Tiny little shoes, impossible to fill

I've had agents retire over the 24 years as a broker owner and that has usually been a celebration.  I have also had agents leave and they are no longer actively licensed, but have moved on to other avenues in life from stay at home mom to builder. But this week for the 3rd time I lost one because she died. I have a giant hole in my heart and I'm not sure how long time will have to pass before I feel better.

Nancy Ewing was an amazing agent. She had been an agent since I was 4 years old.  And even though I was her broker I learned so much from her. And while some of it was old school basics, some of it was her pushing me to be and do better.  She treated and talked to me like I was one of her kids. She talked to me like I was one of her kids.  She has 5 grands and over the 18 years she was in my life and in my office I got to spend time with the oldest 3 of them. There is art and thank you notes from them in our office and photos of all 5.  This photo is me between Nancy and Joe Walton, my two top producing agents for years.

When you spend day in and day out with someone for years at work they become family. There was one day last year when Nancy watched my grandson for a little while when I was out of the office when Abigail had to drop him off at my office because something came up that day. 

We've laughed together, we've cried together and we've laughed until we cried together. We liked the same TV shows, the same books we both had a love for silly socks. Nancy's "closing socks" were made my "miss mismatch" and for her last birthday I gave her socks that make your feet look like puppy paws.  We also liked the same jewelry and so many times we gave each other the same thing for Christmas because our tastes were so aligned. 

I'm going to miss Nancy something terrible.  She was filled with unfiltered sass and we had that in common too. I'm sharing a link to her obituary because it's filled with the humor that was Nancy and it will give you a laugh.  The day she died a redbird came and sat on a limb and waved it's wing at me.  I feel sure that was God's way of letting me know Nancy is good in his presence. 

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Tammy Lankford, Broker/Owner


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Comment balloon 29 commentsTammy Lankford, • October 23 2019 06:01AM


Tammy, I'm so sorry for your loss. May you have the peace of God to get you through. 

Posted by Carla Freund, Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489 (Keller Williams Preferred Realty) about 1 year ago

Tammy, that is so hard.  I'm so sorry.

Posted by Alan May, A moving experience! (Jameson Sotheby's International Realty) about 1 year ago

Tears. You are overseeing a legacy of excellence and love.

I would expect nothing but beauty and sweetness as you move forward with her spirit cheering you on. <3

Posted by Candice A. Donofrio, 928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text (Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker) about 1 year ago

Tammy- I felt your loss while reading your beautiful tribute to Nancy. These friendships are so special and you were both lucky to have had this in your life. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) about 1 year ago

Hi Tammy,

Loved hearing about your beautiful friend and colleague Nancy. So special and know she will be eternally missed..so sorry for your loss.

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899) about 1 year ago

I am so sorry for your loss.  Your heart will be forever enriched for having had Nancy in your life and your office.  And yes, I am sure that bird waving its wing at you was Nancy saying goodbye.  Keeping you in my prayers.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) about 1 year ago

Hello Tammy - I am sorry for your loss and your love for Nancy is quite clear in this post.  You're right, your visit by the red bird was an indication that things will be okay in time.  

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 about 1 year ago

Tammy, so sad to hear this, and would be tough losing an agent that was more than just an agent to you.   ((Virtual hugs))

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) about 1 year ago

As I read your blog and her obituary, I felt like I missed out not knowing her! What a gem of a person.

Posted by Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate (Baird & Warner Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Wow. I’m sorry I can only imagine I have a triple Incidents that way . Many blessings all around. Major condolences.

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) about 1 year ago

Good morning Tammy. A true tribute to someone who meant so much to you. Sorry for your loss!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) about 1 year ago

The footprints she left in your life are yours for a lifetime...treasure the memories and know how fortunate you were to have her in your life.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 1 year ago

I am so sorry to hear about her passing, I am sure she was a beautiful person and a great agent.

