About Us Contact Us Privacy Policy
© GOOD Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Woman buys the home her mother cleaned for 43 years: 'It feels right'

Her family grew closer to the previous owner of the house over the years and she has great memories of the time she spent in this beautiful home.

Woman buys the home her mother cleaned for 43 years: 'It feels right'
Image Source: Instagram/Nichol Naranjo

We are often made to believe that our childhood dreams will never become a reality and that they are too far-fetched. One woman worked hard to make her childhood dream come true and is serving as an inspiration for all of us. As a young girl, Nichol Naranjo often used to accompany her mother, Margaret Gaxiola, to the houses she cleaned for a living. However, one special house in the Ridgecrest neighborhood of Albuquerque, New Mexico, came to mean a lot to her over the years. It was a 3000-square-foot home owned by Pam Key-Linden and Naranjo has vivid memories of sitting under a Thomasville desk in the office and imagining a life for herself as a businesswoman, reports My Modern Met.


Considering that she lived in a single-bathroom 960-square-foot home with her family, Key-Linden's house seemed like a mansion to young Naranjo. Gaxiola spent 43 years cleaning the stunning home, which was filled with paintings and trinkets from the owner's time in England. During that time, Naranjo often used to accompany her mother and older sister to the house and even helped out with small tasks like emptying baskets.

Though Gaxiola and Key-Linden's relationship was always cordial, they initially maintained a professional distance between them. However, the two women grew closer over time and Key-Linden would frequently bring back Gaxiola's children small presents from her trips. As the years passed, both women went through tumultuous divorces and lost loved ones. Those trying times strengthened their friendship so much that Gaxiola and the children were in attendance when Key-Linden tied the knot for the second time. Naranjo told The New York Times, "We went into many homes because of my mom’s cleaning. I was able to observe different lifestyles and personalities. No one was like Pam. Pam became like family."


Gaxiola continued to clean the house after Key-Linden died. However, she had to turn over the keys when Key-Linden's second husband passed away a year later. Gaxiola said, "That was heartbreaking, and I thought, 'That was half of my life, too.' I was saying goodbye. This was not a house to clean. It was a second home to come and enjoy." But fate had other plans for Naranjo, who had started raising a family of her own at that point.


Naranjo, who became interested in design after visiting Key-Linden's house, had started posting her work online. She always wanted to live in Ridgecrest and often looked at houses in the neighborhood that were up for sale. However, none of them felt quite right. Eventually, Gaxiola learned that the executors of Key-Linden's estate intended to sell her home. She instantly dialed her daughter's number to give her the news and Naranjo lost no time in contacting the executors to inform them that she wanted to buy the house and everything within. After a year of waiting due to the pandemic, she was finally able to purchase her dream home.

She said, "I think I always knew I would end up here one day. It feels right." Since moving in with her family, Naranjo has made a few changes to the house to suit them better. However, many elements of the house remain the same and that includes the Thornville desk that little Naranjo used to sit under and dream about a beautiful life.

More Stories on Scoop