Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

November 21, 2012

An ode to a fair lady whose days sadly are numbered

Now that life-support has been removed from the former Sacred Heart Hospital, we will watch as her slow premature death takes place. Attached are the sentiments of one of her former employees.                                                      

Ah, Yes! You were quite the lady when you came to town back in the sixties. With your skin-tight pre-cast pink quartz slabs, you were the pride of our area, lording over Cumberland from your perch on Haystack Mountain.

Aided by media hype, you were much anticipated and embraced by the community with its generous support. You ushered in a new era of healthcare as big government became involved. And you symbolized the character of Cumberland- proud and hopeful.

Your “owners” had a long standing presence here. Their mission of serving, compassion and unselfish devotion permeated the entire organization of doctors, nurses, all personnel, volunteers and advisors.

Yes, you were a welcomed addition to the community. And you served us well.

Why did you suddenly become irrelevant-stripped of your glory and prestige? How did your bright star fade, then die out?

Was it the infamous merger with your crosstown rival? Or the current mania in this country for bigness, power, control, monopolization? Well, let’s not get into that. Suffice it to say, you became the unwitting, helpless victim of something.

You are still young, strong, adaptable, full of energy and, yes, good looking. Yet your halls and rooms are empty, silent, wasted.

Although your original architecture may have been marred by frequent ‘expansions’, your majestic beauty has endured. You do not deserve to be sentenced to the wrecking ball.

It has been said that any city is judged, not by the monuments it has built, but by those it has destroyed. Cumberland is famous for both.

If there is any consolation in being replaced by a building for the purpose of education, no less a noble undertaking than healthcare, then you have not lost your ground, but have built a bridge to the future. Yet one must wonder, if two hospitals are one too many, how many high schools are one too many?

Ah, Fair Lady, Although you may be spared the all-too- common heart-breaking fate of old age, we are confident you would have aged as gracefully as the Victorians of Cumberland’s downtown.

Harry McCunn

Cumberland

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