Although inanimate objects don’t usually rate obituaries, our house seems to deserve one. Anyone who’s had to part with a family home might understand. This week was a bit of an emotional one. My parents moved out of the house they had lived in for 30 years. I don’t think I realized how much a front door could mean. A door so many walked through. I can’t explain the feeling of sadness that comes with not being there and being able to say goodbye to our home. Covid has so much to answer for. For us saying “this is the last time we…” in the house was 6 years ago. It pains me to say that.
Surprising my little Sister after she had her first baby 6 years ago. Walking through that door and instantly feeling that sense of home. The familiar smell, followed by the instant memories that cover the walls. Then remembering special moments that happened in each room. Even down to who was in each room. Some are no longer with us but their memories still there. Inside that front door.
Our home was like a drop in centre and that’s how I will always remember it. Full of people, full of music and full of craic. Every room which held countless memories. Some memories that I’m aware of and probably many more that my parents fortunately spared me from knowing about. I know this house inside out. I know it’s walls and light switches, faucets, cracks and staircase as well I know my own body. Even down to the creaky floor boards my parents would hear as we snuck back inside, through the front door of our house.
It was a typical Australian house. A touch of ‘home and away’ but minus the beach. A front verandah, jarrah floor boards and high ceilings with engraved detailing and I thought it was the best house ever. The garden was so long it was like the secret garden with large trees to climb, different sections to play in and an outside toilet, which was very much ‘lads only!’ Right next door we had Nana & Pop (how Australian are we?!) Our Pop even built us a cubby house with our Dad which we adored. With a little door that was like the front door of our house!
Irish love families and as expats who had left their families behind, we managed to adopt some families as our own. Our home came alive at the weekend. Music blasting, kids up late playing, Irish singing, drinks pouring and a lot of laughter. Memories that will stay in my mind forever.
My little sister being brought home from hospital, years of birthdays, holy communions, weddings and then the biggest event of all – grandkids. Every grand child being brought through that same door. A front door that welcomed everyone. Literally everyone. Welcomed those that left for long stretches but still came back as it meant so much to so many. Trying to think back to the last time I turned the key. A front door with so much heart.
It was never ‘just’ a front door… It was home.