**A LITTLE HISTORY About a poem everyone needs to read**
"When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in GRASS VALLEY, CA. 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 (supposedly), 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!
By: Jim Satnan
I had to share this lovely man's touching wise words with all of you. My grandfather was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in his late 50's when I was about 8 years old. Our family watched this distinguished agriculture professor who had raised his 5 children (my Mom was one of them) on his Junior College salary while farming in the evenings to make ends meet and keep food on the table. My cousins and I have lots of fond memories of his retirement: fishing with him (which was his hobby and pleasure); going to the city dump to find "treasures" to fix--he would rebuild and refinish broken furniture with only hand tools; helping Papaw work in his beloved yard and garden; playing "hide and go seek" with him while he winked at us as we ran past him even though my grandmother didn't like us running in the house; looking forward to him rolling in the wheelbarrow filled with stockings that "Santa" had carefully filled for each one of us (including the adults); watching Papaw kiss his "sugar" (my Mamaw) every night before bed; and I could go on & on. By the time I was age 15, Papaw lived at a nursing home and my Mamaw visited him every single day even though she could barely walk herself. She resisted the move into the nursing home even when he got violent with her, because he did not know who she was or why she wouldn't give him the keys to his truck. The last time I saw Papaw he was locked in a chair he could have taken apart and rebuilt to perfection only 5 short years before. Alzheimer's robbed him of his mind and memories, but all of us in his family will be "living off" our precious memories of him until we see him again in heaven.
The poem brought back all those wonderful memories, plus living with chronic pain as I have for 16 years, I get that feeling of wanting others to "see me" for who I really am and not be blinded by my disabilities. "See me" for what I can still accomplish and not consider my life already over at age 39. "See" the athlete in me who pushes myself constantly, and not the me who is forced to "sit out" due to pain. "See me" as a dedicated supermom who could organize and run a girl scout event for 250+ little girls while changing a baby (my son who is 12yrs old now) and selling girl scout cookies out of the back of my minivan. "See me" for the consistently hard worker who never had to be told anything twice by the doctors and lawyers I worked for in my 2 careers, and not the unemployed homebound disabled person. Life does go by fast. Children grow up, and leave home as my 18yr old daughter did in August this year. People who you think you can't live without...Die. Our bodies change and wither as we grow older and wiser even if we do NOT live with pain or illness. Money comes and goes no matter how much you plan ahead, because NO ONE knows what the future brings. Its not predictable at all, and just when you think the "plan" is perfect, Life throws you a curve ball.
I have figured out a few things about this thing we call LIFE due to the huge mistakes I have made. Hopefully telling you my mess ups, will prevent you from making some of them,
**I respect all religions, faiths, and belief systems and accept you just the way you are and promote this on Pain Sufferers Speaak's Global Community every day of the year. Our community practices unconditional love and support for everyone with NO judgment and NO criticism. There is no wrong way to have faith and practice respect, in my opinion.**
These are my "gifts" to you and your sweet families all over the world--
1.) Do not waste a minute on depression and the blues. It sucks your energy PLUS sucks all the joy out of your life.
2.) Hold on to hope with both hands. If you lose it, life becomes meaningless and miserable.
3.) The people who are precious to you will NOT be here forever. Tell them how you feel about them every chance you get.
4.) When someone leaves you, let them go. They were not meant to be in your life anymore, and trying to "make" them stay NEVER works.
5.) REAL Love is RARE. NEVER take it for granted or throw it away.
6.) Count on GOD! Humans will be humans, and let you down sometimes no matter how much you love and trust each other.
7.) Pain and illness IS part of everyone's life, but they cannot RUN your life unless you let them.
8.) There will ALWAYS be someone worse off than yourself. Count your blessings.
9.) You CAN love unconditionally and agree to disagree.
10.) Judgment and criticism are NOT necessary. They are both a CHOICE you can and should avoid.
11.) Peace and understanding begin at home. If both do not live with you, I suggest you let them in before you find yourself alone.
"Be the change you want to see in the world." ~Ghandi
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from my family to yours!! No matter what you believe or what you celebrate....CHOOSE to make each day in 2012 a day of hope, love, faith, and never forget to pass on smiles. They are contagious and laughter always seems to be close behind. Sending you lots of love, gentle hugs for those who need them, long supportive bone crushing hugs to those who want them, and May God shower each of your homes and families with abundant blessings! Liz xoxo