Being OLD! Inspirational Poem and Story

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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 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 . . . . . 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!

PLEASE  SHARE THIS POEM

The best and  most beautiful things of  this  world can’t be seen or touched.

They  must be felt by the heart.

ASIDE:

Some have said that this story is a fabrication. The story may not be true, but the poem and it’s message are still great!

Summary of the eRumor:
The eRumor includes a poem said to have been found in the pocket of an old man who died in a hospital in Florida.
The Truth:
The story about the old man (in some versions described as 100 years old) is a fabrication.

The poem, titled Too Soon Old, was written by Dave Griffith of Fort Worth, Texas.  Griffith told TruthOrFiction.com that he wrote the poem more than 20 years ago and that he meant for it to be simple, and too the point, from youth through old age in his own personal life, high school football, Marines, marriage, the ravages of his own disabilities.

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