The house my parents built when Zoe was only a tot changed hands today. The new owners are a young couple with small children. I’ve not met them but I expect my brother, their next-door neighbour, will get to know them in time. Of course, I am biased but if they don’t make a friend of our Joe, they’ll be losing out.
My parents signed over the house to their children many years before they died so we’ve owned it for a long time. It never seemed real until after Mammy died. It never seemed more real than today when I entered the house for the very last time as a stake-holder. I may never enter it again. It was an emotional moment. I only went into three rooms.
The kitchen. The heart of the home. Where Mammy reigned. The first place you’d go in. Sit at the table, drink tea, eat her scones, freshly baked if she knew you were coming. Her dresser, the display of plates and jugs forever changing.
All empty today. When she lived and I came to take her out her coat would be draped on one of those chairs, her bag ready on the table. She'd offer me tea. I'd usually refuse. "We'll get tea when we're out." She was always ready for the road.
That was Daddy's spot. His chair. His special corner.
And this was what he looked out at. Pictured today. This view, this space belongs to another family now. They have a sound and well-built house, a safe and contained garden for their children, a field to do with what they wish, a road full of good neighbours and a homeplace steeped in memories of love and kindness. I wish them every happiness in the world. It is what Martha and Seamus would have wanted.