Facebook shared a very touching video about an older woman whose left in a note after she passed away in a nursing home. This poem might have been a spin off of the original poem by Phyllis McCormack in 1966. This poem was discovered after the lady died and a member of staff gathered together her personal possessions from her room.
“Look Closer Nurse”
What do you see nurse, what do you see?
Are you thinking when you’re looking at me
A crabbbit old woman, not very wise
Uncertain of habbit, 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, 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, for you’re looking at me
I’ll tell you who I am as I sit here so still
As I use at you biddings, as I eat at your will
I am a small child of ten with a father and mother
Brothers and sisters who love one another
A young girl of sixteen, with wings on her feet
Dreaming of soon her 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
A woman of thirty, my young growing fast
Bound to each other with ties that will last
At forty my young sons will now grow and be gone
Af fifty, once more babies play around my knee
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 busy, rearing young of their own
And I think of the years, and the love I have known
I’m now an old woman and nature is cruel
Tis her jest to make old age look like a feel
The body, it crumbles, grace and vigour depart
There isnow 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, so fast
And accept the stark fact that nothing can last
So, open your eyes nurse, open and see
Not a crabbit old woman, look closer, see ME
Joyce Oakley As a geriatric nurse of 36 years I implore each you to read this. One of my favorite times was having a few minutes to learn of their lives. I heard the sadness from those that had families that brought them to the nursing home and forgot to come visit them. They talked about their families and how they loved them. They would tell joyous stories of when their children were young. I took care of nurses who were at Pearl Harbor on 12/7/41. I watched them cry as they remembered the horrors of the attack. My point. Each elderly patient had a life and memories to share. Please take the time to let them share because they didn’t stop living because they got old they just got a little frailer. You see someday you will be the little old patient that hopes you will be respected and loved by those you raised. God bless our geriatrics’s they have a lot to share with you
Don Watkins I know old people can be a pain. But when you can’t do what you didn’t in your twenties and thirties it gets real frustrating. If the younger people will just understand this. We old people aren’t senile or mad at you. We’re just upset that we can’t do what we once did.
Susan Waters Nursing home caregivers are some of the most giving people we will ever know. The problem isn’t with them, it’s the system. They work long difficult hours and do the things that most..and I mean most people would never be able to stomach or live with.
Being with a dying patient is the most difficult part of my job but it’s the most precious.
This poem give people the impression that caregivers are not passionate people and that is so far from the truth.
The only dispassionate people are the family members that are fighting over who gets what. Some family members don’t even show up to help or to spend time. They just get the money and run.