Cranky Old Man….

I saw this poem on Facebook.  It really resonated with me as I have cared for several older adults and often visited in nursing facilities. 

If we try to put ourselves in that bed, I think we may relate to our elders in a different way.  Don’t you?

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.

Old man poem
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 vigor, 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!!

About Sara Seasholtz

Sara Seasholtz, CFP®, was voted one of "50 Most Influential Women in Charlotte" by The Mecklenburg Times in 2011, and she's been a trusted financial advisor to her clients for over 30 years. Have a financial question?ASK SARA!

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