My parents have sold our family home.
It looks stark there, in a paragraph of it’s own. They weren’t forced into it, by ill health or finances. They didn’t spend months readying the house for inspections and real estate agents. A quiet evening phone call lead to an afternoon with an agent lead to an offer that lead to a deal. Within a week they’d made an offer on a smaller, nearby house, with an easy care garden and a beautiful kitchen. As my mother said, the new house is everything they wanted.
My first response was to be happy for them. We’ve helped many elderly relatives move, and while my parents aren’t there yet, this is good timing. The new house will be easier to care for. Easier to grow old in. A good decision.
My mum sounded completely overwhelmed when she first told me. And the new house, which she should have been excited about – well, she just sounded drained.
My parents have lived in that house for twenty three years. There’s been constant renovations and improvements. Birthdays, graduations, Christmas and a wedding. As we grew, we stayed at home into our university years, returning time and again after trips and disasters. My little brother, studying engineering, has gradually taken over all the space my sisters and I shared. My youngest sister migrates with the cricket season, and comes home to my parents each summer. My other sister has lived in the UK for four years now, but still talks about packing light for the trip home. It’s still our home, for all of us.
I won’t get to see the house again before they leave it. I won’t be around to help them pack and clean, and laugh about the odd things we’ve kept over the years. They’ll move before Christmas. I’m sad about that.
I’ve no right, really. I have a home of my own, and a husband. I had the temerity to follow him to the other side of the country, far away. We are all well and happy, and this really is a wonderful opportunity for my parents. But I feel as if I was 10 again and grew out of my favourite dress. I’ll miss the house, and my jealous heart doesn’t want to hand it on.