*Poem* An Old Woman . . . .(have tissues ready) this ::made me cry.

  1. My ADON read this at the last CNA graduation, and I just now found it on www.nursesareangels.com.

    Here goes:

    An Old Woman
    (Note: This poem was found in the bedside table of an elderly woman living in an extended care facility upon her death.)

    What do you see nurses,
    What do you see?
    Are you thinking,
    When you look at me;
    A crabbit old woman,
    Not very wise
    Uncertain of habit,
    With far away 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, unresisting 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.
    As I'll tell you who I am,
    As I sit here so still,
    As I rise at your bidding,
    As I eat at your will.
    I'm a small child of ten
    With a mother and father
    Brothers and sisters,
    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 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 build
    A secure, happy home.
    A young woman of thirty,
    My young now grow fast,
    Bound to each other
    With ties that should last;
    At forty, my young ones,
    Now grown, will soon be gone,
    But my man stays 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 husband is dead,
    I look at the future,
    I shudder with dread,
    For my young are all busy,
    Rearing young of their own,
    And I thin of the years
    And the love I have known.
    I'm an old woman now,
    And nature is cruel.
    'tis her jest to make old age
    To look like a fool.
    The body is crumbled,
    Grace and vigour depart.
    There is now 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 over again.
    I think of the years,
    All too few,
    Gone to fast,
    And accept the stark fact
    that nothing can last.
    So open your eyes, nurses,
    Open and see,
    Not a crabbit old woman;
    Look closer ... see ME
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    About tattooednursie

    Joined: Oct '02; Posts: 1,401; Likes: 126
    LVN in a LTC facility.; from US
    Specialty: Mostly LTC, some acute and some ER,


  3. by   2banurse
    Very nice Mandi...I think that at times we (everyone in general) forget that our senior citizens were very much like we are now and have gone though many of the same things we are getting through.

    Thanks for posting this!

  4. by   tattooednursie
    I forget that quite a bit. It was so touching to me bacause when I first heard this was right after I ALMOST lost my temper with a pt. She was ringing that darn call bell, loosing her shoes, and the whole nine yards. after about the 10th ring in an hour even taking care of the even more helpless ones (the ones who dribble their food, and cannot speak) was aggervating, then I slipped into the resident dining room where the graduation was. I kinda hid in the other end of the dining room, because I have already had my lunch break and I wanted to watch the graduation. I had all my work done so it was no big deal really.

    Anyways When that poem was read I really reflected back on how I felt that day. I think it touched me more than anyone lol I was in the back trying not to be noticed and then it was like *sniffle, snort, sniffle, snort* lol
  5. by   Stormy62

    That is a beautiful poem. Did you know they (whoever "they" are) made that poem into a very touching video? It is about 10 mintues long and it shows some elderly patients in a nursing home.

    I first heard that poem a good 10 years ago, and it did make me cry. But then last year I saw the video they made with the poem along with it. It was absolutely awsome! I wish I could get my hands on that video now! Has anyone else seen it, or know where to get it?
  6. by   KC CHICK
    Great poem. An instructor gave us all copies when I was in nursing school. Makes you think.

  7. by   karenG
    its a good poem- some-one posted the nurses reply but I cant remember where!!

  8. by   tattooednursie
    Hmm . . .I just now realized that I put this in the humor forum . . .duh!!!

    I wish I could see that video too!!!
  9. by   ucandoit
    I have that video at work I'll see if I can borrow it and make copies. Here is the other half of the poem, its called" The nurses reply to the crabbit old woman". It has a good point!!!!

    What do we see, you ask, what do we see?
    Yes, we are thinking when looking at thee!
    We may seem to be hard when we hurry and fuss,
    But there's many of you, and too few of us.
    We would like far more time to sit by you and talk,
    To bath you and feed you and help you to walk.
    To hear of your lives and the things you have done;
    Your childhood, your husband, your daughter, your son.
    But time is against us, there's too much to do -
    Patients too many, and nurses too few.

    We grieve when we see you so sad and alone,
    With nobody near you, no friends of your own.
    We feel all your pain, and know of your fear
    That nobody cares now your end is so near.

    But nurses are people with feelings as well,
    And when we're together you'll often hear tell
    Of the dearest old Gran in the very end bed,
    And the lovely old Dad, and the things that he said,
    We speak with compassion and love, and feel sad
    When we think of your lives and the joy that you've had.

