Joanne was in her mid-seventies, and her daughter knew mom just couldn’t take care of a house over 4,000 square feet on over an acre of land. Joanne had to have a home that large to house all of her possessions. She needed to downsize and move to Assisted Living, but she was giving her daughter a very difficult time about the move.
The daughter made an appointment for me to come over and educate them in the estate sale process. Her exact words: “Mom’s got 4,000 square feet full of stuff, junk and everything else, and it’s time to sell it all so she can fit into her new place.” To complicate the matter, the house had already sold!
Throughout the conversation at Joanne’s house, I had a familiar feeling that I had to share. I addressed the daughter who had asked me to come: “I would be happy to assist you in selling the remainder of this estate, but I have a funny feeling mom will not part with anything.”
Joanne looked over at me and gave me a “cat ate the canary” grin; I knew she was up to something. The daughter insisted that all of the possessions had to go. Still, I persisted as gracefully as I knew how. “I think your mom might have other plans for it, don’t you, Joanne?” Again, I received the same grin, but she sat silent, as if this was punishing her daughter for trying to make the right decision.
The daughter became increasingly disturbed, and I was caught in the middle. “Mom, what is going on?” Still, no reply from her mother. Once more, I put on my gentle voice and stuck my neck out. “I’d be willing to guess mom has other plans for her possessions. Something like storage.” Mom’s face was simply beaming. I had hit the nail on the head!
The daughter’s face grew dark like an impending storm, and demanded to know what nonsense mom was up to. Finally, it came out. “Julie’s right. I’ve already reserved four extra large storage units. I’m not giving it away, or selling it. It’s mine. No one can have it but me!”
The lady who wouldn’t let go ended up moving and placing everything in storage, to the tune of over $7,000 per year.
Moral: You can’t take it with you, no matter how hard you try!
© 2009 Julie Hall