Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Crabby Old Woman

I received this in the mail from Kathy. It's a poem about an old woman. I'm not yet a geriatric but I think it encapsulates well the feelings of an old person.

Sometimes we tend to dismiss old people as having little or no worth. We're impatient with them. We don't have time for them. They slow us down. We forget they've once been young. They've eaten more salt than we have rice. They have their own self-worth. They're aren't bags of left-overs to be tossed to the cats.

Be careful how we treat old people. Because that is how our offspring may treat us when we're wrinkled and bent. As the bible says, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Treat old people with respect. That's not just an Asian value. It should be a universal value.

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SOME GREAT WORDS OF WISDOM FROM LISA MORISON - well worth a read and reflection.

When an old lady died in the geriatric ward of a small hospital near
Dundee, Scotland, it was believed that she had nothing left of any value.
Later, when the nurses were going through her 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 Ireland. The old lady's sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas edition of the News Magazine of the North Ireland Association for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on her simple, but eloquent, poem. And this little old Scottish lady, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this "anonymous" poem winging across the Internet:

Crabby Old Woman

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
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 stocking 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 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 round 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 vigour 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, people,
Open and see,
Not a crabby old woman;
Look closer . . . see ME!!

8 comments:

blinka.Li said...

sad. but that is the fact of life..i ..speechless.

KK said...

haha! very very nice to hear that.

pu1pu3 said...

It brought tears to my eyes.I hope when I grow old, people would look at me as me and not as a crabby old lady...
i suppose it all boils down to your upbringing. I was taught to respect the elderly. I enjoy spending time with elderly people as they have so much to share. They can be crabby at times too but I put that aside and look at their life experiences instead.

Lydia Teh said...

blinka.li, it's so easy to marginalise old folks :(
p3p4, you must show the poem to your other half too.
p1p3, good on you!! Old people have a lot of stories and experience to share, if we let them.

pfalcon said...

hey, this poem is in the Form 4 English textbook!!!

Lydia Teh said...

pfalcon, is that so? I must check TW's textbook then.

pfalcon said...

I know I saw it once, but I don't know if they changed it or not... but I'm quite positive they did not...

vagus said...

nice. makes us think a bit more and not take the patients for granted