No Hope for a Cure
Posted: 25th August 2015
There is something to me that is infinitely sad about children's toys in abandoned locations. Part of it, perhaps, it that they represent things we want a child's world to be filled with: happiness, optimism, unconditional love. To see them left in the dirt, covered with mold and spider webs, yet still resolutely smiling and offering a hug to a world that will never again give them one, seems like a terrible failure - one that maybe symbolically stretches out even further than just the one object and its inferred rejection by the child who is no longer there to play with it... Sometimes to me it seems discarded toys are representative of that bottomless well of madness you stare down when you contemplate how awful and unforgiving the world can be to children overall.
Certainly the developmental center where I found this is the epitome of the complete inability to shield children from the terrible realities of our very existence. It was closed amidst unforgiveable allegations of abuse and neglect, and even had it not been mismanaged - due in part to the perpetual bureaucratic decisions to underfund these types of facilities to the point where proper care is impossible - there is the simple fact that the disabilities and illnesses that the children and sometimes adults there suffered from had no remedy. One chart I read spoke of a girl who was tiny for her age and confined to her crib because her osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone syndrome) and hydrocephalus made letting her play outside like other children a potentially life threatening mistake.
Yet she was a child nonetheless, and I speculate that the youthful potential for innocence, joy, and love was there inside her too. Her sickness made her life more difficult than I could ever imagine with no hope of a cure, and because of it she was banished, taken from her family to a place where she was forgotten, where proper care wasn't even possible because of the crushing need and inadequate resources and management. She lived her life in a crib there.
It can eat away at your sanity if you think about it too much.
Image and text by Matthew Christopher. For more photographs from Woodland Sanctuary Developmental Center (a pseudonym), follow this link. If you're interested in more Abandoned America blogs, follow this link. If you enjoy my writing, check out my books: Abandoned America: Dismantling the Dream (Amazon / Barnes & Noble) or Abandoned America: The Age of Consequences (Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Signed copies).
By Nicolle: This picture as many of your picture brings an over whelming sadness to my soul. I want to find the child that this belong to and hug them and tell them that they are loved.