??Journey or destination??

Exploring life experiences at home and beyond – Destination Happiness


Facebook is renowned for circulating urban myths and legends. Always one to not want to be fooled, but don’t want to miss the truth if it’s out there, I often make reference to www.hoaxslayer.com

This poem was on my newsfeed today. Something about the photo caught my eye and so I read on. Sure the scenario turns out to be fake, but it got me thinking…something I have lots of time to do on a wet , cold first day of holidays.


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 t…he nurses were going through his meagre 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 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.



Cranky Old Man…..

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?

Who dribbles his 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 sock 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 boy of Sixteen . . . .. with wings on his feet

Dreaming that soon now . . .. . . a lover 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 are 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 vigour, 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.

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 cranky old man .

Look closer . . . . see .. .. . .. …. . ME!!

After reading this I began to contemplate my thoughts on what the author was trying to express. Maybe they were just talking about the aged but my opinion is the ideals within the poem can go much further. How easy is it for us to view others from our own shoes rather than considering those they are walking in.

We see young children around us. How often have you heard people complain they are too loud, moving too fast, breaking something.  “That would never have happened in my day”, “I’m too busy I have (insert whatever it is adults / older siblings do) I can’t play with you”, “I haven’t got time to coach a junior team”. Young children are just opening their eyes to the world. They have so much to offer yet can be overlooked because too often too many see experience as only coming with age. I work with children and I could write a book based on the classic wisdoms that come from their mouths.

Not a time consuming child .

Look closer . . . . see .. .. . .. …. . ME (one full of enthusiasm, zealous, not jaded, maybe loud and fast but there is so much to try)!!

Picture today’s youth. “Too outspoken”, “No manners”, “Spend too much time on electronic gadgets”, “Don’t socialise correctly”, “Have life too easy ”,“ Too full of self-worth”. They have grown up in an era where we have moved beyond communication being limited by distance. They live in a world where ‘friends’ may have wider concept than it did before. Their mode of communication may be different than it was but expression of feelings, ideas, beliefs and desires are still important. Having two grown up children I have witnessed their passions for such things as universal well-being of all, fights for justice, desires to conform, desires to be different. They may want different justices etc but they still have the same desire to be heard as did others before them. Does it really matter if they call friends parents by their first name not “Mrs/ Mr”. Should their wisdoms be dismissed and all we see are youth dressing different and walking around with an electronic device attached with love to their hand? Can we not learn to LOL , txt and share emoticons as we converse opening ourselves to a wider friendship circle. Dare I admit to having a friend I met via an internet game on an ipad app??  LOL   🙂

Not an obnoxious  youth .

Look closer . . . . see .. .. . .. …. . ME (The passionate, caring one eager to try new things and excited that the world boundaries are gone)

Then there’s that time that stretches out. I’m going to call it mature years though that may only be in namesake lol) . It takes us along the journey of life from when we leave the technical youth years until we reach the old person referred to in the poem, the one who has seen all seasons.  We demand parking spots in shopping centres be it for our pram or our age. “Don’t visit the aged parents enough”, “Wear clothes that aren’t appropriate” (the audacity of a grandma in shorts let alone swimmers!) “Won’t mind the grandkids so I HAVE to send them to childcare – so selfish”, “Don’t understand us youth”.” Puts the children in day care so they can work – so selfish” “Work to have expensive holidays and don’t save for old age”.  Just as others before us have done we want the best for our families, we are just as loving and caring. The world is different. We might have different ideals such as the larger home, more cars, overseas trips but it’s still with the best in mind. Who decides what’s best…does difference have to be graded?

Not an greedy, uncaring mature person.

Look closer . . . . see .. .. . .. …. . ME ( The one who realises with careful planning you possibly can have it all)

And so to bring my rambles together, I think we need to remember we all bring a bucket full of experiences to the table. They are all valuable to us and can be of use to all if shared . When you observe the actions of another, look first through their bucket. Value them in whole, sneak a few things from them and your bucket will soon be brimming with exciting new dreams and a picture of the world coloured in a way you have never seen before.


Birthday – Fest

Birthdays used to be one day of the year. On this day you received presents, chose the dinner and had a birthday cake. Growing up we had a birthday party with some friends and this was usually the weekend after my birthday . My mum’ s superstition was a birthday should never be celebrated before the date. I never understood that. My thought was if you didn’t make the birthday at least you had had a good celebration.
Now my family birthdays have turned into real birthday ‘fests’ as the kids have grown up and work the odd hours that happens in our 24 / 7 lives. And, I’m not complaining, I don’t think you can ever have too much celebrating!

This year mine started a few days early with a family dinner at a local Mexican restaurant. Being ‘Before Birthday’ this day doesn’t gifts but I does have cake!! ( thanks to my thoughtful kids who know sponge cake and fresh cream is always a winner to me) . The food was delicious, the company great but I think the clown placemat I had was perchance a message that birthdays shouldn’t be celebrated early 🙂 bear in mind I am frightened by clowns.


