This is LouLou, actually, Louise. I bought the duplex she and her husband Warren lived in, back in 2000. It was in less than stellar condition but I got it for a song ($19,000) and knew it had potential. The rents were ridiculously low but I was going to raise them quickly. Well, it didn’t work out so well . . .
As I got to know them, I learned they’d been in that home for 23 years, were on a fixed income and Warren was dying of cancer. They were dear, sweet people, and I just couldn’t do it. Just couldn’t. I kept the home for a couple years, drawing ever closer to LouLou as she and the hospice people cared for Warren until he passed away. I was unable to attend the funeral, much to her dismay. Her comment: “George’s people don’t like white people, but I think you woulda done okay. I woulda had you in the family row…” (Yikes!)
I sold the home and — surprisingly — made a profit. The next owner did a poor job of managing it and paying the mortgage, and went into foreclosure. I continued to visit throughout this time, and was relieved when LouLou found a senior living facility (a renovated old school). She’s lived there for the past several years and I’ve continued to visit.
She’s a fun, feisty old girl — loves B.B King and the blues, and when I get off the elevator, I often hear the music cranked up loud, coming from her apartment. She gets many visitors: her son and daughter and various grandkids, nieces and nephews, great grandkids, etc. They drift in and out on a daily basis.
Sadly, she was diagnosed with colon cancer a few years back and has declined. Initially, she told me, “I think it’s down there in my utica (uterus).” One operation was all her body could handle, and now her 5’6″ frame is down to about 80 lbs. She had a bad episode a month ago and has been in a rehab facility since.
Her daughter calls me with updates and I visit her often, but LouLou’s 81 years may be drawing to a close. My job as a landlord has enabled me to meet some extraordinary people, and LouLou is one of those. I’m proud and honored to have known her all these years, and will hope for the best in the coming weeks.
May God bless her . . .