Nursing homes are full of long lost stories of people already forgotten…
Many of the elderly in senior homes either outlived their families, or were forgotten by their busy, younger kin. You always here horror stories of neglected seniors, but even if they’re well-cared for physically, they are left to rot emotionally. If only nurses and caretakers took the time to really listen to their patients…
Mak Filiser passed away in a nursing home, and the caretakers there didn’t think he had anything of value left with him.
However, they began clearing his room for the next patient, and one nurse came across a piece of paper. On it was a heartfelt, and heartbreaking, poem. The nurse who found it was so taken aback by it that she copied it and passed it out to every employee in the facility.
The poem, entitled “Cranky Old Man”, went like this…
“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 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.”
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