, what is this all about? 

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) almost 6 years ago

Paula  I have never written a comment beyond my credit for 10 a day.  BUT, you have just become the exception.  If you are williing to give your commission...I guess I can give 25 points!

You are an inspiration to the human race.  Shed a few more tears for the rest of us!  Tears make us human. 

Enjoy the day and Happy Thanksgiving! 

John

Posted by John G. Johnston, An Exclusive Buyer's Agent ~ Westcliffe, CO (John G. Johnston & Associates, LLC) almost 6 years ago

Paula, I am so glad that you could be there to help her out in her hour of need, thanks for sharing this with us.

Posted by Bob Crane, Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671 (Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams fox cities) almost 6 years ago

Paula, that is a beautiful story.  You truly paid it forward.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by Kathy Sheehan, Senior Loan Officer (Bay Equity, LLC 770-634-4021) almost 6 years ago

John: Thank you for that--but I could not take the commission! It was so obviously a moment in time that I was given an opportunity to do something that I had been unable to do for my sister when she needed me so. I have lived with that sorrow for so many  years that I can't think it was anything but a providential opportunity.

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) almost 6 years ago

Bob: Thank you so much for reading it---I know that this is one place, ActiveRain, where things like this can be shared and accepted for exactly what they are. You are all so much a part of my life after 6 years that I need to let you see another layer of me, and I feel safe doing it!

Kathy: Thank you so much for reading this--and you have a truly blessed Thanksgiving too!

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) almost 6 years ago

Paula, I can't even find the words to say how sorry I am for your sister. Things don't happen by accident, I'm glad this lady called you to find her a home. I wish you and your family very Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by Beth Atalay, Cam Realty of Clermont FL (Cam Realty and Property Management) almost 6 years ago

Beth: Thank you so much for reading this--we are in a business where we are always exposed to the underbelly of life--with very few real rewards to be realized from our mundane and everyday lives. This is a valuable experience for me and I hope it does get seen by others too. By sharing it, I feel like I can let everybody know that it is ok to do the unusual now and then--there are rewards in that.

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) almost 6 years ago

Paula -- you have shared the true meaning of this holiday - thank you very much.  

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena Area Real Estate 818.516.4393 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) almost 6 years ago

What a beautiful story, Paula. Smile and be grateful. Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by Mike Warren (Real Estate) almost 6 years ago

We in the real estate industry do more than sell bricks and mortar.  We have the power to change peoples's lives. This is a Thanksgiving you and "Maggie" will never forget.  God Bless you both.

Posted by Barbara Tattersall, GRI (Keller Williams Realty Metropolitan (Keene,NH)) almost 6 years ago

What a wonderful gift this woman gave you....the opportunity to help a family, for you all to create a memory....and for a chance at a new life....all the best of the season to you all.

 

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) almost 6 years ago

Michael: Thank you and I hope you are enjoying your Thanksgiving too!

Mike: I am so grateful and you have a wonderful Thanksgiving too!

 

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) almost 6 years ago

Barbara: I could not have said it better: "We in the real estate industry do more than sell bricks and mortar. We have the power to change peoples's lives"...I think that says it all! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with you and yours.

Sally and David: Please know that my deepest wish is that this young family has a new start and that it will be the best move for them ever! Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) almost 6 years ago

Paula, I love happy endings...

you probably don't even realize how much you changed this lady's life.  You are special, and the Karma will come back to you.

Eve in Orlando

Posted by Mike & Eve Alexander, Exclusively Representing ONLY Orlando Home Buyers (Buyers Broker of Florida ) almost 6 years ago

Very toching story and this woman came into your life for a reason, as you well know. Thank you for all of us for making a difference in her life, I suppose it was right to happen around Thanksgiving.

I donated a home to a shelter for battered women for many years. It was the right thing to be done.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Posted by Joe Petrowsky, Your Mortgage Consultant for Life (Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709) almost 6 years ago

Hard to believe Thanksgiving is already here, wishing you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving  :-)  

Posted by David Popoff, Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct (DMK Real Estate ) almost 6 years ago

Eve: Thank you so much---I hope I have been a part of the change for her. The idea that she is in a very good home is comforting indeed!

Joe: Good for you for donating the home for that purpose...it is one part of our lives that I don't understand, this "battering" thing. It certainly must be a symptom of something really wrong with our society  if people feel they can solve a difficulty by dominating and then perhaps even destroying a life! Until we work on that and cure the deficiency, we will continue to need this sort of rescue. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

David: The same to you--and yes it did arrive very quickly didn't it?

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) almost 6 years ago

Paula - Your sister would have been proud of you!  You may have saved this woman's life.  I hope this is the beginning for her of a series of good things coming her way.  Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Posted by Gail Robinson, CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT (William Raveis Real Estate) almost 6 years ago

Gail: I hope I did too! ...and enjoy this wonderful holiday. Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) almost 6 years ago

Paula you have touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes.  I am so thankful you listened to your heart and knew you had to help this woman and her children.  Your sister is proud of you!  I will be thinking of this lady and all others who need a fresh start......and a place to call home and be safe.  Bless YOU!

 

Featured in BananaTude -  Thanks & Giving!


Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) almost 6 years ago

Very touching story. We have a lot to be thankful for and should help others when we can.

Posted by Edward & Celia Maddox, EXPERIENCE & INTEGRITY - WE TAKE THE HIGH ROAD (The Celtic Connection Realty) almost 6 years ago

Thank you Paula, Happy Thanksgiving & I wish you a very happy Hoilday Season!!!

