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Posted on Sat, Jun 06, 2009 16:37

For all of us, who will be there one day! When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in North Platte, Nebraska , it was believed that he had nothing left of any value. Later, when the nurses were going through his meager possessions, they found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital. One nurse took her copy to Missouri . The old man's sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas edition of the News Magazine of the St. Louis Association for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem. And this little old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this 'anonymous' poem winging across the Internet. Crabby Old Man What do you see nurses?. . . . .. What do you see? What are you thinking . . . . ... when you're looking at me? A crabby old man, . . . . . not very wise, Uncertain of habit .. . . . ... . . . . . with faraway eyes? Who dribbles his food . . . . . . .. . and makes no reply . When you say in a loud voice . . . . . . 'I do wish you'd try!' Who seems not to notice . . . . . . the things that you do. And forever is losing . .. . . . . . . . . A sock or shoe? Who, resisting or not . . . . . . .. . . . lets you do as you will, With bathing and feeding . . . . . . . The long day to fill? Is that what you're thinking? ... . . . . Is that what you see? Then open your eyes, nurse . . . . . you're not looking at me.. I'll tell you who I am. . . . . . . .. As I sit here so still, As I do at your bidding, . . . . . . as I eat at your will. I'm a small child of Ten . . . . . with a father and mother, Brothers and sisters .... . . . . . . .. . who love one another. A young boy of Sixteen . .. . . . with wings on his feet. Dreaming that soon now . . . . . . . .. a lover he'll meet. A groom soon at Twenty . . . . . my heart gives a leap. Remembering, the vows . . . . . that I promised to keep. At Twenty-Five, now . . ... . . . . . I have young of my own. Who need me to guide . . . . And a secure happy home. A man of Thirty . . . . . . . . . My young now grown fast, Bound to each other . . . . . . . With ties that should last. At Forty, my young sons . . . . . . have grown and are gone, But my woman's beside me . . . . . to see I don't mourn.. At Fifty, once more, babies play 'round my knee, Again, we know children . . . . . . . My loved one and me. Dark days are upon me . . . . . . my wife is now dead. I look at the future . . . . . . . . shudder with dread. For my young are all rearing . . . .. . young of their own. And I think of the years . . . and the love that I've known. I'm now an old man . . . . . . . . . and nature is cruel. Tis jest to make old age . . . . look like a fool. The body, it crumbles . . . . . . .grace and vigor, depart. There is now a stone .. . . . ... . . where I once had a heart. But inside this old carcass . . . .. . . a young guy still dwells, And now and again . . . .. . . . my battered heart swells. I remember the joys . . . . . . . . . I remember the pain. And I'm loving and living . . . . . . . . . . .. life over again. I think of the years, all too few . . . .. . . gone too fast. And accept the stark fact . . . ... . . that nothing can last. So open your eyes, people . . . . . . .. .. open and see. Not a crabby old man. Look closer . . .. . see ME!! Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you might brush aside without looking at the young soul within we will all, one day, be there, too! PLEASE SHARE THIS POEM The best and most beautiful things of this world can't be seen or touched. They must be felt by the heart.


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truefriendinme
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Posted on Fri, Jun 12, 2009 14:20

I, too, am in the field of Nursing. We have this poem in some of our units, on our bulletin boards. It's pretty famous within our walls. I see death and dying each day, too, and it amazes me how the older generation have made it as far as they have come. I cannot even see myself ten years from now, let alone fifty! Sometimes, more often than not, the elderly are forgotten, left behind and neglected. I often need to spend additional time with an elderly patient solely because they need someone to talk to--as a human being. Visitors are few and far between. People sometimes complain that the elderly patient or family member is too crabby, demanding or mean. I think I would be, too, if all my dignity was stripped of me in the time of my life when merely my presence should demand the most respect. Could you imagine, after nearly a century of independence, being unable to walk, unable to feed oneself? Being unable to commmunicate effectively, unable to bathe, or to even control your bowels? Could you imagine being completely at the mercy of those taking care of you? I can't. And for that, I am grateful to the author of this poem; it opens your eyes, if only you are willing to see. --True


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bridget42
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Posted on Sun, Jun 07, 2009 16:57

Amazing !


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Qadesh
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Posted on Sun, Jun 07, 2009 10:15

It is most certainly true. I have taken care of the elderly for the last 23 yrs as a nurse, and before that as a nursing assistant. This before they had to be certified, and without gloves. So that should tell everyone how long I have been of service. I have been nomadic in this life and have been enriched by the people I have encountered along this journey. I have found that their living history far more interesting than anything I have read out of school books, etc. I now work in an Alzheimer's community. A huge building with varying degrees of severity of this devastating disease that robs people of their lives. I recommend watching the HBO series The Alzheimer Project. I of service to this population of people, and do my best to keep in mind that they were once thriving, dynamic individuals who share the human condition we all are in. I ease them into their end with dignity and comfort as well as with love. Thanks for sharing that I will too. Qadesh


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