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This was on facebook So I thought I would share as it's so good.
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!
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Saw something like this a while ago from an old lady in Australia!
Funnily enough this was left in her possessions and found by a nurse.
The origins amended. I know the source is notoriously weak, but this has a ring of truth about it...
I thought this was interesting too:
Quote: A Nurses Response
What do we see, you ask, what do we see?
Yes, we are thinking when looking at thee!
We may seem to be hard when we hurry and fuss,
But there's many of you, and too few of us.
We would like far more time to sit by you and talk,
To bath you and feed you and help you to walk.
To hear of your lives and the things you have
Your childhood, your husband, your daughter, and
But time is against us, there's too much to do -
Patients too many, and nurses too few.
We grieve when we see you so sad and alone,
With nobody near you, no friends of your own.
We feel all your pain, and know of your fear
That nobody cares now your end is so near.
But nurses are people with feelings as well,
And when we're together you'll often hear tell
Of the dearest old Gran in the very end bed,
And the lovely old Dad, and the things that he
We speak with compassion and love, and feel sad
When we think of your lives and the joy that
When the time has arrived for you to depart,
You leave us behind with an ache in our heart.
When you sleep the long sleep, no more worry or
There are other old people, and we must be there.
So please understand if we hurry and fuss -
There are many of you, and too few of us.
I think this raises some good points - not least that it is the system that often fails us and not just a single element within that system. Still I think the responses misses the point of compassion - to me compassion is more than thinking a caring thought or having empathy, but rather its application. Showing that we care should be our goal and not just thinking about it.
Quote: Showing that we care should be our goal and not just thinking about it.
The poem was written by Phyllis McCormach in the 1960tys and is called "Crabbit old woman"
she wrote it for a nursing newspaper.
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