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"Cranky Old Man" poem sweeping the Internet

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As we gather with family and friends at this festive time of year, remember the people you love and hold dear.

The story goes that nurses going through the worldly possessions of an old man who died, found this poem, which is taking the Internet by storm.

Sharing this poem, originally by Phyllis McCormack and adapted by Dave Griffith, reminds us to remember that old people are PEOPLE, regardless of their frailties. With so many Baby Boomers facing eldercare duties of their aging parents, this is worth reading and reflecting upon.

“Cranky Old Man - What do you see nurses?

What do you see? What are you thinking
when you're looking at me?
A cranky 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 is 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
I 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.
It's 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 man 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 cranky old man .
Look closer . . .
see ME!!”

We’re all getting older and with that comes wisdom and sometimes even gratitude. As you celebrate the season, think about your many blessings and really FEEL them with your heart.

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