I live near a prison, okay.. I live directly across the street. Today as I was driving home, I noticed a sight that I have never noticed before. Through the trees I could see the illumination of the prison high up on the hill, the high tower of the old building looking a little like a castle on the hill.
As the moon shone behind the tower, it looked almost majestic, no it did look majestic and oddly beautiful. I realized the old buildings were beautiful, yes the the one added later is kind of an unattractive addition (soldier field comes to mind) but behind that is what is left of the original grounds.
It has always intrigued me. I remember being in my teens and at that point it was still a state hospital and then the movie Halloween came out and it took place in Haddonfield, IL, so it could have been our hospital in that opening scene. So that increases the chaos and speculation about that place on the hill. And for the final weirdness, I discovered that there was/is a cemetery for the unclaimed residents. That struck my heart as sad and it made me think about the other residents of the East Moline State Hospital, where did they go? Did our society absorb them somehow, or did we throw them to the wolves lost in society?
And since in my heart I always seek to be whole, I can’t help but want those souls lying in the cemetery to be at rest and returned to their families. This is my idealized wish.
The cemetery sits quietly on a two lane road heading towards the interstate. at first it looks like a just another grassy field and then you notice the sign, a small wooden sign with one word “Resthaven” . As you look closer you can see the the markers in the ground. Kind of lonely and forgotten .
Every day that I pass by, I think of each of them, whoever they are or were. They are part of our community, part of our history and are always not far from my heart and mind. My hope is that they know that and feel the love.
They are not forgotten, they are resting.
Until Next Time,