I came for a weekend and stayed

And the children left in a motorcade

Hoping my pension fund will last all the way……all the way

And through the open window I gaze

Like I did in my younger days

Forcing the years away

I recline on a rickety chair

Believing no one out there to care

No one listens no more

Not since some time back in 2004

But strangely I feel at ease

With my life and the memory it leaves

 Life in a nursing home

 I feel my heart is shutting down…..

 My tears are turning to rain

As my life rolls down the drain

And the nurse takes me back to my room ….. for some sedation

I never get to wave goodbye

Though you can see it written in my eyes

As their car disappears out of sight, I say…..bye bye

 Life in a nursing home……….



  1. Thought-provoking post Sean.

    For a couple of years in undergrad, I volunteered at a local nursing home and made wonderful friends. I tried to volunteer again (in my current hometown) with our first kiddo, but the rules had changed and staff were not interested in allowing a “stranger” to talk to residents (or invest time so that the stranger is not a stranger anymore).

    Perhaps, it is about time to try again.

    • Slamdunk,
      I agree with you totally….the images we have of ageing need to shift if we are to have a second half of life filled with meaning.

      The transformation from ‘old person’ to elder requires us to extract lessons from the past so we can lead the life we want.

      ps: keep your head above the snow

  2. such a moving poem.

    I did a month of nursing internship in a nursing home and was heartbroken for the first week. So many residents at their doors with their bags packed, convinced their son or daughter was coming to pick them up any minute. Day after day.

    • Hi Kitty,
      Thanks so much for your generous comment…..I was just envisioning how life might be………we all end up facing our mortality and with about 20 years left I don’t want to be caught up in the denial of death that is present in our culture. I’m going to die happy and live a rich and full life until that happens. I hope all my friends enjoy the same fate.

    • Pamela,
      Thanks… I’m going to try and keep it simple……but I want my passage to aging to be a premeditated outcome, rather than a lucky break

  3. Very good Sean. Yea, in this culture once you’re no longer a “consumer” you don’t count for much any more. Sad statement of what we really think about family.

    And it isn’t so for every culture here. We ought to learn from those who do care.

    I like your comment too, about a premeditated outcome, yea, better than lost luck.

    PS. Go see Vicki. Her recent silence explained.

    • Hi Ronelle , yes they are my words…..I was just contemplating the next two decades of life for which I have had little preparation

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