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Food for Thought....

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9 The following was shared with me today and tugged at my heartstrings. It made me stop and consider.
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When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home, it was believed he had nothing left of any value. Later when the nurses were going through his meager belongings, they found this poem.


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 a shoe?

Who, resisting or not...........lets you do as you will.
Who bathing and feeding...........the long day to fill?

Is that what you're thinking?...........Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes're not looking at me.

I'll tell you who I I sit here so still,
As I do at your I eat at your will.

I am 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 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 give a secure happy home.

A man of 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 see I don't mourn.

At fifty, once more..........babies play 'round my knee,
Again, we know loved one and me.

Dark days are upon 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 am now an old man..........and nature is cruel,
Tis jest to make old age..........look like a fool.

The body, it crumbles..........grace and 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 battered heart swells.

I remember the joys..........I remember the pain,
And I'm loving and over again.

I think of the years, all too few..........gone too fast,
And I accept the stark fact..........nothing can last.

So, open your eyes and see,
Not a crabby old man..........look closer,


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!

The best and most beautiful things of this world can't be seen or touched. They must be felt by the heart.

yep, that lovely writing piece, has been around a long, long time.i personally believe it should be enlarged and displayed in every ltc facility in our country.thanks for sharing it...i never tire of reading it.leslie

[FONT=century gothic]Beautiful, thank you for sharing

This is why I have a hard time with nursing homes. I don't look at elderly people as burdens or "jobs" I often wonder who they were once. When I was in clinical for my LPN, the facility we were at had pictures of the residents from their younger days outside the room. There was a picture of a young woman about 20-ish, black and white photo, she's sitting on the beach, striking this sexy pose in this little swimsuit (that by today's standards would be prudish). She looked like some hot little model, she looked spunky, cool. And in the room, slumped to one side in a wheel chair wearing a bib was this frail little old lady, drooling and mumbling and completely alone. I loved hearing the stories though, when I did have patients who were oriented and alert. They would have pictures up and they could tell you about everyone in the picture, and tell you all sorts of fun stories. But then again I love stories.


I love my geri residents. I never tire of their stories of days gone by. Never tire of looking at their old photos and telling me about their life experiences.The hunched over woman who for lack of a better word had a 'witch' like face and with the worst feet ever..toes mangled looking and crossed over the other..yes, she was a prima Donna ballerina for the Russian Ballet Company (the actual name slips my mind). The pictures she showed me of her in her prime..breathtaking..she was a beautiful, tall, slender and from the look of the pictures graceful dancer. When I worked with her...a shadow of her former self. She was known world wide..sadly then, with no children, no husband and no family, her legacy was disappearing. But *I* remember her, and *I* still tell the stories she told me.The mean old man with not a nice word to say to anyone, who would spit, kick, hit or a combo of them all to get way from you touching him...his story...his family was ripped from him, and slaughtered during the Holocaust right in front of his eyes (his siblings relayed the story). He fortunately (or unfortunately according to him) survived. And in his advanced dementia, he became more and more mean and combative, I can only think it was due to his experiences.Even my severe dementia/Alzheimers patients at times have periods when they come back to our 'reality' and will recall stories from their younger years. I love listening to them, trying to gain a deeper understanding of what makes them tick..and why. Many live out their younger years, totally unaware of the fact that they are no longer in their 20-30's, that their parents have long been gone and their 'baby' passed away years ago. I let them live in their happy reality where they are who they think they are and where they think they are.Not all had world wind lives, with notarity and fame, not all had the horrors experienced such as from the Holocaust, but they ALL had lives just like you and I. I try to remember that each and every day.

not to burst anyone's sentimentality bubble, but this is a take-off on "a crabbit old woman," often (and erroneously) attributed to a resident in a nh in scotland or elsewhere. the poem is called "look closer" and it's by phyllis mccormack. i have only recently seen the male version. you will see references to this with various provenance. but it was not found among the effects of an old woman (or man) who died alone in a snf, royalties from it are not paid to a british or other vna, and it is not that recent. i saw it first in (i think) in a nursing journal in 1974 and had it up over my desk for years.

Beautiful poem, regardless of its history in authorship. Stuck a lump in this crabby old nurse's throat! >sniff<.

i remember this poem since one of my colleagues gave it to me a while back, it still brings a message of concern for all of us in the medical field; not to overlook or judge those who are under our care. thank you for sharing it with us... aloha~

I seem to remember reading that in either the Sunday Post or the People's Friend - both Scottish publications - many years ago

I've seen this before and its a lovely poem.

Ditto.....thank for sharing I never tire of seeing this make it's rounds and knowing it still touches someone and makes them think. What a compliment to the author.

I'll never forget how I felt when I first got hired and was assigned to work in the long term unit. I always find myself looking up at the pictures of my residents on their wedding day, or from a few years ago when their husband/wife was still alive and wonder what kind of people they were before they ended up alone in such a place.PeepNBiscuitsRN: One of my residents showed me her wedding picture the other day. I had to look away so she wouldn't see me cry, because the beautiful happy woman surrounded by bridesmaids in the photo was now bedridden, dying and alone, with only the TV for company.
Author: alice  3-06-2015, 18:03   Views: 467   
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