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Crabby Old Man poem. Have you read this yet?
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Jan 29, 2012 10:55:12   #
LindaH (a regular here)
Keith A. Wells Sr.'s Photos

When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in North Platte , Nebraska , it was believed that he had nothing left of any value

Later, when the nurses were going through his meager possessions, They found this poem . Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital

One nurse took her copy to Missouri . The old man's sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas edition of the News Magazine of the St. Louis Association for Mental Health.. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem.

And this little old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this 'anonymous' poem winging across the Internet.

Crabby Old Man

What do you see nurses? . . What do you see?
What are you thinking . . . . . when you're looking at me?
A crabby 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 . 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 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's 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 ... . .. . . . . . . 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.
Tis jest to make old age . . . . look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles .. . . . . . . grace and vigor, depart..
There is now a stone . . . .. . . . where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass . . a young guy 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 crabby old man. Look closer . . . see ME!!

Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you might brush aside without looking at the young soul within . . . . we will all, one day, be there, too!

The best and most beautiful things of this world can't be seen or touched. They must be felt by the heart.
By: Keith A. Wells Sr.
Mr. Keith A. Wells, Sr.
Mr. Keith A. Wells, Sr....
Jan 29, 2012 11:28:00   #
Jan 29, 2012 11:43:56   #
oh wow, i have tears in my eyes and a golfball sized lump in my throat reading this.. i certainly am gonna share this,
Jan 29, 2012 12:23:54   #
LindaH (a regular here)
If you haven't ever read Water for Elephants by Sara Greun, it is a worthwhile read. It is about an old man who recounts his life in the circus as a vet. I listened to the audio of it a few months ago, and I cried so much because he really was a very young man trying to be "seen" for who he was rather than what the home he was in tried to make him out to be. I just loved it, and I really hated for it to end. I have always had a soft spot in my heart of older people. I never understood why, but I have always done anything that I could to help someone older if they need me to. I find it heartwarming to see an older couple in a restaurant still looking at each other with love in their eyes. I can't resist asking them how long they have been married, and what their secret is to a long happy marriage. The woman almost always says to essentially love the man through whatever. The man says to always help when you can and to let her know how much she means to you. They usually both say that marriage these days doesn't seem to mean as much as did in their day. When they got married, you didn't get a divorce period. I think I may be an old soul because when I was praying for my husband who I knew was out there for me, I asked for God to please bring a man who came from a long line of love, one who wouldn't scream divorce at the first screw up I make or the first argument, etc. I believe in the sanctity of marriage and the vows to honor my husband until the day I am no longer on this earth. I believe that my husband has this same belief. When I am having trouble coming up with a gratitude list on the rare days that I actually write it down, I can always write down that I am grateful for my husband.

Okay, so I went off on a tangent there. Sorry about that.
Jan 29, 2012 12:36:06   #
amudaus (a regular here)
I have read this before as it was sent to me a few weeks ago in an email,it just made me cry.Today no one really stops to think about what type of life that the elderly had.Wheni was nursing people used to tell you what they did when young it was so interesting.
Jan 29, 2012 12:48:00   #
amudaus wrote:
I have read this before as it was sent to me a few weeks ago in an email,it just made me cry.Today no one really stops to think about what type of life that the elderly had.Wheni was nursing people used to tell you what they did when young it was so interesting.

I used to love working in the nursing homes for that reason, sometimes a 5min chat can make their day..
Jan 29, 2012 13:18:22   #
Before I got married and stayed home with the children, I was the president's secretary at the local nursing home. I loved chatting with the residents. Their lives were so rich! It was amazing to me how lonely they were because their families rarely visited them. This poem brought me to tears. What a wonderful tribute to Mr. Wells for this poem to now be all over the internet making people stop and think.
Jan 29, 2012 17:50:32   #
How true.
Jan 29, 2012 18:52:14   #
Awwwwwwww...I work in a care home.....I think I may have to put this on our office wall !! Thank you :)
Jan 30, 2012 06:07:02   #
Although I have just read this with tears rolling down my face it was just beautiful, thank you for so much sharing this.
Jan 30, 2012 06:08:40   #
Valjean wrote:
Although I have just read this with tears rolling down my face it was just beautiful, thank you for so much sharing this.

It should have read thank you so much for sharing this! I typed this with tears.
Jan 30, 2012 07:52:38   #
susieknitter (a regular here)
I too have tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. I hate it when I hear people talk to the elderly as though they are children. Thanks for sharing this.
Jan 30, 2012 08:09:35   #
God bless you for sharing this poem. I have had so many wonderful elderly people pass through my life and I've loved them and learned from them. I feel we may physically grow old, but mentally we are always that person we have always been through our lives. I still feel I'm 18, but my body reminds me when I try to do physical things that I no longer am 18, at least not physically.
Jan 30, 2012 09:22:24   #
Mr Keith Wells's lookin at you, kid!

Jan 30, 2012 10:53:57   #
I read this a several years ago but it was written as of a woman. Substitute "she" instead of "he" etc and you'll find it fits either sex.
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