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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-15-2008, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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Crabby Old Man, bittersweet story

** I don't know if this is a true story, but the sentiment behind the poem is a good one **


**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 a 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 . . . . . . . . . .... . 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 **

**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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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-16-2008, 03:39 AM
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Leazie, That's a wonderful story and poem. Thank you for sharing it.


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-16-2008, 02:38 PM
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It's so true. We remain the same person inside, but a bit more knowledgable, when we turn 30, 40, 50, 60. My mother, at 77, said that when she caught a glimpse of herself in a mirror she wondered who the old lady was. I asked her how old she was on the inside, and she said, "19."

Considering how badly some hospital aides treat me when I go to the hospital, imagine how badly they'd treat someone who was elderly (not that I'm 30 any more..no matter what I tell the children! ) or an Alzheimer's victim. Obviously, there are some wonderful aides, probably a majority, but I've had some of the others also.

The hospitals around here are so understaffed that all of the staff is overworked and stressed. Nevertheless...




Jeanie

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A dog, I have always said, is prose; a cat is a poem. ~Jean Burden
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-16-2008, 02:49 PM
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There was a similar poem, but not the same, making the rounds when I start nursing thirty years ago. I have a copy of it up in the attic somewhere - the hospital that I worked at gave a copy to each of the new hires. (Remember, this was way before home computers were around, let alone the interent)

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-16-2008, 03:18 PM
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I have read a similar poem also, as I come from a family full of nurses. It's lovely and thought provoking.

I subbed for a while when I first became a teacher, and I thought all principals should have to spend several days a year subbing at a school where no student knew who they were.

My sister taught nursing, my mother was a nurse, and my niece (with whom I grew up) is a nurse. When my niece's daughter was in the hospital, no one knew she was a nurse, (the head nurse in the hospital where she worked) and she was shocked at the way her daughter was treated by some of the staff. Sometimes we have to wear the other person's moccasins for a mile.




Jeanie

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A dog, I have always said, is prose; a cat is a poem. ~Jean Burden
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