Regular readers will be aware that I am from Cork and although I have now lived for longer out of Cork than I did in it, it will probably always be home to me. When my father died in December 2020, I remember thinking that for the first time I had no home in Cork. Your parents’ house is your house, it is, as my mother-in-law used to say, “where they always have to take you in”. A slightly grudging formulation I always felt, I mean surely home is where they always want to take you in?
I was delighted when my sister said that she wanted to buy my parents’ house. It was the best possible option for me. The house would stay in the family and someone else would, realistically, have to go through the lifetime’s worth of stuff accumulated by my parents. Probate took a while and so did the conveyancing process but now the house is finally my sister’s. The sale closed in early November. I am pretty sure I will always be welcome to stay with my sister but, of course, it’s no longer my parents’ house. She has lots of plans for renovations (very much needed) and changes. It is lovely to think of the house being looked after again as it was when my mother was well. She was the most competent person I ever met, she took upholstery lessons and re-upholstered the sofa, she painted, she moved furniture with abandon. She really had endless confidence that she could do anything and mostly she could. So this is completely a good news story but still I feel a bit sad. Another door closed, the end of an era.