Today one of the other parents that were involved the the lawsuit that closed Hissom Memorial Center in Sand Springs heard that the process of tearing the old place down had started. So we drove out there and were lucky enough to get to go in through the fence. The project director saw us taking pictures through the fence and after we explained who we were, let us in. His boss saw us and was a whole lot less happy with our being in there but we talked him out of his upset. We walked around and took some pictures which I will post later. I brought a sage smudge and said some prayers.
I guess the internet is full of people saying it's haunted. They've sneaked in and say they saw blood everywhere, etc. I don't believe in ghosts but a lot of terribly cruel and sad things happened there so I will be glad when the buildings are gone.
We said goodbye to Donald, who was the son of one of our friends. The terrible treatment he received there first alerted us to the how bad the conditions were. He died from aspiration pneumonia due to lack of care. We said goodbye to Ann who was the first and only ombudsman there. She did her best to make change and testified for us in court. She died soon after - I believe from the heartbreak and stress she experienced although it was technically cancer. We said goodbye to Tim who was the first attorney who helped us. He had been with the Department of Justice but resigned when President Reagan stopped the Justice Department from helping close institutions. Tim died of complications from his own disability before we won the lawsuit.
There are many who died before they could experience the new living arrangements in the community. We said goodbye to all of them. Hissom is a metaphor for me for all the cruelty of the world. I am grateful to have had a part in ending that particular nightmare.
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