I spent the weekend writing Christmas cards to my past reverse mortgage clients. It provided an opportunity to reflect .... the joy I felt knowing how the program I introduced to my clients that made their lives better in so many ways, the privilege I continue to enjoy as I enter their homes and become a part of their lives. Often, as result of referrals, particularly Rob Black’s recommendation, people developed a trust in me quickly. It made me uncomfortable as I felt and continue to feel they must learn the details of the program and trust themselves in the decision. But at one meeting, a gentleman said he trusted me and I blushed and worked harder to help him understand the topic and he interrupted and said, “You should say thank you when someone says they trust you, that's the highest compliment you can receive”. Now, every time someone says they trust me, I smile and look into their eyes and express a sincere appreciation for the complement they just gave me.... and go back to an even more concentrated effort to help them understand fully the details of the important program they are considering. They are about to make one of the most important decision of their lives…. “At a time when they can't afford to make a mistake.” (A comment a past client made).
I am so very blessed to get to know such a wide variety of people with so many experiences that later generations can’t and will never experience ever again. I gain a first hand knowledge of their lives and how they live now and overcame obstacles during their lives, the hardships they faced and challenges they continue to face as they age. Working in California and the San Francisco Bay Area with the incredible variety of people that I got to personally know and become involved in their lives has been a blessing for me. I have been able to witness many different cultures, from the black woman in Oakland who had two social security numbers because of her childhood work in the cotton fields in the south with their bosses walking up and down the rows assigning numbers as they went. The world war II vets who experienced unthinkable and heroic actions during the war but live simple lives wanting no more than paying their bills, maintaining their modest homes and making sure their wives will be okay if they die first. The woman who quickly warned me that she lived alone so when she talks, it’s like opening the flood gates, but all so interesting. This was a European woman in her beautiful home in the hills of Santa Barbara who surprisingly had 2 concert grand pianos, tucked together like a puzzle in her living room. My lifelong learning at the keyboard came to fruition when we dug through her piano benches and played duets throughout the afternoon and every time I visited the city joined her for our afternoon soirée. She commented, you’ll easily find me… I’ll be the one jumping up and down as you approach! The elderly woman in Daly City whose daughter was looking for a source of funds to pay for her home care as the most important thing was to keep her in her home…. to allow her to die peacefully in her own bed…. the beautiful piano in her living room…. the Beethoven piece I conveniently had memorized provided a profound sense of joy that you could see in her face and tears….. The German woman in the Sunset district of San Francisco with the cold fog outside, and just as cold inside because she couldn’t afford heat (by the way… her home valued at $800,000) who kept music active in her life as I could see her spinet piano in the center of her living room with music and lighting that made it obvious this was the most important piece of furniture in the home. After commenting on her piano, I quickly learned she played, but her greatest love was singing, and she even wrote her own songs with the aspirations of recording them. We put off the main reason I was there and I sat at the piano playing the introduction to her love song she recently wrote…. Her shaky voice starting in…. the tenderness she expressed, the joy in her tone. How blessed I am!
My past clients understand what a reverse mortgage can provide…. And remind me over the years how important that money has been for them. The Walnut Creek woman who invited me to her home after remodeling…. stating “I polish my equity every day” as she stood in her beautiful new kitchen, leaning over her lovely granite countertops. The woman who was facing foreclosure and the lender relentlessly sending notices and refusing to give her more time …. as she made numerous trips to the emergency room with a heart condition…. who now happily announces her health has improved dramatically and her blood pressure back to normal since the reverse mortgage closed and she no longer has the stress of losing her family home of 60 years.
These memories mean so much to me, Merry Christmas to All!