Cranky Old Man

I saw this on Facebook and I thought it was a beautiful thing to remember.

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.

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!!

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!

PLEASE SHARE THIS POEM (originally by Phyllis McCormack; adapted by Dave Griffith)

Maleficent

I just went to the movies and saw Maleficent.  I liked it.  I think it is rather scary for little kids, but that’s besides the point.

Maleficent was a spin on the Sleeping Beauty story.  As Gregory Maguire  in his book Wicked, tells the story of The Wizard of Oz  from the perspective of the Wicked Witch of the West, Maleficent gives us insight into the “evil” queen who puts a spell on Sleeping Beauty.

What I found most interesting is that little girls came away from Sleeping Beauty with the idea that Prince Charming would sweep them off their feet and rescue them with a kiss…  Uggh, several generations of girls were lead down the primrose path.

 

—Spoiler alert, if you haven’t seen it, and you plan to, you may want to stop reading now and bookmark this post until after you see the movie —

In Maleficent the take away is that while true love does exist, it is not the same as romantic love between a man and a woman.  True love is much deeper than romantic love.  Romantic love is fleeting, but true love is forever,  And only true love can awaken the soul of the beloved and allow her to reach her full potential…And Prince Charming isn’t going to save the day!

Angel Gowns

My experiment with Minimalism is going well, or at least my challenge to get rid of at least 1 thing a day is going well.  So far this week, I have cleared out 4 cookbooks, a coffeepot, 3 pans, some makeup, an old portable XM radio for a car, and a few empty boxes (yes, I save boxes).  I’m donating what I can and just throwing out what is no longer useful.  Donating my old stuff makes me feel good.  First of all I don’t feel like I am being wasteful just throwing something away, and secondly I really do hope that someone else can use my old stuff.

Now what about that wedding dress in the attic?  Oh the guilt of getting rid of it (especially if it was your mother’s!)  But this caught my eye!  I am reprinting an article from NICU Helping Hands.  They accept donations of wedding dressing and they make “Angel Gowns” for infants who die in the hospital.  It sounds like a wonderful program.  They accept donations of gowns and they are always looking for volunteer seamstresses.

ANGEL GOWNS

NICU Helping Hands’ Angel Gown Program began in 2013 because we recognized the  overwhelming need to support families who lost a baby while in the hospital. Our Angel Gown Program provides comfort for families by providing a beautiful gown for final photos and for burial services. There is no greater gift that can be given to a grieving family than affirming the importance of the life of their child by offering this simple gift.

Sewn with love by volunteer seamstresses, donated wedding gowns are used to create beautiful gowns for families grieving the death of their child.

It is an honor for us to provide gowns free of charge to any family or hospital requesting our Angel Gowns. Other non-profits providing bereavement services to families can also request gowns. Requests from hospitals and non-profits should be sent to info@nicuhelpinghands.org.

All urgent or time sensitive requests from families or hospitals should be made by calling 817-584-1437.

Please note: This program is available nationally. Not only do we accept gowns from around the country, we provide any NICU with these gowns. We welcome volunteer seamstresses in locations outside of DFW.

 

Gown Donation Information

Donation via Shipping: If you would like to donate a wedding gown we request that it be cleaned prior to donation. Gowns can be shipped directly to us at 301 Commerce Street, Suite 3200, Fort Worth, Texas 76102.  We suggest that you remove the crinoline from the gown so that it is less bulky and expensive to ship. Folding the gown neatly into a small box is preferred and wrinkling is not a concern as our seamstresses will be pressing the gown during the sewing process.

Donation in Person: If you are local to the DFW area we request that you schedule an appointment day to donate your gown. Appointments can be made by calling 817-584-1437. You can also email us to request an appointment at info@nicuhelpinghands.org. We want to make your donation process as easy as possible and scheduling an appointment is the best way to ensure this.

Gowns We Accept: We accept all wedding gowns. Even if there are stains on the gown, we can use portions of the gown that are not stained. We accept pale colored bridesmaid gowns and other ball gowns as these often provide beading and additional silk and satin fabrics that are useful in making the Angel Gowns.

Unfortunately at this time we are unable to personally pick up gowns from donors’ homes. Thank you for your understanding.

If you would like a tax deductible receipt please include this request PINNED to your gown at the time of donation. We must have your name and mailing address on the written request as well. 

If you would like a keepsake piece returned to you for a daughter or granddaughter please include this request PINNED to your gown at the time of donation. We must have your name and mailing address on the written request as well. Keepsake pieces are unique items that can be given as a gift to your daughter, daughter-in-law or granddaughter at the time of their wedding. Please specify the number of keepsake pieces needed.

