Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A little of what I've learned......

Some time has passed now since I've begun this Blog and I'm wondering what I'm doing.  Is this worth it? Will anyone even read this?  And, if they do, will they think I'm some crazy person passing the time of day writing about something she knows nothing about.  What will become of this?  Truthfully, it's the "crazy" people who seem to get things done, don't they?    I'm learning from my own personal journey and connnection to Hart Island we must never give up!  If you've read my Profile, you will get the gist of what my connection to Hart Island is ......... my dear brother, John, is buried on Hart Island.  It's going on 38 years January 19, 2010 that John's been on the Island but in 2009, I decided it was time to bring him home.  Can't explain it, don't know what happened, but a bolt hit me and ever since, I've been on a mission, never giving up, always being a pain in the butt, and irritating (I've no doubt) a lot of politicians and government officials. The "journey", while to some may seem like a short distance (in less than a year, I've accomplished quite a bit), the journey has actually been nearly 38 years in the making.  Timing is everything, both in the scope of life as the big picture, and life as in our little own world - timing was right and I was ready.

I've learned quite a bit about Hart Island, and learning more and more each day.  I've come to the conclusion that Hart Island's residents have many personal stories; stories that had a beginning and an ending so sad ......on Hart Island.  Do you  know over 800,000 souls have been buried on Hart Island throughout its 135-year history? And do you know there are thousands and thousands of babies and children buried there as well?  There is so much to learn about Hart Island and what I've learned thus far is not pretty.  In my research, I've come across many, many articles written, one of which by Clay Risen of the Morning News, in which he describes the thoughts of some who have visited the Island, " 'lonely' and 'creepy'".  I've no doubt this is!  Is this how Hart Island is to be remembered, forever and ever? As Ellis Island, is Hart Island not part of New York's history?  Doesn't Hart Island and its residents deserve some care and attention?  And, don't the relatives and friends of the Island's residents deserve to visit their loved ones?  I say "yes" to all of the above.  Hart Island deserves recognition, preservation and beautification, and I'm going to do my best to bring it's plight to the attention of someone, anyone, who might see my vision with a positivity that will carry along to a happy conclusion for all. 

Oh, I know,  I'm not the first to bring attention to the Island, and I won't be the last.  Not many, however, can claim the passion I have about a place I've never personally visited.  Not unless you've a loved one buried on the Island -  you can't visit, can't get closure, can't speak to your loved one -  it's hard for most to comprehend such passion.  I've never been a very spiritual person, and was one of those who believed once you're dead, you're dead.  No longer do I think that way.  It breaks my heart to know  my brother has not had one single person visit him, no flowers have ever been layed down and, other than the customary words spoken when buried, no one has stood over his grave and prayed for his soul.  Life is hard enough, but death should be a comforting thing, really.  I feel deeply my brother knows where he is -  in some god-forsaken land where no one seems to care - and he wants to come home, needs to come home and needs to be with family.  I'm working on that!  In the meantime, though, for all those who may never get off the Island, it is, and will remain, "home"; and, because of this fact, their final resting place must be sacred.  Those overseeing this final resting place for so many, and those who merely know about this place, need to stop and really think about it.

So, this is it for now.  As much as I'd like to devote all my time and energies to what I'm now calling my next "project", I do have a job and must get back to work.  Ta-ta for now.

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