Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. For the Love of God!

 

I have to write this while it’s fresh in my mind. Where do you stand in this world, in your life? As a property manager, I am responsible for checking on second homes (three and four story luxury beach homes) in a tourist area. My clients are mostly wealthy, very wealthy, and some are average. I love my job. I’m self-employed and I make my own hours. The idea for the job was my husband’s, a landscape designer and manager. I created this job because I have scoliosis and needed to bow out of my 35-40+ hour admin life because sitting and standing for long periods became intolerable. It was a great idea and I love my clients – but not for the reasons you think. While I treat each property as if it were my own, I have come to know very successful people on a different level.

So here we are during the week of the July 4th holiday – roads busy with cyclists, golf carts, beachgoers, and kids everywhere, I get a voicemail from an alarm company that an alarm has lost power. I hop in my car and head to the property. All ok, I unlocked the door and the husband pops out. The alarm failed because there was a breaker issue, my second one today. But the husband, a very successful, wealthy 66 year old man follows me out to my car in his bare feet and keeps talking… Tomorrow is his wife’s birthday, and he winks. He bought her a wine cooler and stocked it, I’ll shoot her a happy birthday text. She told me about his appendix attack and emergency surgery at 2:00 AM last year, but as he walks me to my car, he tells me more, that he’s had multiple strokes in the last year. What??

To look at this good looking man, fit, very successful, tan and happy, he tells me with an Irish twinkle in his eye that his dad passed away of a stroke at his same age, at 66. He himself had multiple strokes within a few weeks. He told me the details of how his doctor friend met him at the hospital and informed him of his dire condition. He kept the symptoms from his wife. He said his arm went numb – he’d dress in the closet, tingling in his fingers, then a lightning bolt jolt behind his eye that went through his body. Wow!

But here’s the clincher; he never lost the twinkle in his eye as he spoke, the smile, the joy of being alive as he described facing near death. His doctor friend gave him a shot that dissolved any clots and he went home okay. It was a miracle, I said! Yes, he agreed and said that man saved my life, as on the weekends you have interns staffing most hospitals, healthcare has changed.

Then he told me with that twinkle, at age 66, looking the picture of health, that he’s told his four kids, “when you reach this age, life is like a light switch – one day you’re on, the next day you’re off.” He watched his dad just drop at age 66. “Just like that” and he snapped his fingers. He told me men don’t talk much about their feelings, including how they are feeling physically. He made a point to tell me that spouses need to talk about how they feel. He’d have symptoms but kept them to himself, hid them from his wife, said to himself I’m ok. He said, “talk to your spouse, and ask them how they are doing.”

The twinkle, however, never left his eyes. He was almost non-nonchalant about it, a smile never left his face. He said “I should have retired earlier. People are shocked to hear that I retired. I got my first social security check recently; I should have retired at 62.”

Here’s the thing: I know they are an Irish Catholic family. I could see he had no fear of death whatsoever – none – he was almost defiant. I know his wife volunteers and goes to court with young women who have fallen through the cracks and have no one to represent them. They donate time, money, do fundraisers, and donate their vacation homes to help others.

Another client, also successful and wealthy, I have noticed is sometimes out of the country on mission trips in third world countries and hard to get ahold of.

Several clients donate their vacation homes to pastors, they are involved in charities, they read volumes of religious novels, I see them scattered here and there, along with the Tom Clancy and the Brad Thor stuff.

They always say thank you and I appreciate you. They all have lots of kids, and some with many grandkids, and lots of pictures scattered everywhere of family. There are lots of old books, classics, especially children’s classics on the bookshelves, along with Charles Krauthammer, and Joel Rosenberg, and plenty of good spy novels. They are conservative, no question, but more than that, they seem happy and grateful. They have kids serving in the military. They work hard, but they seem to never lose sight of what is important.

