Realty Executives of Sudbury Ltd.
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Realty Executives of Sudbury Ltd.
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(Note - this was a broadcast email that went out, therefore some parts read as and pertain to receiving this as an email..... enjoy)
Sudbury? Cabo? Sudbury & Cabo? Kelowna? Istanbul? Leaving Las Vegas style?
Maybe you’re thinking, “why am I getting this on a long weekend?” or “who the heck just sent me this?” I figured the August long weekend is a time when people take a few deep breaths after a chaotic May/June/July and you might just have a few minutes to enjoy an entertaining piece of writing over coffee or chilling around the firepit and even take the time to figure out who Caz is.
As I write this, it is approaching two years since Michelle/Mishe/Mimi/my Babe passed away and left a gaping hole in my life. Almost two years of soul-searching. Twenty-two months of “what just happened?”. Coming upon two years of grieving, laughing, crying, asking “why?”…… you get the picture.
When Mishe and I would discuss our life insurance policies, I always told her, “we don’t need a massive chunk. You’ll need six months of finances covered to grieve and take some time away from it all, but then it’s time to get back to life and move forward.” Note the “you’ll” as our collective assumption, with me looking 75 by the time I was 35 and don’t exactly practice a healthy lifestyle, all indicators were that I would likely go first.
Ignorantly, I was speaking from past experiences of losing both parents by the age of 20 and thought I was well prepared to just “bounce back” if something did happen to Mishe. I also tried to use that language about a quick recovery within six months as an advanced tactic to instill strength in Mishe for when I passed in hopes it would give her the power to rebound quick. In hindsight, and now living through it – WOW - was I way off.
Losing your parents is tough. I see a lot of my friends going through some tough battles right now or posting their parents’ obituaries online. It doesn’t matter if you go through it during your teenage years or if your parents leave you when you’re enjoying retirement. It’s tough regardless of whether you saw and battled alongside them for months or years, or you open the door to the police to tell you the sudden news – every story is just a different tough.
Losing my parents early injected me into a crash course in resiliency. I’ve always fought my way through and kept on grinding, often with more help from my friends than from family. However, battling everyday against an enemy you can't beat and losing your spouse at far too young an age can challenge anyone’s strength and, even with my salient past and experience with great loss, my strength was nearly crushed.
For the first year, while in a foggy state, I almost sold my house, almost moved out West, almost moved back to Cabo, almost, almost, almost. Thankfully, Mishe and I had always agreed that, if something happened to one of us, we wouldn’t make any major decisions for the first six months. I’m beyond grateful to have had Jennie at my side encouraging me to stick to that rule.
Jennie is my girlfriend – aka Sweetie Bird – and it still seems weird to say I have a girlfriend after 20 years of being together with Mishe. Jennie lost her husband, Sean, to the same brutal brain cancer eight months before Mishe passed. We were both living the lives we had dreamed of until Glioblastoma smashed us both into widow status at the age of 46 – what a world.
Together, we’ve been moving forward, leaning on each other in down moments, but mostly trying to enjoy life as much as we can knowing how quickly life can change in a heartbeat. We backpacked through Europe and spent the winter in Cabo together getting through our year of “firsts” – anniversaries, birthdays, anniversaries of deaths, etc. I often explain that we were both launched into a deep hole, and we continue to pull each other up, scaling the sides as we fight our way out of it. People are amazed we’re able to continue but we made promises to Sean and Mishe that we would and finding that combined strength to do it together and be lucky enough to do it alongside someone who knows exactly what you’ve been through has been the amazing part.
Last winter, Jennie got an amazing opportunity with a colleague to restart her career with RBC Dominion Securities in a new role as an Investment Advisor. After sitting in a cove waiting out the storm, her sails went up and this was a huge gust with calming seas ahead to get her back in the game. When you’re somewhat lost, having trouble understanding what happened and questioning what your future holds, this was Jennie’s “epiphany” moment that cleared some of the dark clouds and started to light up her new path forward. (P.S. – she’s nailing it and she’s amazing at what she does)
As primary caregivers, Jennie was always ahead of me during the fight with GBM, including losing Sean those eight months before I lost Mishe. After seeing this opportunity happen to her, I thought, “ok, my moment of revelation will come.” I patiently waited and held out hope some “divine intervention” was going to come and show me the way. I talk to Mishe a lot and even asked her often for some guidance or a sign. And I waited. Nothing came…..
Then it did. My revelation was to not wait to find out where I should go, my epiphany was to get back to the place I know, to surround myself with the people who helped make me who I am today and to reignite my 17-year career in Real Estate by relaunching myself where it all began.
After almost 10 years living part-time in Cabo, there I was waiting and searching for my next path out of Sudbury, all the while my future was to find my path back to Sudbury. It was to get back to my friends, who are basically my family. Back to enjoying pontoon boat rides and golfing Timby and Idy in the summer. Even back to putting on long underwear to snowblow the driveway after the Cabo winters of putting on a sweater and pants where the temp dropping to 20C was considered “chilly” (and that’s not minus 20C). Apparently, my sails were up the whole time, I just needed to repoint the bow towards entrenching myself into the fabric of home to feel them fill up with the massive gusts of support to get back to being one of the top Realtors® in Sudbury.
