The importance of family!

In Real Estate, it’s easy to lose track of the importance of family.  After all,  times are supposed to be hard and we REALTORS(R)  are supposed to be burning the midnight oil, right? For all intents and purposes, we are supposed to neglect our families in order to get that ‘All important sale’?


In these times, more than ever before, it is of paramount importance for REALTORS (R) to STAY in touch with their families and to advise clients that they will meet with them at a time convenient to THEIR families.

Such was the case today……

When I got to my office this morning and was on my regular 8am coaching call (I coach new agents), I received a call from my husband to say that there was a water leak in his bathroom and that he had called a plumber!   Oh, GREAT!

At about the same time, I got a call from my sisters son (from Africa, now living in Las Vegas) to say that they were on their way from Laguna Niguel to Long Beach for our impromptu family reunion luncheon. With him, he was bringing his sister, her husband of 16 years and their two children the latter of whom I had not met – visitors to our wonderful country from Africa.

Oh crud!  I was already trying to negotiate a new sale in El Paso ( a past client) and a client wanting an investment property, ALL  on top if what I already have going on – with the interest rates dropping, I have several clients who want to buy NOW! How was I going to fit THIS in  AND driving rain and a water leak, too??  …..   rain and impending floods – after all,  Las Vegas had SNOW today and so did MALIBU!   MALIBU?  Snow?  Unheard of!  Instinct (flight or fight) told me that I should tell the family that – hey!  I have not seen you for 16 years….  let’s catch up on the next trip, but Umm…..  NO!  My family is my family and I will ALWAYS be there for them, NO MATTER WHAT!!

I got to my office with only enough time to dump my stuff to the unbelievable understanding of my Broker and I was off in the driving rain to meet my family at Bubba Gumps on the Marina.  I parked, trudged through the drizzle, jaywalked and arrived at the restaurant…..  and then I SAW THEM!  My darling sister’s son and daughter who I have not seen for  16 and 19 years respectively and THEIR BEAUTIFUL spouses and children!

I promised I wouldn’t cry – and I never do – but tears flowed like the rain outside, as I hugged them close – close enough for 19 years of separation.  Then I looked at their children – people who had not asked to be born but who were overjoyed to have the parents they have, to love and guide them in life! These were young people (sorry…  I refuse to call them kids, because I RESPECT them) who are BEST friends with their parents! Parents who  actually RELATE to their young!

As we sat and chatted furiously, at times talking over each other and catching up on time lost – I felt the hands that embraced my neck and heard the small voices of “I love you” from young people I had just met but who I could truly admire, for to be sure, their parents had taught them standards in life that most adults are lacking.  I turned and hugged them back with hearfelt communication of true love of family.

Young eyes, that spoke of  TRUE parental love and respected parental protection, now embraced me, a total stranger in their lives and only because I was there.  I had kept my word  – told them where and when to meet me and we were together. Such is love born of innocence and trust.

I can’t even BEGIN to tell you how much that luncheon with my family meant to me, today!  All too often, families are separated by a few city blocks but don’t see each other for weeks, if not months. What keeps them apart?  Life’s stresses?  Family pressures? The Saturday football game?  Work? A silly dispute of a long time ago?

Get this! …..  When they’re gone, they’re GONE!  You can’t take back time and say: “I wish I could have…..” – It’s over!  All we have is NOW and if the time presents itself for you to be with you family, you need to grab that with BOTH HANDS – no matter the cost… no matter the risk …. no matter the shortage of time and in our case, no matter the weather.  GO FOR IT!

Sure, there have been differences in our lives – in our family, but who are WE to judge? Who appointed US  judge and jury?  Surely, we can be capable of looking at people and sharing with them for the people that they ARE – not what society dictates them to be or expects us to dish out to them ?

A child is born into the world with his/her own DNA, personality and character. Why should that child carry the burden of opinions and hurts past, by bygone generations.  They know nothing of that! Nor should they. This is THEIR life – fresh and unspoiled as it should be.

As I looked at my sisters children and their spouses and THEIR children, the years melted away and the dispute that I had with their mother of many years ago (my sister – and yes, I do truly love her), melted away. That was not THEIR problem, nor was it their children’s probem. Why should their children pay?

Changing one’s mindset and burying hurts from times long past,  goes a LONG way to creating happiness for today and future generations.

As I looked at the eyes of those, now two generations from my long time ago dispute with my sister, I realized  how really small that dispute was. And did it really matter any more? Well,  of COURSE not!

When I came to this country, 15 years ago, I promised myself that I would embrace its values and I believe that I have. Part of that embracing, involves NOT judging and another part requires of us that we start each day with a fresh mindset.

Today, I threw myself to the ‘wolves’ and I was embraced by those who love me and by those whom I love.

How tragic it might had been if I had just ‘done the right thing’ and told my family “I can’t meet with you today because I have a client!”  How VERY much I would have lost!

Today, I know that both my Broker and my client rejoice with me that I DID meet with my family and I am honored to know that my client has accepted an appointment for tomorrow, knowing that when SHE has a family committment, I will understand!

Today, I rejoice in the family closeness that I now feel and the memories that will last till my dying day of the next generation whose values are as great – if not greater – than those of our own generation.

Today, I rejoice in knowing new people who carry my bloodline and my DNA, who I can respect, despite the fact that they are only 12 or 16 years old, remembering that a person doesn’t have to be an adult to be respected!

Today, I grew and I am thankful for the experience!

Today, I value people for who and what they ARE, and not for what others SAY they might be.

Today, I am ME – the only thing I know and trust and with that trust of myself, I accept others with respect and without  judgment.


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Althea Garner
Executive Real Estate
House Of Homes Online

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