Posted by Wes Neal, The expertise you expect and attention you deserve (Wes & Company ) almost 6 years ago

Great story and thank you Paula for displaying the type of genorisity that Realtors really do go above and beyond for the general public!!

Posted by Dan Hopper, Denver Realtor / Author / Advocate/Short Sale (Keller Williams Realty Downtown LLC) almost 6 years ago

Anna: Thank you so much! I  felt the pain of this young woman the minute I met her and until she gave me a sense of what it was I was confounded by her acceptance of the surroundings of this modest house...She was well presented, a well educated, well spoken woman who is in a bind. I sure hope she is going to be ok. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Celia: you are so right! I also think we need to be on our toes right now--most people do not know hhow to ask when they are in dire straights--I learned a whole lot here!

Wes: You are more than welcome! Have a Happy Thanksgiving...

Dan: We do and I don't think it is acknowledged enough--but then it's ok on this one--I really feel a burden lifted from my heart in this case! I am thankful for that!

 

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) almost 6 years ago

Paula, that is one of the most tender stories I've ever heard, and I am so thankful that you were the one to help her. I'm so sorry to hear about your sister.  Thank you for your selfless deed.

 

Posted by Melissa Brown, Realtor - South Charlotte NC Homes for Sale (Helen Adams Realty) almost 6 years ago

Melissa: Thank you so much for reading this and I too am happy I was the one to work with her--it was no accident! Hope you are enjoying your Thanksgiving...

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) almost 6 years ago

Paula,

God bless!  This is what Thanksgiving is all about:-)

All the best, Michelle

Posted by Michelle Francis, Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease (Tim Francis Realty LLC) almost 6 years ago

Michelle: I think you are right--it is almost the best thing I could have asked for today!

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) almost 6 years ago

This type of story helps you feel good about being an agent. Thank you for going the extra steps. Understand the tears, got them myself. Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by Bill Reddington, Destin Florida Real Estate (Re/max Southern Realty) almost 6 years ago

Bill: Thanks for reading it--and thanks for the Happy Thanksgiving--Hope you have a good one too! 

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) almost 6 years ago

Paula: What an incredibly moving story. You are truly wonderful to help this woman and her children. I have a feeling this helped you as well emotionally, with makes this a doubly inspiring story. Happy Thanksgiving you and your family.

Posted by Hella Mitschke Rothwell, Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker ((831) 626-4000) almost 6 years ago

And thus the uncontrollable emotions. There are little miracles every day of the year, but contributing to make a miracle happen on Thanksgiving day has to feel special

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) almost 6 years ago

Hella: Thank you so much--and yes it did help me too! I was totally taken by surprise by my reaction to the situation; but when I look back on it, there really ws nothing to do but what I did...

Ed: Yes, I guess you could say that--I do think that providence stepped in here, and I happened to be the one who was needed under the circumstances...

 

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) almost 6 years ago

I think your sister was guiding you, what a great story, we need more good stories like this.

Posted by Kathy Stoltman, Ventura County Real Estate Consultant 805-746-1793 (Rockwood Realty) almost 6 years ago

Kathy: It was one of those times when it all fell into place and the amazing thing is many people are in these dire straits and have no clue what to do. Then you have an instance such as the football player and his girlfriend, where at first it was such a shock to everyone--then we started to get the real story and the abuse was there and building to a crescendo with many witnesses. It makes me fall down, sick at heart to hear more stories like this.

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) almost 6 years ago

What a touching story I know your Sister would be proud of you for making a difference in this women's life. Have a wonderful Holiday.

Posted by Pat Champion, Call the "CHAMPION" for all your real estate needs (Coldwell Banker Camelot Realty) almost 6 years ago

Pat: I know she is still instrumental in my life---this last big news item sent me into a state of mind where I could have gone into another major slump but I have been feeling her presence with me, especially since this Thanksgiving. Thank you for reading it.

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) almost 6 years ago

Paula- I'd say there most definitely are guardian angels around.  I'm glad you reposted this, and I'm very sorry about your sister.  We never know what's going on in the lives of others and I'm so glad that this young lady somehow found you. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) almost 6 years ago

Kathy: Thank you for your support--I do believe there are guardian angels. I studied physics when I was younger and my professor used to make a point of disucssing the fact energy is indestructible and therefore never disappears. We as humans are made up of energy and when we die, it is merely our physical body that dies--our energy (or spirit) remains and even though we can't see it, the energy is there...I think that is what happened here--Laura's energy was all around us that day.

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) almost 6 years ago

That is simply beautiful, an angel brought her to you through your sister so you could help.  Have a very happy Holiday.

Posted by Christine OShea (Christine E O'Shea Real Estate Broker) almost 6 years ago

Paula, thank you for sharing this beautiful and very personal story. I am sure your sister was with you and guiding you from the moment you answered that phone call and heard something in that woman's voice until you were able to call and tell her that you had secured her a home. 

Posted by Suzi Sandore, North County San Diego Homes (RealtyONEGroup) almost 6 years ago

Christine: Thank you so much for reading this--I think you are right...I felt that is what happened.

Suzi: I think so too--It has altered my life in a way I can't even explain.

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) almost 6 years ago

You certainly know how to impact someone's life. Thank you for sharing the post with all of us. This generosity will come back to you many times.

Posted by Joe Petrowsky, Your Mortgage Consultant for Life (Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709) almost 6 years ago

Joe: Thank you for reading it...I am so grateful for my own good fortune in life and I want to share it with others--this came out of the blue and now I see how the intricacies of life operate: We just don't know what's important and what will alter things forever; I am living my life from this day forward with an openess and acceptance I did not have before. 

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) almost 6 years ago

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