This is a recent story. I am Riho, in my late 40s, living with my husband and a high school daughter and a middle school son. My parents’ home is within commuting distance by bullet train. Since getting married, we built a house in the current location, so there’s no possibility of me living in my hometown anymore. Therefore, when my mother passed away three years ago, the family home became empty.
My father has already passed away, so the old and spacious house has been unoccupied. As the only daughter, I have been managing it for the time being, but…
After the funeral, I stayed at the family house for a while, grieving, and tidying up my mother’s belongings. Since then, I have been visiting about once a month to clean the rooms and take care of the garden, trying to sort out my feelings. In doing so, I feel that the sadness of losing my mother has gradually begun to heal. However, the maintenance costs of the single-family home are not insignificant, and there are also the Shinkansen fares for the round trip to the family home.
To avoid burdening our household finances, I have been covering the management costs of the family home by spending the little money my mother left behind. But it seems that I will soon run out. Seeing me worried, my husband brought it up, “Hey, Riho, shouldn’t we consider letting go of the family home?”
“Yeah… I don’t think I’ll ever go back to live in that house in my hometown. We’ll keep paying the monthly electricity and water bills, and we’ll have to keep paying taxes, right?”
We have already built a house. Our children probably consider the place we currently live in as their hometown. And for me, after leaving my hometown for more than 20 years, I’m not considering going back now.
“But if we sell it, what should we do… Can we leave the procedures to someone else?” “Okay, I know a guy in real estate, I’ll ask him.” After that, my husband contacted various acquaintances to arrange for the sale of the family home. My husband, who works in sales, is truly reliable. However, right after the sale was finalized, I heard a shocking statement.
“Oh, a phone call. Is it about the upcoming car inspection? Hello~” My husband grabbed his mobile phone and moved to the next room. If we’re going to leave the car for inspection, I should check the schedule as well… I thought and eavesdropped.
“That’s great, a new car! I was just thinking of replacing it. Oh, money is no problem. I’m about to get my ‘special bonus’ soon! Actually, I’m going to sell my current real estate…” Are they planning to use the proceeds from selling my family home?! It might be an amount that easily allows for the purchase of a car. However, for me, it’s a precious memento left by my parents… I was so shocked that I couldn’t find the words.
To be continued in Part 2.
Original: Mamasta Community, Screenplay and Editing: Editorial Department, Illustration: Nakayama Neko, Editing: Ii Tereko