Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Tribute To My Mother

This is a recent picture of my Mother who is in her 93rd year. She has some health issues, but, overall she is, for her age, okay and eats well, with a good appetite. She's able to get around with help and lives with my youngest brother who has help from "Access To Care" several times a week. I visit her usually on weekends. I will be visiting her next on the last weekend of July. We have our 'moments' of dissension and I must admit that I get impatient with her sometimes even when I know I shouldn't.
This evening I was on a knitting site and happened on this poem. It brought tears to my eyes and a poke to my conscience. I will be 70 a few weeks after she turns 93. I'm not too far from being a Crabbit Old Woman.


Crabbit Old Woman

What do you see, what do you see?
Are you thinking, when you look at me-
A crabbit 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 10 with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters, who loved one another-
A young girl of 16 with wings on her feet,
Dreaming that soon now, a lover she’ll meet,
A bride soon at 20- my heart gives a leap,
Remembering the vows that I promised to keep.
At 25 now I have young of my own
Who need me to build a secure happy home;
A woman of 30, my young now grow fast,
Bound to each other with ties that should last;
At 40, my young ones have grown and are gone,
But my man’s beside me to see I don’t mourn;
At 50 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 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 joy, 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, nurse, open and see,
Not a crabbit old woman; look closer - see Me.
* *this poem is attributed to Phyllis McCormack**
If you wish to read a little more about this poem here is the link

Also check out the References at the end of the information. They make good reading.
Tell someone today that you love them and really mean it. Put an action to those words and do something for them that will show how much you care. A gift of your time is the most precious thing you can give. It says that the recipient is worthwhile to you. A kind word also goes a long way.
I'm typing this very late at night because after reading the poem I couldn't wait until the morning to post it. Now I can go to sleep and be at peace.


Blessings each day said...

Oh Marlene, how true this is! I saw a similar poem about an old man in a nursing home (or maybe they copied this one).
Not trying to just make excuses, but I think we don't want to see older people failing to do routine things because we are thinking, at least subconsciously, that we could be that way one day.
Sometimes I was impatient with my own mother because I didn't want to see anything go wrong with her or face the fact that I would lose her if things kept failing.
But the answer for every situation is to always be very loving.
Your mother looks good and your visits are sweet.

blessings and hugs,


Eileen said...

That is a very poignant poem. I had received it in an email a few years ago when I had placed my Mom in a nursing home, (she had Alzheimer's Disease, she lost her capacity to verbalize at the end), and I just wept and wept.

I did get a Gift from Heaven once though, I had posted about it when I first started my blog. I was sitting with my Mom in the nursing home (she was incoherent at the time), she had just received Holy Communion (very rare for her as she didn't want it anymore), and she lifted her head, looked at me and said very clearly, "God's Been very Good to me." I wept and wept then too.

Cherish your Mom.
But don't beat yourself up too much for the times when it's hard to show that you do cherish her.

As for the rest of us, if you have your mental faculties I guess you can resolve to be happy wherever you are, but if you're like my Mom was the last years of her life, there's not much hope of choosing to be happy.

All the best,

Anonymous said...

You are a sweet daughter...A Tribute to My Mother is a moving one. Thank you for sharing it with us, Marlene.
Smiles from Jackie

Wanda said...

Such a touching post Marlene...I lost my mother 2 years ago this past June...My mother had always been a strong and capable was hard to see her failing health the last year of her life...but I made sure to create lasting memories with her during that period...they give me comfort now...Your mother is lovely!

Diana said...

What a lovely, lovely poem Marlene! I am in the fifty's category and it just brought tears to my eyes!
I too get impatient with my mother at times but I do try and put myself in her place. And pray that my children are more patient with me! The two grown ones are but the 14 year old is forever reminding me that I am just like my mother!!