Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mindful Living

My blog needs a restart today.The following is a piece I found at Mind Deep a blog on mindful living. It is meant to be shared. I pass it along to you.

(Kate the writer of this poem, was unable to speak but occasionally seen to write. After her death, her hospital locker was emptied and this poem was found.)

What do you see nurses what do you see?
Are you thinking when you are looking at me... A crabby old women 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 let's you do as you will, with bathing or feeding a 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 use at your bidding and 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 promise to keep.

At twenty five now I have young of my own, who need me to build a secure happy home. A young women of thirty my young now grow fast bound to each other with ties that should last. At forty my young ones now grown, will soon be gone but my man stands 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 busy rearing young of their own and I think of the years and the love I have known.

I'm an old women now and nature is cruel, 'I' is her jest to make old age look like a fool. The body it crumbles, grace and vigour depart. There now is a stone where once I had a heart. But inside this old carcase a young girl still dwells and now and again my battered heart swells. 

I remember the joys, I remember the pain and I'm moving 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 nurses open and see, not a crabbit old women, look closer- see ME.



  1. She's not really asking the nurses to open their eyes, to me, it seems like she is trying to make sense of who she is... She is battling with what was and what is but hasn't found an answer... She recognizes that now her heart is stone, her body crumbled, without grace or vigor and yet she asking the nurses to see what she was - her happy home and babies running around her feet. It's a depressing thought: to dearly want someone to see something that WAS but isn't now...
    This is why I take so many pictures, so when the nurses are taking care of my broken, mute self they'll see the photos and know who I was... I'll make sure I'll have a iPad scrolling through pictures next to my bed...

  2. I truly hate this poem. It's message is that only in youth is there "heart swelling" and in old age "nature is cruel and there is now a "heart of stone".
    I want to say wha-what? fool wrote this?

    Nursing homes suck, living too long via medicine/feeding tubes suck but gosh, a "heart of stone". This writer needs some hope.

  3. A & L, Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I had a different take on it. I like your views as well.
    I see that the author recognizes who she is. She is more than an old lady patient who needs to be fed and bathed. She has endured much love and disappointment in life. IOW she has lived a full life. She says to me that her body does not reflect all of that remarkable living to the unseeing observer. The writer reflects a wisdom of knowing herself well and wishing that her caregivers saw it too.