Thursday, April 3, 2014
The Sacred Heart, part 2
In 1988, after my first husband drove his pickup into a tree and finally realized that his life was out of control, we went for counseling. The counselor, a wise sage of a woman, convinced him that he had a drug problem and he needed inpatient treatment. At that time, insurance companies actually paid for inpatient AODA treatment because they knew that outpatient counseling for addiction really doesn’t work so well. That is no longer how insurance companies view this illness, but I won’t go there.
Part of his 30 day treatment was a three day family program. Which meant that I was inpatient during that time.
For anyone familiar with the old hospital in my hometown, there was a pretty decent treatment center on the second floor in the newer part of the building. The old, old part of the hospital, built in 1914, was where the family program was held. The room where I slept was simple but adequate, two twin beds, a sink, a separate bathroom, tile floors. And in the corner, just on the left side of the window, there was a solid door. This was an outside wall, we were on the third floor and I knew that there was no balcony out there. It was level with the windows and I had to reach over my head to touch the door knob. With trepidation, I tried the knob. It turned. I pulled it open.
In a niche in the wall was a statue of the Virgin Mary. She looked out over the street below and towards the Catholic Church across the street. From my angle, all I saw was her back. I thought it was so cool – not her back, but that I could reach out and touch her. But out of reverence I did not, even though I am not Catholic and she was just a statue anyway.
Some even say that it is haunted.
Oops, I guess that was just me and my reflection in the window.