Look Closer Nurse

A friend of mine came across this.  She shared it with me thinking of this blog.  See the reference from Wikipedia below.

I’m guilty of being short with the elderly.  I don’t see the life lived.  Some elderly people I can sit and listen to their stories and love it.  Others…not so much.  I think that needs some examination on my part.  For example, my mother-in-law,  I need to see her.  Not just the way she is now, but the whole of her package.  I need to remember the her that was, and that she is still there.

My grandmother broke her hip and needed to be placed in a long term care facility.  None of us visited much because she suffered dementia.  My mother would not allow us to go see her in that state.  My grandmother had turned very mean.  She treated my mom horribly.  My mom later told me about this.  It was such a personal experience she had kept it to herself.   She shared that it took her years to get over the emotional turmoil brought on by her own mother’s delusions and barbs.

I’m sorry for those of you who may have experienced a similar situation.  I was protected from it.  My mom was not.  

I know it helped my mom to share with me her hurt and that by the grace of God He placed before her the path to recovering the images of her loving mother.  Listening to her taught me.  I could learn without going through the harm.  She wanted to prepare me if I found myself in that situation.  Feel free if you would like to reply about your experiences.  Maybe it would help to share, for both yourself and others.
“Look Closer Nurse”. Phyllis McCormack 
What do you see nurse, what do you see

Are you thinking when you’re looking at me

A crabbbit old woman, not very wise

Uncertain of habbit, 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, for you’re looking at me


I’ll tell you who I am as I sit here so still

As I use at you biddings, as I eat at your will

I am 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 of soon her 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

A woman of thirty, my young growing fast

Bound to each other with ties that will last

At forty my young sons will now grow and be gone

Af fifty, once more babies play around my knee

Again we know children my loved one and me


Dark days are upon me, my husband is dead

I look to the future, I shudder with dread

For my young are all busy, rearing young of their own

And I think of the years, and the love I have known

I’m now an old woman and nature is cruel

Tis her jest to make old age look like a feel

The body, it crumbles, grace and vigour depart

There isnow 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 all over again

I think of the years all too few – gone, so fast

And accept the stark fact that nothing can last

So, open your eyes nurse, open and see

Not a crabbit old woman, look closer, see ME
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