I got into nursing for better pay and because I was interested in nursing and science. I found I love geriatrics. Agism is rampant. Our elderly need our utmost respect and tender care. I am glad I was there when I was the one holding his/her hand when they had their last breath. I was praying for them and.. me (because there was no family/friends left). I could tell a lot more, but I love this poem (author unknown). This is kind of long, but worth it.
An Old Lady Has the Last Word
What do you see, nurse, what do you see?
What do you think 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, must do as you will,
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 your bidding, as I eat at your will.
I'm a small child of ten with a father and mother; Brother and sister 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 twenty -- 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 growing fast, Bound to each other with ties that should last;
At 40, my sons have grown and are gone. But my man is beside me to see I don't mourn; At 50, once more babies play around my knees: Again we know children, my loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me, my husband is dead. I look to the future, I shudder with dread. For my young are all rearing children of their own, And I think of the years and love I've known.
I'm an old woman and nature is cruel.
'Tis her jest to make old age look like a fool.
The body it crumbles: grace and vigor depart.
There is now just 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 all 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, nurse. Open and see.
Not a crabby old woman: look closer - See Me.