Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I know a man who soon will be the grand old age of ninety-three

Happy times in long-term care!
A friend of mine, currently caring for an ailing father-in-law wrote this poem. I think it sums up the point of view of a care recipient very well. Posted with permission.

I know a man who soon will be
the grand old age of ninety-three.
His face and hands are spotted brown.
Wrinkled and thin, his chin turned down.

He doesn’t want to be spoon fed
“I don’t like soft food.” he said.
But his eyes are weak, his teeth are gone
And sometimes he doesn’t know anyone.

He stares out the window. What does he see?
He points and he laughs and says to me,
“Look at the tall ships sailing by
and all those airplanes in the sky!”
I turn to look but they are gone
“You missed them, but oh, there goes another one!”

He talks of friends he used to know
And of places he visited long ago.
Those friends he knew have long since died
I’m sure he knows this somewhere deep inside.
He is alone, his wife of sixty-five years gone.
To be with her again, his heart must long.

So in his mind he is young and fit.
The fire in his heart and body still lit.
It is someone else he sees so frail
Whose legs don’t work and whose stomach ails.
Whose weak heart is pained and slowing down
And who can’t keep on his hospital gown.

Yet he knows the someday day soon he’ll be
Sitting with his wife having afternoon tea.
They’ll both be happy and young again,
Laughing and walking and holding hands.

 © Janet Fraser

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