My Life as a San Francisco Realtor: The Bodyguard - The Story of Love and a Realtor's Passion

The Bodyguard - The Story of Love and a Realtor's Passion

The Bodyguard - The Story of Love and a Realtor's Passion

A while ago I was browsing through movies on Netflix. I added 'The Bodyguard' to my list. That was before Whitney Houston's death.  Today the DVD showed up in the mail.  And all the memories ensued. This isn't a happy story, but it's all about the memories we have, and they make us what we are today. Passion and Memories.

 It was 1993...

....and I was living life in the fast lane. My partner and love of my life took me to all the parties, celebrations and gatherings that San Francisco had to offer. It started out as a wonderful year - we had been together since 1988. He truly had a gift for living life to the fullest.

Then things changed. He was  diagnosed with HIV, and eventually liver disease - a result of his carefree ways and hepatitis. We had seen the movie 'The Bodyguard' and loved it. And I had just bought the soundtrack album - what's not to love about how Whitney sings? The way she smiles. In November of that year, his illness became worse. He had been doing drugs, and I have to admit I couldn't resist, as long as we did it together. One day I came home from work and he was already high. I found the strength to say no because I was afraid for his health. I went and hid in the other bedroom. This could ruin my life, and I knew it. I sat on the floor and held my head in my hands - I was terrified.

John BurciagaThe next morning he was in bed and incoherent. He had wet the bed and didn't know where he was. I called 911 and the ambulance came and took him away. I threw away all his glass pipes and washed all the bedding. I was sure he would be coming home soon. He had before, so why not now? Then I went to San Francisco General to check on him. His condition was deteriorating. So I called his family in Sacramento  and they came down. I couldn't  get in to the ICU to see him before he passed away.

Just like in Michael Jackson's song 'Gone too Soon'

Born to amuse, to inspire to delight

Here one day

Gone one night

Like a sunset

Dying with the rising of the moon

Gone too Soon.

It was a traumatic time for me, as well as his family. It took me many years to recover from that loss.He was my life and my love regardless of what had happened. The way Whitney Houston sang  'I Will Always Love You' summed up how I felt. Listen to the words of that song - I felt as if he was singing it to me from the other side.

"Bittersweet memories, that's all I'm taking with me.

So goodbye, please don't cry, we both know I'm not what you need".

The BodyguardFast forward 20 years.

Life has been relatively kind to me and I am in a stable relationship. I left a career in Architecture in 2004 to pursue one in Real Estate.

My latest clients are in their early 80s and need to sell their home in order to pay for their move to Atria, an assisted living facility. Every time I visit them we sit and talk for hours. This is truly tugging at their hearts. What to leave behind and what to take with you. A life full of so many memories and things. How to condense your entire life in to one room.  She has health problems related to diabetes and he has early Alzheimer's. They have no one in the US, only brothers and sisters in Germany, and they don't talk with them very often.

I've been sending them a newsletter since 2005 when I sold the house next to them. My calendar is on their refrigerator. This is it for them. Their last chance. I have no qualms about this, I am Their Bodyguard. We have to make this work, for them and for their future. Please God help us.

Memories aren't always happy, but they make us stronger and are definitely a part of what makes us who we are, and I hope to God I never forget them.....



John M Scott, Broker / Owner, Scott Keys Properties, Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE), Council of Real Estate Brokerage Managers (CRB), serving San Francisco and the surrounding San Francisco Bay Area

Comment balloon 8 commentsJohn M. Scott • April 22 2012 05:31PM


Thanks so much for your participation and entry to

 “Be The ‘Star’ Of Your Own Movie” 

Posted by Roger D. Mucci, Lets shake things up at your home today! (Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092) almost 7 years ago

Thank you Roger. It was a real experience. And one I will always remember....

Posted by John M. Scott, Broker / Owner San Francisco Bay Area (BRE # 01442690, Scott Keys Properties) almost 7 years ago


So touching....

We all have loved and lost, and yes, the words to the song truly resonates -- as do many other songs about broken hearts. What we do next define how we live. We move on and we thrive. But the memories will always be in our hearts.

As for your elderly truly blessed they are to have you at this stage of their lives.

Remember another song --- nothing comes from nothing, nothing ever could, somewhere in your youth or childhood, you must have done something good


Posted by Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA (Alain Pinel) almost 7 years ago

Thank you for the kind words Pacita. I know, age and experience have taught me many things. How I dealt with pain once upon a time helps me deal with it better now, whether it is mine or someone elses. That, I guess was my point.

I'm sure many of my subscribers read this and didn't know how to respond. I don't blame them. I learned this a long time ago when one of my casual friends was sick and dying. I didn't know what to say, and then he died. At any rate, I'm sure my starring in my own movie was a little too dramatic for most, but still true.

Posted by John M. Scott, Broker / Owner San Francisco Bay Area (BRE # 01442690, Scott Keys Properties) almost 7 years ago

Wow, you have been through a lot John.  I am sure it helped you relate to this couple with such empathy.  They are lucky to have you as their Realtor.  it is not just about the sale.

Posted by Jane Peters, Los Angeles real estate concierge services (Home Jane Realty) almost 7 years ago

Thank you, Thank you Jane. I'm so pleased at your comments. We've all been through a lot, especially if we're over 50. I feel like I've lived many different lives, and i use all my past lives experience now in what i do every day. It's almost never just about the sale - their are people's lives involved after all - unless of course it is an investor. Then it is only about the sale!

Posted by John M. Scott, Broker / Owner San Francisco Bay Area (BRE # 01442690, Scott Keys Properties) almost 7 years ago

Holy smokes! Great entry John, and a very touching story! Now I truly understand why when Whitney died it meant so much to you. Your new clients are very fortunate that they have you looking out for them, I'm sure everything will work out.

Have an AWESOME day!


Posted by Michael S. Bolton, MN Appraiser (Michael S. Bolton,Inc.) almost 7 years ago

Thanks Michael. It's not easy talking with my new clients sometimes - there are so many emotions involved for them. The house has gotten a lot of interest, so here's hoping!

Posted by John M. Scott, Broker / Owner San Francisco Bay Area (BRE # 01442690, Scott Keys Properties) almost 7 years ago