Posted by Brian England, MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ (Vacasa) about 1 year ago

Thank you for sharing Nancy with us; she sounds like someone full of energy and spunk. And I loved that she was responsible for bringing rolls and paper plates to get-togethers. I'm sure that was the subject of much laughter.

Thinking of you.


Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty) about 1 year ago

Life of itself is rewarding but when you notice you are going through it with others...its jackpot!

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) about 1 year ago

OMG Tammy I am soooooooo very sorry for your loss. I have tears running down my face and I think your friend Nancy would have been very proud of you and this.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) about 1 year ago

What a beautiful story of friendship and mentoring. I can only imagine how much you miss her. I'm so sorry, Tammy. However, lucky you to have shared years enjoying such an amazing woman.  Sending you healing thoughts. 

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) about 1 year ago

So sorry Tammy for your loss & the loss for the office.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) about 1 year ago

Hi Tammy... what a lovely tribute to your friend and colleague, Nancy. I know you will miss her, but hopefully over time what will happen is that you'll look back on your good times with her as a great blessing and less as a sad loss.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Realty) about 1 year ago

Kat Palmiotti  true story... a few thanksgivings ago, Nancy cam to work the following Monday and said "I got a new pair of jeans, I had to take the Macaroni to Thanksgiving, I don't know thought that was a good idea, but I didn't want to wash a dish so I put it in one of those foil pans, the pan leaked in my daughter's oven,  it caught on fire.  My daughter picked up the fire with a spatula and dropped it on the kitchen floor.  I peed my pants and then she gave me these jeans.  I'm going to have to hem them"   

That was Nancy, a big run on sentence funny story... every. single. day.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) about 1 year ago

Sheila Anderson I have had so many tears and honestly it's a second reason I'm not here in the rain as much over the last year and half.  Nancy spent much of 2018 and all of 2019 not living her best life and being in out of the hospital.  She had a couple of surgeries, lots of treatment and I was being a new grandma, running an office and taking care of all of Nancy's business for her.  I literally listed homes for her and still paid her when past clients called her.  And I wouldn't change a thing.  My sadness will become less, but she will always be with me.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) about 1 year ago

Lyn Sims I've closed down the office for several funerals now.  The three agents that worked for me at the time they passed and my former broker and his wife.  It might not be the way it is here in a big office with hundreds of agents, but there are 9.... now 8 of us and we're like a big family.   There's one male agent that when clients watch the antics between Joe and I they generally assume we're married.  We always answer the question with "work husband or work wife" because we spend so much time together.  

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) about 1 year ago

Oh Tammy. I get it and I understand. You are a good person and all I can say through more tears is how lucky you were to have Nancy in your life for so many years. Big hugs.........

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) about 1 year ago

Hi Tammy:

What a wonderful heartfelt tribute to someone you cared about a great deal! I'm so sorry for your loss but her memory will live on and bring your comfort.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California, Inc.) about 1 year ago

Tammy, I worked for many years in my family's Mack Truck dealership. I ran itthe last 15 years we owned it. We lost a number of folks that had worked there since I was a child. It is never easy!

Posted by Tom Bailey (Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc.) about 1 year ago

Tammy what a touching story. Now you have to fill her shoes and mentor others.

Posted by Mike Frazier, Northwest Tennessee Realtor (Carousel Realty of Dyer County) about 1 year ago

Tammy Lankford, I am certain the redbird was her signal to you that she's OK. Hugs. Lynn

Posted by Lynn B. Friedman, Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers (Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty Call/Text 404-939-2727 Buckhead - Midtown - Westside -- and more ...) about 1 year ago

What a wonderful tribute to Nancy and how blessed you were to have her in your life.

Posted by Margaret Mitchell, Seacoast Maine & NH Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Yorke Realty) about 1 year ago

So very sweet... You are Blessed and so was she. Life is good. Enjoy every moment.. 

Posted by Robert Hicks (United Country River City Realty) about 1 year ago