Aging. Does being called ‘old’ bother you?

I might say to the young girl in the photo on the left, “You are a pretty little girl.” And she might very well snap back,. “I not little. I big!” When we are young, we want to be older. But it seems that many when they are older want to be young.

When you comment to a child or teenager that they are too young to do anything. They will quickly remind you, “I am not that young! I can handle it.” They have an intense desire to be older, so that they can drive, buy beer or whatever?!

But apparently, when one becomes older, it is an insult to state that they are older or ‘heaven forbid’, to state that they are ‘old’. To some this is apparently a grave insult. I ask why?

I nabbed a poem from a friend on FB because it touched me so….

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 that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital.One nurse took her copy to Melbourne. The old man’s sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas editions of magazines around the country and is appearing in magazines for ‘mental
health’. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem.

So an old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this ‘anonymous’ poem winging across the Internet.

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 . . . 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 that you might brush aside without looking at the young soul within. We will all, if we  continue living, one day, be there, too. The best and most beautiful things in this world can’t be seen or touched. They must be felt by the heart.

All ages have their place, their blessings, their importance. 
Birth is not more important than death. Youth is not more important than old age. When you are young, you can’t imagine that you will ever be old, but if fortunate, you will be someday. And being older, aging and then onto ‘old age’, you can well remember being young and still may feel internally like the child that you once were.

What does being old mean to you?  What does old-mean? What is it to be old? Why has the word ‘old’ become vilification?AJulybed2c5Hey baby! I’m not getting older. I’m getting better!

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