Volunteer Seamstress Information

If you would like to sew Angel Gowns for our program please contact us at info@nicuhelpinghands.org. We will mail gowns to out of town seamstresses or schedule a time for local seamstresses to pick up a gown. Seamstresses who prefer to collect gowns in their local areas for us are welcome to do so. All completed Angel Gowns should be mailed or delivered back to us so that we can prepare them for placement in a hospital or with a family in need. We take special care in packaging each gown individually in tissue and placing it in a nice white box, along with an additional keepsake for the family. In addition to the Angel Gown box, we provide hospitals and families with additional information so that they can contact us should they need other assistance for the family.

We respectfully ask that if you are sewing for NICU Helping Hands that you allow us to place the gowns at hospitals so all necessary steps are taken to make sure the appropriate gown sizes and numbers are provided to hospitals and families. This also ensures that families know how to contact us for additional support that might be needed. 

Your gift of love is priceless to grieving families and we thank you

from the bottom of our hearts for helping us comfort them through this program.

 

What is Your Verse?

There is a commercial for Apple’s I-Pad that has been airing during the Olympics.  It is a beautiful ad and it ends with:

“The powerful poem of life goes on, and you can contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”

It turns out that this quote is from a poem by Walt Whitman:

O Me! O Life!

Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring,

Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,
Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,
Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?
 
Answer.
That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.

 

That get’s one thinking…wow, what is my verse? (What is the meaning of life?)

Is it my work? — I don’t think so as my work isn’t the type of thing that will have any lasting effects on the world.  Is the love and care shown to family, friends, colleagues and even strangers?

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I think my contribution to this life (my verse) is my wonderful son and daughter who are now grown and out in the world working on their own verses.

 

I’d love to hear you thoughts on your “verse” in this play of life.

 

Finish This – Week 5

 If it’s Wednesday, it must be time for this week’s Finish This!finishthis-small

In case you don’t know, Finish This… is a weekly link-up hosted by Nicole (Three 31), Lisa (The Coastal Chicster), Jen (The Arizona Russums), and Becky (The Java Mama).  If you’re a blogger, join in! Check the link-up link below to add your post and read other bloggers’ Finish This… posts.

Link-up your Finish This… post and browse other posts HERE!

1. I will never outgrow …

Rock ‘n Roll  

 

 

2. I splurge on …

Oh that’s an easy one — Makeup and skin care products!  And now that I’m switching to non-toxic products, I get to buy everything all over again!  I also splurge on buying organic food whenever possible, although I don’t think of this as splurging, rather it is investing in my long term health!

3. My worst habit is…

Ha!  I have several, I don’t know if it is my worst or just the one I am most aware of right now, but I would have to say my worst habit is procrastination, followed by biting my nails.

4. My passport represents …

Exciting new places!  Unfortunately there haven’t been many lately, but I renewed my passport a few years ago for a trip to Italy with my daughter.

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We went to Rome, Venice and Milan and had a wonderful time, and took some nice photos too!

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 5. My most ridiculous fear is…

I wouldn’t say I have a fear of flying, more like a strong apprehension.  I know all the data, it’s safer than driving, blah, blah, blah; but I still get a bit nervous when I am getting on the plane and while we are taking off (and landing), other than that, I’m good.  And truthfully, I wouldn’t call this ridiculous at all!

 

6. My favorite thing to give is

I’m assuming we aren’t talking about giving advise, but rather presents…

I used to like to give books, but the world is changing and truthfully I don’t even buy books for myself anymore.  I just download them to my Kindle.  Let’s see I give different things for different occasions and/or people.

For Christmas gifts, I enjoy giving really different ornaments and decorations.  But if the person doesn’t have a house or apartment, I like to give an Amazon gift card.  Slightly more personal than cash, and they can use it for anything!  For birthdays, I like to find something useful but something they wouldn’t necessarily buy themselves and this really depends on the person.  Typically for “hostess gifts” I go with a nice bottle of wine!  So I guess it is pretty obvious that I don’t have one favorite thing to give (other than advise)

 

Now it’s your turn. Answer these prompts in a post on your own blog or, if you do not have a blog, simply add your responses in a comment. Join us next Wednesday, February 12 for another round of Finish This where we’ll answer the prompts below!

 

Prompts for WEEK #6 (Feb 12) are:
1. I celebrate Valentine’s Day by
2. My heart goes pitter-patter for
3. When looking for romance, my best advice is
4. My favorite love story (real or fiction) is
5. The best relationship/love/dating advice I ever received was