Flint, like every other city, is home to more dead than living. So there are, along many roads, behind many gates, the remains of those that came before us, those that made this city what it was, laid the foundation for what it is, and whose whispers will tell the future what this place was.
Avondale is only one of many cemeteries but, for me, it holds a special place because of the sadness of it. I went there last fall with my girlfriend because neither of us had wandered there for a good many year. We found, as soon as we entered, that Avondale, while it had been forgotten by us and the city, had been all too prevalent in the minds of those that prey on anyone and anything that is prone or weak. Headstones were broken and pushed over, ground was dug up, and there was a feeling of continuing desecration that would take a lot to remove. A friend of ours has a boyfriend who is a photographer with the local paper so I contacted her and told her about what we’d seen and I wrote the paper an editorial letter. All I wanted and hoped was that someone’s eyes would be opened and these crimes would be halted and the healing could begin. I got what I wanted, in a sense, because there soon came an article and then my letter, showing the horror of this cemetery. It seemed things would change.
They have not.
We returned to Avondale last weekend and found more desecration, more wounds, and that, like many things here, once the attention was off the place, things returned to normal, which is to say that the abuse returned.
Avondale, wounded as it is, is still a place of beauty.