Recently I heard that my client and friend Nancy passed away after she fought cancer. This week my social media is dedicated to honoring her.
While I have had the absolute fortune of helping many people over the years, this project of helping Nancy has been the most rewarding, and I dont mean profitable. I got to help this beautiful soul when she needed help the most.
Nancy was a single mother who lived with her elderly mom and her daughter. The three generations lived in a little bungalow in Lake Como, NJ.
In October of 2012, hurricane Sandy devastated the area, and Nancy lost her home.
Nancy and her family moved into a shelter. Once the chaos had died down, we drove to her house. We tried to get in through the front door, but the door was jammed. When we picked our way to the backyard to try that door, we discovered the remnants of her neighbor’s patio, and rubble that had once been her back steps. We hoisted ourselves up into her pitch-dark house. There we found piles of sand everywhere, and the stench of mold and dead fish. Nancy, who had grown up in this home, seemed lost and helpless. She had lost everything, including all of her precious photo albums, keepsakes she could never get back. Overwhelmed, she had zero self-confidence. She had no idea how much money she was going to get from her insurance policy, whether she could ever afford to rebuild.
Then Nancy got the first installment from the government disaster relief. We started talking about her dream home, or at least I did. “Dream home?” she laughed. “Look at the dump we’re standing in. I’ll be happy if you can just give me a working kitchen. How can I ever have a DREAM home in this space?”
Even in a dump, there exists infinite possibilities.
Nancy didn’t know where to start, what to do with the space, and was afraid that it was going to cost her an arm and a leg.
“How about we take off that wall,” I said, looking around. “That will give us an open space. Let’s move this wall a little bit, and that will give you the dining room you’ve always wanted. We’ll move the refrigerator right here…”
Nancy loved this open floor plan we designed. Being a chef, she used to prepare delicious meals overlooking the ocean. The simple white, shaker kitchen with soft pastel colors gorgeous wood floors that she always wanted give her a sense of breathing room and peace, which she so needed after her ordeal.
Soon after the renovations were complete, Nancy invited all of her friends over for her birthday. They raved about her house. She told them, “You guys all said that I didn’t have good taste. Now look at my house. This is all ME.”
Nancy loved her home. We met after a year for her surprise birthday party. She had a lot to be thankful for. She had just beat cancer & was surrounded by her friends and family. That day she told me that her beautiful home helped her fight and heal faster. She was never depressed when she had gone through cancer. We enjoyed some samosas & some Indian food few times.
Unfortuantely I heard that she had to sell her home. That must not have been easy for her. I truly hope that she is in a better place now.
We are having a prayer meeting in her honor on June 3rd. If you have lost someone close and would like their name to be included, please let me know. I believe that prayers and good thoughts are healing.