For a couple of months now my ‘beppe’ (it’s Frisian for grandmother) has been living in a home. It’s a great home, lots of activities, a nice room, she has really nice neighbours and is glad she moved from her apartment to the home. It’s been a big transition for her and she’s doing great. But she’s getting older, life changes for her, her world is getting smaller and things that were normal aren’t anymore, but that’s to be expect when you’re her age (she’s 89) right.
So when i came across this poem Too Soon Old by Dave Griffith on Facebook, i immediately thought of her. It’s a poem written over 20 years ago. The story that accompanied the poem sounded cute, but i’ve seen this sort of thing on the web before so i had to google it and find out if it was true. Well it turned out that someone took the poem from his site, created a false story about it, and started it circulating on the Internet. There are different stories on the web, but that doesn’t harm the , the poem is still simple and to the point, just like the author intended it.
Crabby 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 vigour, 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!