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Does this seem "creepy" to you?

elderly woman elderly woman

I had a lady commission a cast of her mother's hand, and when it was finished her first reaction was to grimace and say "Oh wow, is that ever creepy!"

I was really startled! Sure, the hand, first seen in white and cast in a relaxed pose, was curled and twisted with age, had arthritis bumps in the fingers, and was extremely wrinkled. But wasn't it also a beautiful testament to the life this elderly lady had lead? The countless hours spent cooking, cleaning, caring? The years spent quietly knitting for her children, grandchildren, and even great grandchildren? Surely those worn and knotted fingers were the result of extremely hard work over many, many years. In fact, the casting was done when the lady was 94 years old!

I never forgot about this woman's reaction, even though I've done many, many commissions since we first met. I know the elderly lady is still alive, but has become extremely frail, and it's clear that she is failing. Does her daughter realize what a treasure was made for her that day? That soon the only thing she may have left of the wonderful woman who nurtured her all her life is the beautiful reminder of so many years spent loving generations of their family? I'm sure she will come to that conclusion one day in the too-near future.

Recently I was sent the poem below, and it cried out to be included on this website.

Crabby Old Woman

What do you see, nurses
What do you see?
What are you thinking
When you're looking at me?
A crabby old woman
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 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 girl of sixteen
With wings on her feet.
Dreaming that soon now
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 a secure happy home.
A woman 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 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 that I've 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 vigor 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, people,
Open and see.
Not a crabby old woman;
Look closer....see, ME!

As emotionally taxing as it may be for me personally, I believe that by doing geriatric commissions, I'm providing a service that results in something you and your family will treasure. For this reason, I am willing to visit hospitals, nursing homes, and even funeral parlors to cast your loved ones. To discuss details, pricing info, and for more information, please contact me. Obviously the ideal time to do castings of your elderly loved ones is while they are still mobile to some degree, so consider having your casting session as soon as possible.

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