Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Photo Tour Continues..........

This is the residents' garden. All the beds are raised to make them wheelchair accessible. The Garden Club 'meets' every Friday morning for some serious planting, weeding or just sitting in the sun.
On my journey around the grounds in my new scooter, I came upon the ruins of this left-over stone structure from the past. I love ruins! They hold a special magic for me - a sense of wonder. What was this in a former time? Was it a home? Was it a garden shed - or maybe a chicken coup? Maybe the gardener lived here, or perhaps a doctor. West Park has lots of history. In the late 1800's and early 1900's it was a sanatorium for children with tuberculosis. The sanatorium was closed in 1974, torn down and rebuilt as a rehabilitation hospital.
Another shot of the ruins. It was completely overgrown with wild grape vines - absolutely beautiful!
And finally, the sun, setting on the place I called home for 8 weeks. I am grateful to all the staff for the treatment I received as a patient there. They were all wonderful, making my stay so much more enjoyable. From the nurses who made my bed the way I liked it to the doctors who insisted on finding out my official diagnosis, everyone treated me with dignity and respect. I never felt like a patient! I am also grateful to the Physiotherapists, who helped me re-learn how to walk and climb the stairs again, the pool therapists who lifted me in and out of the pool so that I would be allowed to 'walk' in the water when I couldn't do so on land and the Occupational Therapists who recommended equipment to make my life more bearable and who had me do mental and physical exercises to get my mind and body back in shape. I made some wonderful friends at West Park, from the woman with whom I shared a room in my final week, to the residents who attended Coffee House, Pub Night, the Garden Club and Craft Club. One of the residents presented me with a card on my last evening, thanking me for being nice to her during my stay. (Sorry, folks, I'm wiping away a tear at the moment.) I will keep in touch with her. I plan to make some afghans and lap quilts for the residents who will spend the rest of their lives at West Park. At least I was able to go back home. Some of them don't have that luxury. And lastly I want to thank one special person, with whom I was able to discuss life and the world we live in. She made my stay, not only a physical journey to ambulation and self care, but a psychic journey to a healthy mind as well. If you read this you will know who you are! I feel privileged to have had the chance to meet you and hope that one day our paths will cross again.

5 comments:

Oiyi said...

Looks like a wonderful place for you to heal and recover. Wishing you the best of luck.

Barbara said...

Lovely photos of such and enchanting place. Thanks for sharing your journey.

Winny said...

I can see why you were so impressed by the ruins. If only walls could talk. All the pictures are fantastic.

Opal said...

what a nice place to heal!

Aim said...

That does look lovely! Those ruins look amazing.

BTW Hetty, I tagged you on my blog :)