One month and one day ago today, on Veterans Day, November 11, 2010, Colleen Elizabeth Ormond (pictured above with the family dog, Hero), died at the age of twenty-five. I learned of her death late that night, not even a week after my post about November being a month of remembrance for those who have died, and for those who mourn them.
Colleen was born with with a severe form of a hydrocephalic condition which caused her to have several debilitating afflictions, including being unable to see due to resulting damage to her optic nerve. Yet Colleen Elizabeth Ormond gave much love from the minute she came into the world until she left it, passing peacefully in her sleep on Veterans Day, having been a warrior herself. Colleen had fought the good fight and has now finished the race.
Today's post, because it is being entered on the third Sunday of Advent, a season that calls for paying attention, is in honor of Colleen Elizabeth Ormond, and her family, as well as to all who are affected by the loss of health and loss of a child — painful losses at any time but especially at the holidays.
Prior to my working as a photo-artist and writer, I studied special education and at that time volunteered at Lincoln State School, which is now closed. However, it was at Lincoln State School that I came in contact regularly with children afflicted by hydrocephalic conditions in varying degrees, as well as other conditions associated with profound retardation. During those years my impression of Lincoln State School was that reeked of urine and neglect.