Then Friday ( or Day 2 of Kerry-Anne’s birthdayfest as I prefer to think of it as ) arrived and my workplace celebrates birthdays with a birthday cake club. My cake was a sponge cake with lashings of fresh cream and strawberries. A taste sensation and a great way to end a week filled with long hours completing school reports ( phew !!! all handed in)

Saturday arrived … Official Kerry-Anne’s birthdayfest day!! Today I received gifts then I had the race to pack bags to spend the night in Sydney. I love staying in hotels and picked a great 5 star one from Wotif. As always I like to fill in the ‘Any special notes ‘ section with a small sentence advising the day is a special occasion, eg birthday , wedding anniversary. I think I might now be technically around 100 years and have been married a similar number of years 🙂 I have found about a 50% success rate in an upgrade or free bottle of wine or chocolates from this. I love the upgrade most though. I figure they obviously have the vacant room if they upgrade and its a fantastic advertisement for them too, which I always add to my trip advisor review . I learnt something on Saturday. For the first time the hotel asked for photo I’d of all t he guests staying. As I handed over my drivers license I realised anniversary is probably the best ‘special note’ now cause the date isn’t on my photo I D hahaha.

We stayed at Amora Jamison in Sydney. From the moment we drove in for the valet parking, to the smiling doormen and the helpful reception I was feeling special. Then as we checked in, the reception man asked which of us was celebrating our birthday to which I responded with glee ( I’m like a little kid with birthdays) “Me”. He told us then we had been upgraded to the suite . Our room was amazing and of course I quickly checked it out on Wotif to see the cost. it was $150 extra cost !!! It had a lounge room large bedroom with an even bigger tv than the lounge room one. The bathroom had a large bath, separate shower and so many mirrors near power points and a mirror over the vanity that could move so I could see the back of my hair as I straightened it…I was in a dreamland . I had lots of further plans for the ‘fest’ but part of me just wanted to dress in the bathrobe and slippers and absorb the suite as if by doing so the magic may last forever.

Inside the suite….






But we did have plan to meet my sister and niece also staying in the hotel in a nice room ( not suite. ) and so I dragged myself from this luxury and we headed to Circular Quay for dinner and a little peruse of Vivid. Went last year and found it amazing but this year it was only to be an entree to the main ‘meal’ . We had tickets to see ‘Before Midnight’ third movie in a trilogy…but that can be another blog post. Vivid was colourful but much more crowded than last year. It such a creative colourful display. Many people take young children and babies in prams and strollers. It must be super scary for them with he crowd literally in their faces.


Walking against the crowd up we headed to the majestic State Theatre. Before the movie we had hot drinks in the cafe next door. Enjoyed the movie very much…more so than Brian but to be fair he hadn’t seen the two previous movies . My evening was made further special as my sister and niece bought me a box of Koko Black chocolates to nibble on in the movie…so nibble I did!

As with all my adventures there is always something a little out of the ordinary. So far everything had been a smooth event…odd for us cause we usually have one thing funny to laugh about at the end of the event. But then it happened. I was desperate to not have to walk n the cold the 1 km back to our hotel. I was getting a bad cold and wanted to be warm. I was madly trying to hail a taxi, even waving at those with their lights off ( I figured they might be just about to drop off someone just where I was standing- that had happened earlier in the day) . So, I waved at a taxi ( light off) but it stops right long side me. Its windows were dark tinted , I called to my party and opened the front door and get ready to glide into the warmth. But no… The driver tells me he already has someone in the taxi and sure enough there in the back seat was a passenger. I asked “Why did you stop then?”, totally perplexed. His reply, ” The lights” and then he took off as fast as he had stopped. I began to think maybe he thought my skirt was a little too paisley for the night, was Brian’s jacket offensive?? There were a few white puppy hairs on it after all….then my niece told me the problem…the reason why he stopped then sped off…. I was standing at a pedestrian light crossing. The driver had stopped for a red light …hahaha… And not a drop of alcohol had passed my lips so my only excuse was the tint was too dark. Poor passenger must have been a little concerned 🙂

We returned to the hotel on foot power and I watched the city as it rushed and raced outside the warmth of our room. I watched from afar, an extra looking over others as they walked the pathways, crossed the park and wondered where they were headed, why were they were there…and , ever the mother, were they safe. We drew the blinds about 1 am leaving the strangers to run ant like on their way, mindful of the soft howl of an ambulance, I wanted to believe they we’re rushing a mother to hospital to birth a baby to bring a new life into the world on this day the ‘Fest of Kerry-Anne’ but I couldn’t totally block out that that howl meant possible sadness amongst those walking dots below or those I couldn’t even see.



Luckily I am in that ‘MOST’ size. 🙂


Night time across the city .