The other day I met with an Elderly Woman who was referred to me by another Client. It was a very simple phone call, not one – frankly – I routinely get (i.e., simply and short), but welcomed none the less.
Her voice was soft and pure and she simply said, “…Mr. Greco, I understand you’re the person to talk to about my home and I wonder if you would care to make time available and visit with me at my home. I’ve a few important matters I would like to review with you.” Her voice was soothing and elegant in it’s inflection and delivery and I found my self responding with a equally placid tone, “…why yes of course….”!
From the name she gave me, as the source of the referral, and the location of the home I was reasonably clear and comfortable with the situation and a few days later I found myself at her front door. A lovely home I’d driven by many times and admired for it’s manicured landscaping tastefully accented with just the right floral touch. The architectural style of lazy single level home that had the romantic air of late afternoon socials accompanied with lite Jazz music of the Nat Cole era, large fin’d Cadillac’s, single strand pearl necklaces, skinny ties against a white narrow collar’d button downs and large flag stone patio’s with drooping willow trees! A stage well suited for comfort and lingering conversation!
I was greeted by, let’s just call her “June”, and escorted by her Attendant to the main “gallery” of the home. This commentary is not about the home, per se, but let me tell you that nearly 5000 square feet of home, though quite large, seems sullen and hollow when completely empty which, in realty, was still most striking! The home was completely, completely empty. June’s husband had past on three years earlier, her four children, the youngest in his late 40’s, had scattered to the four winds and she was now, as she put it, left simply with the memories that recorded time had “…passed about all to quickly….”
We reviewed business matters for only a brief time, perhaps only twenty minutes, however I was on the “grounds” for nearly three hours. As we passed from room to room she would pause and impart to me a recollection about how the Christmas tree was placed in this room one year alternating every other with the “salon” and how her Husband never forgave the “builder” for failing to properly resole the door “rub” in the butler pantry. She explained how her youngest used to love to hide in the “built-in” barbeque that was adjacent to the fireplace (sharing the same masonry chimney) but was never used. Seems this was a long time “barb” between the two of them as her Husband had the Builder create the “beast” over her objections as if to suggest, “…why would anyone ever have a Salon with an indoor barbeque!” They would tease each other for years over this “feaux pax” and how it was never used.
The home was pristine in its original condition right on down to the pencil marks on the wall in the garage recording the growth spurts of their children and the broken tile in the Solarium where she was sitting the afternoon she received a call from her Husband that their eldest Son was killed in a “non-combat incident” in Vietnam. She was standing, she recalls, holding a large ceramic vase, time stood still and gravity took its place. “You know”, she said, “all I kept thinking was that he had only ten days remaining on his Tour.” Her brilliant blue eyes made sudden contact with my own and she said “Oh how I do miss him so. Do you think one day I will see him again?”
I was given a tour of the home and the “grounds” as one would expect and perhaps one day I will recall to print the spectacular detail of her recollections but for now, I’ll just leave you with this final thought.
It is true that the event produced another new and satisfied Client, but, what actually occurred was an escort through time and the memories, of a truly lovely woman, whose life revolved in and around and became, the very Heart of a Home!
Oh how I so very much love being alive! Thanks “June”, I’ll be forever grateful for the tour!
Curtis C. Greco, Founder