Elderly woman to sell everything she owns to keep a promise

ARLINGTON, Wash. -- Elsie Smith is having an estate sale this weekend even though she'd rather not.

She needs money to do something very important. And if that means selling all of her belongings to get it done, then so be it.

Smith says she had a rough life until she met the love of her life 46 years ago.

"I loved that man more than anything in this whole wide world," she said.

But Joe Smith suffered from Alzheimer's for the last two years. And last Tuesday, he passed away.

Elsie spent Friday looking at everything she owns. She plans to sell everything she owns except for a treasured painting of Jesus and some flowers.

"I love the things I have here, but if I can't have them, I can't have them," she said.

Elsie is alone in this world. At 91, she has outlived all her friends. She has no children, no relatives of any kind, and she is broke.

"No one to step up," said Jessica Weatherby, her former caretaker. "I'm just a past caregiver, and I'm here to help as much as I can."

From old VHS tapes to her jewelry and her knickknacks, everything in Elsie's modest apartment will be sold this weekend.

"I've got to get rid of it," she said. "I don't want to, but I have to."

And it's all because she needs to bury Joe. It's the one thing he asked of her.

"Why? Because he asked for it. He said so many times, 'Elsie, don't have me cremated. I don't want to be cremated.'"

None of us plan to be old and alone. But the twists and turns of life have put Elsie there.

On Thursday, she was moved to the Regency Care Center for full-time care.

She had a rough life until she met her love. And now she's going to put him in the ground, if it's the last thing she does.

"To me, he was the best man in the world," she said.

Elsie has a total of $9 to her name. She expects the funeral to cost approximately $3,000.

Anyone who'd like to help her pay for the burial is urged to contribute to the Problem Solvers fund.