Moving an Aging Parent from Long-Distance Part VIII


by Joy Loverde

The realtor who is in charge of selling your parents’ house will be one of the most important people in the relocation process. I have come to rely on Sharon Kerr (Mom and Bill’s real estate agent) to be my eyes and ears for just about everything that’s going on behind the scenes.

I remember the morning when my Mom asked me to find them a realtor. I was sitting at my desk in Chicago staring at my computer. I had no idea what I was doing, and no one I knew and trusted had a referral for me. When I reviewed the bios of the hundreds of realtors on the Internet who would be a possible candidate for this job, all I could do was rely on instincts and read as much as I could between the lines.

As it turns out, Sharon is nothing less than an angel. Over the past few months she has helped Mom and Bill with a variety of moving-related tasks and gone beyond the call of duty. From disposing unwanted household items and assisting with weekend garage sales to driving Mom and Bill to the airport on getaway day. She calls me if my Mom is feeling overwhelmed or Bill is getting cold feet about the sale, and we talk strategies to calm them down. I’m wondering how I can ever repay her for her kindness and compassion.

The realtor is your partner and friend. Treat him or her with the utmost respect because in the long run, this person becomes a key confidant in the process of moving aging parents from long-distance. And, if you ever need a realtor for Southern Florida, I highly recommend Sharon. Here’s her contact information:

Sharon L. Kerr, GRI, e-PRO, Realtor, Coldwell Banker Sunstar Realty, 970 Kings Hwy., Suite #2, Port Charlotte, FL 33980Direct: 941-255-7226, Toll-free: 800-466-9849, Email:

In the meantime, the fifteen boxes I packed at my Mom’s house and sent via UPS arrive on my doorstep in Chicago. I recall telling Mom that I will unpack them for her, and now I understand the mountain of unpacking I have in store for me.

First thing I did when the boxes arrived was email my sisters asking when they are coming over to help me with this task. And, as I write this, I am feeling overwhelmingly sad knowing that this unpacking process is a family caregiver right of passage.

Deep in my soul I know that opening the boxes and seeing and touching our mother’s belongings will remind the three of us of time gone by and the limited time we have left with Mom. Sisters working side-by-side, unpacking Mom’s boxes will be a grieving process that we will share together, and I am crying now as I write this.

The grieving has begun.