I feel like I heard today the message that “despite my wealth, success, and these recent health issues, I love my family, I am ready to go – I know who I am, and I know who I am in God’s eyes.” I saw and heard that today – clear as a bell – a joy and confidence that doesn’t come from money, success or position. It is a light in someone’s eyes that I have rarely seen but only a few times, but when you see it, you won’t forget it. I also heard don’t ignore symptoms, talk to your family, your doctor. I was almost shaken as I drove home, but I’ll take this message to heart – I hope you will as well.

There are 13 comments.

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  1. ShaunaHunt Coolidge

    Thank you so much! It has made my day. :)

    • #1
    • July 1, 2019, at 5:06 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  2. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    That was beautiful, and beautifully written.

    • #2
    • July 1, 2019, at 5:08 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  3. Sweezle Member

    Thank you for this uplifting post. And good for you for creating a new career to fit better into your life and for your needs. 

    • #3
    • July 1, 2019, at 7:11 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  4. Boss Mongo Member

    Front Seat Cat: I feel like I heard today the message that “despite my wealth, success, and these recent health issues, I love my family, I am ready to go – I know who I am, and I know who I am in God’s eyes.”

    Can any person hope to achieve a mindset greater than this? I think not.

    • #4
    • July 1, 2019, at 8:54 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  5. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    That was beautiful, and beautifully written.

    Indeed. I’ll second that. 

    • #5
    • July 1, 2019, at 9:15 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  6. Suspira Member

    When I plied my trade as a lowly features writer, I went into scores of fabulous houses and interviewed wealthy and successful people. They were almost always gracious, generous, and natural in dealing with me, an upstart, lower-middle-class woman asking impertinent questions.

    This experience has spoiled me for eat-the-rich socialist cant.

    • #6
    • July 2, 2019, at 4:51 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor

    FSC, one of your best posts ever! What a beautiful story, and you shared it in a way that it rests sweetly in my heart. Thank you.

    • #7
    • July 2, 2019, at 5:56 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  8. Stad Thatcher

    Front Seat Cat: I created this job because I have scoliosis and needed to bow out of my 35-40+ hour admin life because sitting and standing for long periods became intolerable.

    One of the great things about this country is the freedom to do things such as create one’s own job. Can’t find a job that fits your skill set or physical ability? Create one that does!

    Wonderful post . . .

    • #8
    • July 2, 2019, at 6:19 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  9. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Front Seat Cat: I feel like I heard today the message that “despite my wealth, success, and these recent health issues, I love my family, I am ready to go – I know who I am, and I know who I am in God’s eyes.”

    Can any person hope to achieve a mindset greater than this? I think not.

    I’ve found myself inspired and also convicted when I wallow in self pity, get whiny or complain. Another very wealthy client who has become a good friend, had gotten back right after Hurricane Michael. They live out of state for the late spring and summer and I check their property weekly. 

    Upon returning, she volunteered right away to go to the trenches – picking up limbs and debris day after day from tiny little run down homes in poor sections of Panama City that suffered so much, and the insides were water logged and getting moldy. You had to use the woods for a bathroom. She was part of a crew that cleaned out their cupboards (a snake fell out of one), sweep up and clean, helping these people get back on their feet. Her community book club raised a lot of money to buy new books for the devastated middle school library. Her favorite saying is God Bless America and she says it with gusto! She is such an example to me.

    • #9
    • July 2, 2019, at 6:40 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  10. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    You have no idea how much I needed to see something like this today. 

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. 

    • #10
    • July 2, 2019, at 7:35 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  11. Stad Thatcher

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    You have no idea how much I needed to see something like this today.

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    Maybe you Atlanta folks should come to Aiken SC for a mini-Meetup . . .

    • #11
    • July 2, 2019, at 2:12 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  12. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Stad (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    You have no idea how much I needed to see something like this today.

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    Maybe you Atlanta folks should come to Aiken SC for a mini-Meetup . . .

    Well, I now have the time!

    • #12
    • July 2, 2019, at 6:05 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  13. Washington78 Coolidge

    Superb post. Thanks.

     

    • #13
    • July 3, 2019, at 8:51 AM PDT
    • 3 likes

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