I don’t normally post from Facebook, but a friend shared this earlier. It tugged at my heart strings…
When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in an Australian country town, 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 Melbourne. The old man’s sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas editions of magazines around the country and appearing in mags for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem.
And this old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this ‘anonymous’ poem winging across the Internet.
Cranky Old Man
What do you see nurses? . . .. . .What do you see?
What are you thinking .. . when you’re looking at me?
A cranky 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 is 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 … . . . . I 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.
It’s jest to make old age . . . . . . . look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles .. .. . grace and vigour, depart.
There is now a stone . . . where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass . A young man 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 cranky 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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The Survival Social Network…
“So, I love you because the entire universe conspired to help me find you.” Paul Coelho - The Alchemist I am grateful, I mean it. I have people in my life that I don’t know what I would do without. I have recently parted company with a few people who I have known and classed as best friends and extended family. I have come to realise that they were emotionally draining. To coin a phrase from another friend ‘Energy-sucking vampires’. I had no choice but to cut them loose. It wasn’t as cold as going through Facebook and having a cull of my list. It had taken me a long time to come to the decision. If there had been any other choice, I would have taken it. Other friends who know what I have been through with these individuals have said “I don’t know why you didn’t do it before!”. So for the people I do have, the people I love….for having them in my life, I am really grateful.
Last week has to have been the most ‘up and down’ week I have had in ages emotionally. It started with my beloved setting off on his move to Africa and my UN Volunteer project getting under way and ended with me not having any contact for a few days and slowly starting to freak out because I wasn’t sure exactly where he was.
In between, I managed to take my mind off things by going to Sundance London Film Festival (and my regular cinema).
I saw 12 movies in total this week. That is a record, I think, even for me. It also tells me about my stress/anxiety levels. Going to the cinema is like meditation for me.
At Sundance, the movies I enjoyed most were:
Muscle Shoals – Directed by Greg ‘Freddy’ Camelier
‘Muscle Shoals‘ mixes the stories of some of the biggest recording artists of all time with the history of Fame Records run by Rick Hill.
The documentary features artists from Wilson Pickett, ‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin and The Rolling Stones to Alicia Keys.
I have tried to find a complete track list for this movie, but I can’t. What I will do is put together a YouTube and Spotify playlist for as many of the songs featured as I can.
This documentary was nothing short of genius and I look forward to watching it again when it is released in UK cinemas in the autumn.
I also watched several short films including
‘Whiplash’ by Damien Chazelle
The Apocalypse – Written and directed by Andrew Zuchero
Flying Lotus: Until The Quiet Comes – Directed by Kahlil Joseph
The most powerful and impactful film I saw was God Loves Uganda which was written and directed by Roger Ross Williams. (I was actually lucky enough to meet and speak to him for a minute after the film ended).
It highlights the American Christian Right’s evangelical campaign to change African culture with it’s own values.
The feature-length documentary follows American and Ugandan religious leaders fighting “sexual immorality” with their attempts to make homosexuality illegal and missionaries trying to convince Ugandans to follow Biblical law.
If you get to watch this, it will stay with you for a long time.
This week will be a strange one. My best friend (and love of my life) leaves for a whole new life.
I don’t know how much contact we will have or even how often he will be able to get in touch. We are going from contact several times each day to ‘radio silence’ at least for the foreseeable. He will be gone for 2.5 years.
I don’t want him to go, but I do want him to travel and experience the world as I have. I love him, but I can’t limit him. It just feels like there will be a gap in my days that nobody else can fill. I am not even sure when we will be able to visit each other or what he will be like when we do see each other again.
I keep thinking of what Red says about Andy in Shawshank Redemption
“I have to remind myself that some birds aren’t meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright and when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice, but still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they’re gone. I guess I just miss my friend.”
WordPress app v3.5.2 is not working properly! I can’t add images to my posts.
I had some great ‘secret pics’ I had taken today in London and also a few photos from London Premiere of ‘The Evil Dead’.
Hopefully it will get fixed ASAP!