Looking back and celebrating over 25 Years of the Rose Hill story
Tuesday was spaghetti night; this is one memory from a special time over 25 years ago in Michigan. My wife, children, and I were privileged to be the first executive director family of Rose Hill Center in Holly, Michigan in the early 1990's. We lived initially in the ‘farmhouse’ on the property where this emerging healing community was to be created. Much was being done: fundraising, planning, staffing, building, and politicking locally and in Lansing. Amidst this activity, my wife Lis, our four children, and John Kelly - whose mental illness was the catalyst for the Rose Hill story - had many good times together.
It was May 1990 and our friend Sean Braniff, a pioneer staff member, and John had moved into the old house at the corner of Fagan and Belford roads. On Tuesdays, after a day of work, we all got together for spaghetti at their house, which was one of John’s favorite meals. We joked, we felt joy, listened to Bob Marley records, and we envisioned how the Rose Hill community might be built.
I felt some of that joy again as I viewed the Rose Hill anniversary video, celebrating 25 years of Rose Hill. Please take a few minutes and view it. At the 1:00 minute mark, you can see a much younger Lis and Virgil with John and his parents turning over the first shovels of dirt.
Please continue watching and you will meet John, who is still the warm-hearted Rose Hill ambassador after all these years. You can also read about John’s Story in this inspiring newspaper article.
We congratulate Rose Hill, its staff, and the Kelly Family on the successes of the program. I recently had a full briefing about Rose Hill’s current programs from their admissions director, Laura Mueller. Very impressive. I was especially drawn to their 6-month DBT program, to their co-occuring disorder services, to their long-term services, and to their multi-staged healing community. They have become a stellar example of how the concepts of healing community can be fully integrated with modern psychiatry.
A note to John: John, you have served well. I feel your spirit from a distance and remember our spaghetti dinners and our dreams from years ago. Arising from the challenges posed in your life by mental illness has grown a great healing community. I still remember your great smile that you would flash from time to time and I feel inspired.