Today we visited the Southside Virginia Training Center, which is thankfully closed. A century ago we would have felt some pressure to send Joe off for “training,” and he may have lived on a campus like this his whole life. Our doctors may have said it’s best for everyone. There wouldn’t be the services and reasonable accommodations we have today. There wouldn’t be a Mrs. Ridpath or any of the dozens of other people we rely on.
Many of the center’s buildings are boarded up and there isn’t much to see, so we spent our time at the cemetery, where half or more of the graves are just crumbling, unnamed markers.
I know society was much different decades ago, and it’s not fair to judge family decisions made then. But I can’t imagine life without Joe, and am thankful he won’t end up in an unmarked grave.