    When the time has arrived for you to depart,
    You leave us behind with an ache in our heart.
    When you sleep the long sleep, no more worry or care,
    There are other old people, and we must be there.
    So please understand if we hurry and fuss -
    There are many of you, and too few of us.

    -- Author Unknown
  10. by   BellaTerra2002
    Oh well, now I'm crying. Thanks a lot.
  11. by   mlolsonny
    well, I was going to post the response to this poem, but nursetl2002 beat me to it.

    Here's one for the CNAs...

    I'm a CNA

    We didn't know each other. He knew the bride and I the groom.
    But we ended up talking at the far end of the room.
    The inevitable question came up; as conversations usually go.
    "So what do you do for a living?" It's what he wanted to know.

    My mind went racing quickly-- I'd never again see this guy,
    So it wouldn't really matter; if I told him a lie.
    "I take care of people," I said; as I took a sip of wine.
    If he never asked me another question; that would suit me just fine.

    But he did, of course, they always do; "That's nice, are you a nurse by the way?"
    "No, I'm not," I said looking down. "I'm a CNA."
    "Oh," he said, "well that's alright, I can tell you're not a fool.
    You won't keep that job forever. Are you currently in school?"

    Why not tell him about it, I thought, tell the truth if I dare,
    that I finally found a wonderful job, One that let's me care.
    "I'm not in school," I said with a smile, "but I really love what I do.
    I always look forward to going to work; each day brings something new."

    Well he looked at me as if I were nuts; and he lowered his voice to say,
    "I can't believe you like wiping butts. "And he turned and walked away.
    But wait! I wanted to shout at him;
    and take him by the shoulders and look him square in the eyes and say

    Everyone has to get older.
    Yes, bathing people is part of our job, but that's not all we do.
    We talk and laugh, and listen to them and we play with them too.
    Oh how I wanted to tell him about the love I'm able to give;
    While he's out there pushing papers, I'm helping people live.

    If only he had let me explain what happened day by day
    And every one of us would tell him we don't do it for the pay.
    I'd tell him about how most of the time laughter fills the air.
    I'd sit him down with a beer in his hand; and these are stories I'd share.

    First I'd tell him about Lizzy. She's someone we'll never forget.
    She could be so sweet and kind and loving - but yet she also had a spunky side,
    a temper loud as thunder.
    One day I saw that grumpy look and I couldn't help but wonder.

    I walked over and asked about the burden she seemed to carry.
    And she looked down at her yellow top, "I look like a damn canary!"
    I couldn't help but chuckle as I helped her change her shirt,
    and now as I remember her my heart begins to hurt.

    I'd tell him about Jim-- all the kind words he always said
    to whomever was granted the pleasurable task of helping him to bed.
    I'd tell about Kay, and the pride that she had for her home town Scituate.
    She make me memorize an entire poem, one I'll never forget.

    I'll tell about Donna, what a lady she was; how she carried herself with ease;
    She taught me to say I love you in the language of Portugese.
    Now about Lorraine, I couldn't begin to tell how it was in the end,
    when the tumor came back with a vengeance, we all thought we'd lost a dear friend.

    I'd tell him we cheered on that wonderful day
    When Mary, who was deaf, said all of our names one by one; that from our lips she had read.
    I'd ask if he ever met someone and knew it was meant to be,
    because when I met Helen it happened to me.

    She came to us a stranger, it usually happens that way.
    But I knew that I would love her right from the very first day.
    My beautiful Helen passed on four short months after we met.
    Oh, how my heart broke when she died; and yet--

    My days are filled with so much joy so all that I can say;
    is I'm thankful I work in the nursing home and applied for a job that day.
    I'd tell him about the new lady-- I'll give it two weeks at best
    before everyone starts to love her; just like we do the rest.

    Yes today we received a new lady; next week we'll meet another.
    I'd tell him, who knows, maybe years down the road we might be meeting his mother.
    And I'd be the one to take care of her and she'd know just by my stride;
    that I'm glad to be where I am, I hold my job with pride.

    Maybe if he had waited, and not walked away so fast;
    he'd know what kind of work I do, he'd understand at last.
    So next time someone asks what I do; I'll hand them this note and say,
    Here, I wrote this down for you. I'M A CNA.

    written by Kimberly Lee, CNA Norwell Knoll, Norwell, Mass
  12. by   tattooednursie
    Those poems were awesome too!

    One of my friends said the other day when I suggested the job of a CNA to her, "Nah, that's stupid. All you do is make beds and change poopy sheets." GRRRRR that made me angry.