Joan and Richard’s Story


I have no idea what came over me or what possessed me to sit down in the middle of their living room floor and make a video – in the middle of their move with the sounds of stretch wrap screeching loudly in the background. That was not my intention at all. I’ve never done this before and I’m not sure I ever will again.

I don’t know what it was about this couple, Joan and Richard that we moved today. But Joan and I made a connection from the very first phone call. It’s possible they reminded me of my grandparents who went into a nursing home together right around this age. It’s possible it was because we were practically neighbors. It could have been that we shared the same hustle as she told me about their once thriving family business and that she worked nights and weekends getting it started around her “real job” while taking care of her family and raising her children. We talked about the lovely town we live in, the schools, the shops, the restaurants, but mostly about the good people. She talked nonstop about her kids and grandkids and about how Richard got sick and has been through a lot.

She shared the overwhelming task at hand to try to clear her home of everything that they “would no longer need”, but yet “keep some furniture there” as her realtor suggested. I just kept thinking about how hard this must be for her to do at 85 – so maybe it was that too. Or maybe it was everything. She called me several times a day some days in the weeks leading up to today to tell me different things like, “I forgot to tell you about a lamp”, or “will the guys help Richard with his clothes? He has a lot of clothes, are you sure?” She called to tell me about her frustration with the cable company and asked “how am I supposed to return 5 cable boxes Traci?” Don’t worry Joan, we got the boxes.

Gary and I went there together one of the times just to listen again to everything she was taking and everything she wasn’t to put her mind at ease again that we knew. While we were there she pointed out a painting we’d need to carefully wrap, as it was “really special to Richard,” she said. We asked Richard to tell us the story behind it and he did. When I asked if he knew what it said, he proceeded to leave the room and come back with the translation asking us if we wanted him to read it, which of course we did. He read the paper saying he was “sorry for the blurry spots because water got on it.” I could have listened to him for hours.

One call was about her fear that the guy coming for junk removal wouldn’t show. “What will I do with a house full of crap,?” I asked her for his number and called him to help orchestrate that and give her a little piece of mind. Gary and I went there the day he was supposed to show up to make sure he did. He did and was a great guy. Richard wouldn’t let Gary leave without a few tools he said he “wouldn’t need and take this bike for one of the kids too.”

So yeah, I’m pretty sure it was everything that prompted me to go there today on moving day, which I never do, and sit down in the middle of their living room floor, in the middle of the move and ask if I could take a little video of their story thinking maybe in some small way it would help them help us help someone else? Not sure but I just knew that in that moment that’s what I should do.

– Traci and Gary, Big G Movers, Inc.