Monday, July 16, 2012

Honoring our elderly

Dedicated with love to my Grams and Gramps 

Today I stumbled upon this poem. It is my understanding that it has been making the rounds on the web inspiring many along the way mostly as 'anonymous'. Be it truth or not it is now being said that it came from a grandfather who passed away in a geriatic facility in Australia. No matter the source it is a poem that could have come from many and the message deserves to be passed on in the world.

Cranky Old Man.....
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 . . . 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 vigour, 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 .
Look closer . . . . see .. .. . .. .... . ME!!

 Since I was a small child I have always been told to respect my elders and I have. Taking things a bit further by calling them grandma's and grandpa's.

Memories of my own grandpa always make my heart happy. He is a man whose love for the outdoors rubbed off on me. I spend many a weekend with him and grandma as a child and, he never neglected to take time out of his busy schedual to teach me something, or share something with me. he gave me this rock with lots of cube shaped gold colored pieces in it. One of my special treasures. Though he is not in this realm anymore I know he is with me all the same. Especially when I need that hug.

Grandma, likewise, has been that amazing presence in my life. Some of my fondest memories were of her and I in the kitchen making cookies,  and tortillas. The gingerbread man cookie cutter was pulled out for me to make tortilla men. It always made me feel so special. She would always make me milk gravy as well a big bowl of it that I loved to eat with the warm tortillas. Ahhh.. comfort food.

When I spend time with my grams now I am bursting with excitement bubbles seeing her smile and laugh. I know I will always make her smile and laugh. I am glad she appreciates my humor.

She shares stories of our family that I hold in my heart so that I some day can tell them to the younger ones. One of my favorite stories is of my great grandpa, who at times would talk in Apache, and his sister who felt so connected to this side of our heritage that she wore tradtional Apache clothing. There is also a story of how she saved the babies from drowing. The men sat at the side of the water taking off their boots and she jumped in clothes, shoes and all. Again excitement bubbles!

Introspectively I look at self. No matter my age I still feel like me. not a number. What matters to me matters always. As I get older I will find those young ones who want to listen to my stories and I will share them with the fire in my eyes that is me... and they will never see me as a number. And maybe just maybe they will be filled with excitement bubbles at my stories too!

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