February 9

A Crabby Old Woman

A Crabby Old Woman

When an old lady died in the geriatric ward of a small hospital near Dundee Scotland, it was believed that she had nothing left of any value.

Later, when the nurses were going through her meagre 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 Ireland. The old lady’s sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas edition of the News Magazine of the North Ireland Association for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on her simple, but eloquent, poem.

And this little old Scottish lady, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this "anonymous" poem winging across the Internet:

Crabby Old Woman

What do you see, nurses ?  What do you see?
What are you thinking when you’re looking at me?

A crabby old woman, Not very wise,
Uncertain of habit, 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;    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 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 guide and a secure happy home.

A woman 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 man’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 husband is 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 woman and nature is cruel;
‘Tis 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 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 too fast,
And accept the stark fact that nothing can last.

So open your eyes, people, Open and see,
Not a crabby old woman;   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!

February 2

The Wooden Bowl

nonameI guarantee you will remember the tale of the Wooden Bowl tomorrow, a week from now, a month from now, a year from now.

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-yearold grandson. The old man’s hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered.

The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather’s shaky hands and
failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth.

The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess.

‘We must do something about father,’ said the son.

‘I’ve had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor.’

So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl.

When the family glanced in Grandfather’s direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.

The four-year-old watched it all in silence. One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor.

He asked the child sweetly, ‘What are you making?’ Just as sweetly, the boy responded,

‘Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up.

‘ The four-year-old smiled and went back to work.

The words so struck the parents so that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done.

That evening the husband took Grandfather’s hand and gently led him back to the family table..

For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.

On a positive note, I’ve learned that, no matter what happens, how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.

I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles four things:

A rainy day, the elderly, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.

I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as making a ‘life..’

I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands.You nee d to be able to throw something back sometimes.

I’ve learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you

But, if you focus on your family, your friends, the needs of others,
your work and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you.

I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.

I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.

I’ve learned that every day, you should reach out and touch someone.

People love that human touch — holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.

I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.

February 2

The Cab Ride

I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I walked to the door and knocked.. ‘Just a minute’, answered a
frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.

After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90’s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940’s movie.

By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets.
There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils
on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and
glassware.

‘Would you carry my bag out to the car?’ she said. I took the suitcase
to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.

She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness. ‘It’s nothing’, I told her.. ‘I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.’

‘Oh, you’re such a good boy, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave
me an address and then asked, ‘Could you drive through downtown?’

‘It’s not the shortest way,’ I answered quickly..
‘Oh, I don’t mind,’ she said. ‘I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a
hospice.

I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. ‘I don’t have
any family left,’ she continued in a soft voice.. ‘The doctor says I don’t have very long.’ I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.

‘What route would you like me to take?’ I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me
the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.
We drove through the neighbourhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, ‘I’m
tired. Let’s go now’.

We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a
portico.

Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were
Solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

‘How much do I owe you?’ She asked, reaching into her purse.
‘Nothing,’ I said
‘You have to make a living,’ she answered.
‘There are other passengers,’ I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She
held onto me tightly. ‘You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,’ she
said. ‘Thank you.’

I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning
light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.
I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift?

What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life. We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware – beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

PEOPLE MAY NOT REMEMBER EXACTLY WHAT YOU DID, OR WHAT YOU SAID ~BUT~THEY WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW YOU MADE THEM FEEL.

You won’t get any big surprise if you send this to people. But, you might help make the world a little kinder and more compassionate by sending. it on and reminding us that often it is the random acts of
kindness that most benefit all of us.

Thank you, my friend…