Time’s Cruel March

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It may sound corny, but it is true, the only constant in the universe is change. Memories become just that, and even those fade away. The haunts of our youth, our childhood friends, and the landmarks of our adolescence will find themselves altered or swept away. I am not one to get melancholy about aging. Sure I joke about it with my (much) younger co-workers, but I look forward to experiencing even the challenges aging further will bring, and seeing with my own eyes what the world will become as the years go by. That said, some changes hit harder than others.

Part of the reason I am sad to see Lakeside Memorial Hospital, the building in which I was born, close is the effect it is going to have on the community. That is quite a few lost jobs. It is also a town, and those adjacent to it, losing their nearest Emergency Room. Now It will be at least a 20 minute drive to the nearest ED, and those minutes could mean the difference between life and death. At the very least it is stress someone with an emergency does not need. It means an empty building, at least for a while, maybe for a long time, sitting there, waiting to be a health and environmental hazard.

If I were being honest, however, none of that is foremost on my mind. As I mentioned, Lakeside is where I first drew breath. Heck, a large portion, maybe as much as half, of all the people I have ever known were born there: my siblings, most of my (many many) cousins, aunts, uncles, my parents. I have had stitches put in there multiple occasions. I have had friends sit with me through difficult times there. I have sat there with friends through their difficult times in Lakeside’s halls. It is where I said goodbye to my grandmother.

That hospital has been an immutable truth in my universe my entire life. As permanent as the firmament. Any thinking person knows, however, that even the firmament is not forever. Stars move and die, and so do buildings, even those most important to us. Time marches over everyone, whether we are looking or not (and I certainly wasn’t) and will keep on marching, doing its worst, and its best, while we learn, or don’t, to cope with it as we may.

Cope with it we must, because nothing will stop it. Those of us of Brockport’s past and present will get used to it, though we really don’t want to. We will move on, find new places to meet our health care needs. No more children will be saying hello to the world in Lakeside Memorial, and no more grandparents bidding us adieu. All we will have is memories of that place on West Avenue, and that will have to do.

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4 thoughts on “Time’s Cruel March

  1. What an emotional roller-coaster this topic and impending change this will bring to me, community, the local economy and the area’s ability to sustain life. I spent over thirty years an EMT bringing people to Lakeside, and many of those years taking some of them home on the Holiday to only return them the next day so they could spend the day with family. I too was born there and in the last couple of years … my life was literally saved and sustained there due to life delivering a debilitating blow to me. I am fine now. If you saw me, you would never know I had been there, unless you were one of my many friends that works there, treated me and saw to it I returned to live the rest of my life.

  2. This is well written .. Beautiful…My children were born there and I have always been so proud of Lakeside, the Hospital in Brockport.

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