See ME!

What do you see, nurses, what do you see?
Are you thinking, when you look at me --
A crabby old woman, not very wise,
Uncertain of habit, with far-away 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 unresisting 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 looking at ME...
I'll tell you who I am, as I sit here so still;
As I rise 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 build a secure, happy home;
A woman of thirty, my young now grow 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 an old woman now and nature is cruel --
'Tis her jest to make old age look like a fool.

The body is crumbled, grace and vigor depart,
There is now a stone where once I 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 I open your eyes, nurses, open and see,
Not a crabby old woman, look closer, nurses -- see ME!

This poem was found among the possessions of an elderly lady who died in the geriatric ward of a hospital. No information is available concerning her -- who she was or when she died. Reprinted from the "Assessment and Alternatives Help Guide" prepared by the Colorado Foundation for Medical Care

Note: I have a hard copy of this that dates back to the early 90's ~ I'm pleased to see it online, and hope it gets wide circulation.  Cheryl, CHN


Restraint reduction Note from CHN: I think anyone who has a loved one or friend in long term care, or nursing home should take the time to peruse this PDF file - it may help to assess how your loved one is doing, and help prevent possible abuse

CHN Bluebird mourns death of another

I happened upon this photo quite by accident on the Internet quite a while back, but its image has never left me.  Occasionally we hear or see birds crash into our windows, in spite of all the things I've put on our windows to help prevent such accidents.  I always run out with a small towel, just in case it's still alive.  If it is alive, I'll bring it in, I will gently wrap it, to conserve its body heat and put it in a box that I've punched air holes in.  Then I cover it and place it in a warm location.  Thankfully some do not have injuries, like broken wings, and can be released after they've come out of the shock.  Once I'm certain they are well and alert I let them go.

 I am filled with joy when I  see them fly off.  Still, some, like this poor baby, dies. I've held a few birds in the palm of my hand and helplessly watched it take its final breath.  I can not help but shed tears for the innocent fragile creature that lays dead in my  hand.

 I remembered the poem I had in my files, but had not posted it ... it seemed right to pair this photograph with the poem above.  I remembered well, what Jesus said about the sparrow falling to the ground.  I can not look at this photo without thinking that God was looking down on this precious creature, the instant it fell. How precious we are to Him!  This to me is a powerful image of love and mourning, and the importance of "See ME!"  Cheryl Eckstein, CHN ~ Footnote; less than 12 hours after writing this, I heard a familiar bang coming from our kitchen, so did my husband, we chimed anxiously in unison, "bird!"  He rushed out with tea towel in hand and picked a little Red Poll Finch from the cold cement driveway and brought it in.  It wasn't dead.  I grabbed a ginger ale box and placed it in and prayed.  Fifteen minutes passed and I looked inside, picked it up.  It wrestled in my hand, but I was able to check its wings, legs and body to see there were no injuries that would prevent it from flying. We released it under our large fir tree, and soon it took flight.  How precious we are to Him!

"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.  And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. " Matthew 10:29-31 (New International Version)

Things You Can Do For Your Loved One


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