See Me! I haven’t grown old on the inside.


The story “See Me” has made the rounds on the net. It should be re-posted often in our society where life expectancy continues to increase, but respect for the aging seems to diminish.

When my Mother-in-law became an octogenarian she told me something that I have found to be true.  She said you never grow old inside.*

Surely this must be our soul that remains ageless.  Imagine if we could all relate to the souls of others, rather than to the body. Think how that would change our world.

IMG_0527The very young and the very old are able to do this better than those in the middle of the two extremes.

My better half thinks that once we begin to age, we also begin to become invisible. The older we get, the more we fade away. Will we one day be totally invisible?

The Bible tells us that people at one time lived longer than we do today, even with our modern meds. Still, 100 was considered old even in Biblical times:

Genesis 21:7 And she said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”

In this new year, perhaps we can remember to look at the soul of the person and not the body. My daughter, who works in an assisted living residence placed “See Me” or “Cranky Old Man” on her Facebook page. I know that it has been around for a long time and most have read it, but it is worth a re-read. I am glad that she sees the person and not the aging body. In every aging body, a person resides. They have all the emotions and needs of those who reside in young bodies. Certainly we should remember the words of Christ when we come in contact with a person who is our senior:

Matthew 7:12 So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

Here is the story:

When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in an Australian country town, 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 Melbourne. The old man’s sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas editions of magazines around the country and appearing in mags for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem.

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

                                      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!!

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About jlue

I am a grandmother of seven and I like to garden, read, study the Bible, and spend time with family. I am not very politically active, but very interested in who is elected to lead our country.
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