I remember reading this in a news-paper here in Australia back in 2002, it struck a deep cord within my heart that I had to put it away for safe keeping. This poem was sent to the editor of a news paper by a gentleman in the hope of having it published for all to read.
The gentleman explains this poem to the editor as follows:
Dear Sir; This poem was written in Scotland by an old lady in a geriatric ward. After she died it was found in her possessions by a nurse. All health workers who had dealings with patients, particularly in the elderly age group, should ponder carefully on what this old woman was thinking when she wrote this poem.
What do you see, what do you see? What are you thinking when you’re looking at me. A crabbit old woman, not very wise, uncertain of habbit with far away eye’s, 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 sock or a shoe, who resisting or not, lets you do as you will, with bathing or feeding the long day to fill. Is that what you are thinking, is that what you see, then open your eye’s you’re not looking at me.
I’ll tell you who I am as I sit here so still, as I use at you bidding, as I eat at your will. I’m a small child of 10 with a father and mother, brothers and sisters who love one another. A young girl of 16 with wings on her feet, dreaming that soon now a lover will meet. A bride soon at 20 my heart gives a leap, remembering the vows that I promised to keep. At 25 now I have young of my own, who need me to build a secure happy home. A woman of 30, my young now grow fast, bound to each other with ties that should last.
At 40 my young sons have grown and are gone, but my man’s beside me to see I don’t mourn. At 50 once more babies play round my knee, and again we know children my love 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 of the love I have known. I’m an old woman now and nature is cruel, ‘tis’ her jest to make old age look like a fool.
The body crumbles, grace and vigor depart, there now is a stone where once was 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 have gone fast, and accept the stark fact that nothing will last. Soon open your eye’s, open and see, “not” a crabbit old woman, look closer, see me.
God Bless that dear elderly woman. She must have been living her life over and over again within her mind, and finally decided to put it all down on paper as a poem. (That alone I believe had to be a Divine inspirational thought given her so ALL can read, and for all to know the circumstances of such things in life and what many do go through.) We NEVER know what others are going through until it usually to late. If only we are able to know before they pass the comfort, love and understanding we could give them. This is where we MUST give of ourselves in being instruments of Love and Compassion for those in need.
At least now she's not confined to a physical body but able to enjoy herself in her new and REAL life.