What do you see?

Ninety-four-year-old Christina Haines has a new lease on the rest of her life! She is comfortable at home with family now.

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Ninety-four-year-old Christina Haines has a new lease on the rest of her life! She is comfortable at home with family now.


Hey Baby Boomers! Is this us? Read on …

What do you see, nurse?

When an old lady died in the geriatric ward in a small hospital in Dundee, Scotland it was thought that she had left nothing of any value. When the nurses went through her meagre possessions they found this poem.

Its quality and content so impressed the staff that it was copied and distributed throughout the hospital…. now the world has access to these words.


What do you see, nurses?

What are you thinking when you’re looking at me?

A crabby old women, not very wise.

Uncertain of habit, with faraway 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, resisting or not, lets you do as you will

with bathing or 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

Look at Me!

I’ll tell you who I am as I sit here so still

As I use at your bidding, as I eat at your will.

I’m a small child often 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 a lover she’ll meet.

A bride 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 secure happy home.

A women of thirty my young now grow fast.

Bound to each other with ties that should last.

At forty my young ones have grown and are gone.

But my man’s 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 rearing young of their own.

And I think of the years and the love I have known.

I’m now an old woman and nature is cruel;

“tis jest to make old age look like a fool.

The body, it crumbles, grace and vigour 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 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. Nurses, open and see,

Not a crabby old woman, look closer… see Me!

Bonita Folvik, Greenwood


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