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When hardship meets kindness

Some 2 years ago I was sent by a bank to a foreclosure pending property,  in order to relay some options to a tenant occupying the home. A once attractive 2 flat on Addison and I90 in Chicago, this home was previously occupied by the owner on the 1st floor, and 2nd floor was rented.

Upon arrival, with a Cash for Keys letter in my hand and the anticipation of resistance, I rang the bell and patiently waited.  The door opened and upon introductions, a woman named Renee welcomed me in.  As we made our way upstairs I took pictures and listened to her story about how nice it was living here until the landlord starting getting in trouble. She said that her water was being shut off every other week and she would have to go to the city a couple of times that month to get it turned back on. The landlord stopped paying the bills, cutting the grass, and maintaining upkeep, so the home over the course of a year had begun deteriorating on the inside and the outside.

Renee, however, was a kinder spirit with strong religious faith and a positive outlook on the future. A single mother of four children, 2 young girls from a previous relationship, 1 adopted teenage daughter, and a son with hopes of joining the Army. She knew her situation was challenging, but she immediately inspired me to see that when you have faith, “things” are less important.  A minister in her church, she took on a preachers voice when sharing her thoughts of the future and encouraged me that everything will be alright. She said, she knew I was coming, and knew that I was placed in her path to guide her to the next point in her life.  I was there for a reason.

I took more pictures, notes and although I was sad to see Renee in her situation, I felt inspired to help her and her children move forward.  Within a couple of hours Renee had turned from a stranger to a deeper connection and as we stood on the front steps of the building discussing options, she turns to me and says: “Mario, be inspired, let me a hug you. It will be alright”.  I hugged Renee and believed in her promise.

I went home that day, and shared my experience with my wife. We have had so much to be grateful for, and sometimes have allowed stress, money or “things” blind our perception of so many wonderful things in our life. Our four girls, the roof over our head, our friends and health.

3 months later Renee and her kids moved to a 2 story renovated duplex in Avondale.  She had lived there until recently when that home suffered to foreclosure.  Renee and I have been looking for a new home since and Renee has not sacrificed hope or spirit.

Thank you Renee for enriching my soul.

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3 thoughts on “When hardship meets kindness

  1. wow… thats a heartwarming story and you are an exceptional human being. you didnt have to take on that women’s problems but you did…

    …make you feel all warm and squishy inside.

    God’s got a blessin in store for you, sweetie.
    (**sigh**) this is my “feel good moment” of the day!~


    1. Thank you so much. She was “the” gift to me. I learned a lot and think of her every time I think I have it rough. I don’t. Kids are healthy, wife still loves me and the roof is over our head. Everything else is just “stuff”. Thank you for reaching out and stay in touch.



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