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For Lil.....and Everyone


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Since Lillian is a wonderful caretaker, I thought she would really relate to this poem.


What do you see, nurses, what do you see?

What are you thinking when you're looking at me?

A crabby old woman, not very wise,

Uncertain of habit, with faraway eyes?

Who dribbles her food and makes no reply""

Who seems not to notice the things that you do,

And forever is losing a stocking or shoe....

Who, resisting or not, lets you do as you will,

With bathing and feeding, the long day to fill....

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 girl of sixteen, with wings on her feet,

Dreaming that soon now a lover she'll meet.

A bride 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 woman 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 man's beside me to see I don't mourn.

At fifty once more, babies play around my knee,

Again we know children, my loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me, my husband is 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 woman....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 girl 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, nurses, open and see,

...Not a crabby old woman; look closer...see ME!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Oh Ann I am so sorry that I didn't see this sooner. It just says so much :!: Just because a person is old doesn't mean that they are no longer a person, someone who needs to be cherished and loved. There are just so many out there. I call them the forgotten ones. Oh maybe people pay attention to them but no one rememembers that they were once a vibrant young person with all of their life and dreams ahead of them. Sooner or later if we are lucky we all get old or sick or scared. Sometimes all three of those things.

So many older people have lost the ability to make new memories but they still have the old memories and they need desperately to share them. So I beg everyone if you know someone who is old and seems to have nothing left to offer stop for a minute and just listen to them. You may be surprised at how much you can learn.

When my mom died I wrote a poem that was read at her funeral. Maybe it sums up what so many of us either feel now or will someday. I hope you like it.

The year of life

A hot and burning desert, a mountain in the sun

A valley filled with dew drops, such battles to be won

Life has all the seasons, how quickly do they pass

The spring of youth holds promise, how long does it last?

Summer comes to find us our dreams they seem so near

Seek ye all the pleasures forget that trace of fear

Fall you sneak up cruely before I've had the time

To fill the dreams of spring's sweet youth, how bitter is your wine!

Oh winter must you take me before I've had my say?

The year slipped by so quickly, it seems it should be May

Now the year is ended and I see the setting sun,

Places never seen and things never done

A hand up on my shoulder such soft and gentle power

How greatly life I'd treasure if I had but one more hour

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