I’m normally modest, although also sarcastic, and this may seem arrogant to some, but I know I’m one of the best in the industry in Sudbury. I have an ability to see things others don’t, I have a legal mind that creates protection for clients that others might not think about, and I have a creativity in writing that makes deals come together where others might give up. Mishe used to say I was the best Realtor® she knew – obviously seems biased – but my Broker in Cabo said I was one of the smartest minds he has ever seen in the industry based on his 40 years of experience.
I am no B.S. – I tell it like it is and, as plenty of agents in Sudbury will attest, I don’t put up with and call out unethical and immoral behaviour in the industry. Drives me absolutely bonkers when I see some putting their own interests ahead of their clients’ or not properly taking care of them the way they should be. And I write this knowing full well that other Realtors® will read this – there’s even some on this mailing list.
So, back to my opening statement, you might be thinking, “why am I receiving this and, even moreso, still reading at this point?” Glad you asked!
If you’ve received this, you’ve been part of Michelle’s and my life at some point. You’ve been clients while we were The Caswell Team. I’ve served you drinks at the Beef, I’ve tee’d it up with you, we’ve gone tape-to-tape playing hockey or maybe I coached you during my nine years as head coach at Lo-Ellen Park. Maybe you’re on here because you played softball/volleyball/golf/pool/pickleball, went to school or just enjoyed good times with Mishe. Maybe you’re Cabo clients or we spent an afternoon sipping margaritas on Medano Beach or watching the Colts at Hooliganz Corner Bar. Maybe you’re part of our Cabo, Indy, Arizona, Cali, B.C., Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario or Quebec families who I miss all too much. Maybe you’re one of our connections in the U.K or friends in other parts of the Caribbean living the good life. Maybe our lives have crossed with just a phone call or an email looking for info on a listing or they cross daily with messages of staying in touch. At some point, you have all been a part of Mishe’s and my life together.
I wanted to reach out to as many people out there as possible to touch base for two reasons. One – as Mishe primarIly ran operations for her and I in Sudbury while I was in Cabo running our business there, I don’t know fully who are clients of Mishe’s. Therefore, I had no choice but to cast a wide net so you know I am still here for you the same way Mishe and I have always been. Secondly, I wanted this to spread wide and end the rumours of where I was living and where I was working. There has been too much “grey area” surrounding my whereabouts and, as noted above, I really didn’t know where that was going to be until recently.
As you can see, there is no more “Caswell Team” and my first blog back touches on this (you can click here to read it – Death of a Team). After 17 years in real estate, most of which as Michelle’s partner, I’ve had to begin completely rebranding myself in the singular. It hasn’t been easy – deleting Mishe’s pic from the ads, erasing her information from the marketing and going through her contacts trying to figure out who were clients has been tough. Losing my wife was unexplainably brutal and grieving took way longer than the six months I told Mishe it would. Now I’m having to go through the grieving portion of also losing my business partner while I try to reestablish myself to move forward.
I get it – some of you on here may be thinking, “I barely know these people”, but please accept my apologies as I couldn’t risk missing a client or close friend who didn’t know. Some of you may have already moved onto or have always dealt another Realtor® and that’s ok too. Some of you may be thinking “don’t spam me with this stuff” and I again apologize if you feel that way.
However, for those of you that care and want to help me bounce back again in life, I’m calling out some simple favours if you have time:
Sure, you can “unsubscribe” from me at the bottom of this email but, if you stick around, I promise this connection won’t be abused. I encourage you to stay onboard for the monthly Newsletter or the odd broadcast about something important – I will not be intrusive, and it certainly won’t be boring.
If you’ve gotten this far, you know I don’t do the “boilerplate”, impersonal nonsense that others pay a company somewhere to send you to make you think they’re thinking about you. I’ve thought about everyone one of you personally while compiling this list and how we have or may have a connection. Everything I send you is personalized, interesting and likely highly entertaining. The worst you’re going to get is quick hit reads to again enjoy with a morning coffee or an evening adult beverage around the firepit without further invasion of your life. Besides, you don’t want to miss these upcoming blogs:
So, to end the mystery and clear the muddied waters – CAZ IS BACK. I’m back in Sudbury full-time. I’m back to continue taking care of our clients as Mishe and I always have. I’m back to work together with the great agents in Sudbury and expose the ones flaunting the rules or ignoring the ethics.
I’m back to shoot my 90+ on men’s nights, sip a bevy on the pontoon boat, catch the big bass and hold court around the firepit. I’m back to snowblow, strap on the skates for Nooners, load up the woodstove and complain about how friggin cold it is like the true Sudburian I am.
I’m back to where it all began.
I used to always say to people when they were moving away from Suds – “all roads lead back to Sudbury”. I now know that’s all too true.
Here we go….
Realty Executives of Sudbury Ltd, Brokerage
Cell - 705.561.8767
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other salespersons, staff or affiliates of Realty Executives of Sudbury LTD. Brokerage, Realty Executives International, the Sudbury Real Estate Board, Ontario Real Estate Association, Canadian Real Estate Association or any of their subsidiaries. For any concerns pertaining to the content herein, please contact me immediately at email@example.com.