Pat's Chat (December 23)

I was going to write and have you go online and watch a sermon given by our new pastor, Daniel Venegas.  I think he called it “Holy Smoke!”  I wanted you to hear it.  I had to watch it online because the arrival of my Florida granddaughter and her family interrupted the sermon (which was muted from my side). He is so young and newly graduated, but really digs deep and gives wonderful, heartfelt sermons.  If you are curious, go to this site and listen for yourself. I don’t think you will be sorry. Let me know what you think of it or whether you have any questions. https//

But I read the poem below, so that is way more than enough for the Chat column. I hope you enjoy both the poem and the sermon online.

The Glenville Democrat had this note at the end of the column:

“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, the best and most beautiful things of this world can’t be seen or touched. They must be felt by the heart.....

“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. 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 appearing in mags for Mental Health. A slide show presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent poem. And this old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this anonymous poem winging across the internet. . .


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?

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 a 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 love 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 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. 

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!!



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