Tribute to my mother
Bertha Pearl (Hubbard) Hampton
Born January 10, 1906
Died May 5, 2005, age 99

This poem can be useful what a relative is being cared for by others to help them see the real person. My mother was in assisted care for 4 years and in a nursing home for 1 year. This was helpful in getting her care givers to see her in a different way anddid make a difference in how they cared for her. For the original unedited Old Lady's Poem, see the link at the bottom of the page.

An Old Lady's Poem

   What do you see, people, 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,
   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 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.

As a bride, my heart gives a leap,
Remembering the vows that I       promised to keep.
At twenty-seven 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.

Dean, Don, Jerry    At fifty, my young sons have grown and are gone,

   But my man's beside me to see I don't mourn.

   At fifty-four once more, babies play round my knee,

   Again we know children, my loved one and me.

   For my young are all rearing young of their own,

   And I think of the years and the love that I've known.

Dark days are upon me, my husband is dead;
I look at the future, I shudder with dread.

 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,
 But love is still held in my old heart.
 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

. . . . . and please love me just as I am!!

Bertha was born in Paragould Arkansas on January 10, 1906 to Charles and Bessie Hubbard. Bertha weighed only 1 1/2 pounds when born at the farm and was kept in a shoe box in the drawer of her parents only dressor. She was the oldest of 5 children, 3 girls and 2 boys. Her brother Elmer died when Bertha was 11 and Harold died about 10 years ago and her sisters Mable died last year at age 96 and her sister Sylvia, 97 died in 2007.

Bertha's parents were very poor farmers. Her mother was taught how to read and write by her children and the father. Bertha married Boyd Hampton and they had three boys, Jerry, Don, and Dean.

This poem was sent to me by a highshcool classmate in Junction City, Kansas. This poem has been edited to apply to Bertha.

This is presented as a tribute to Bertha and for her caregivers at Good Sam Nursing home in Junction City. The people at Good Sam were very kind to here while she lived there.

The children, grand children and great-grandchildren of Bertha and Boyd Hampton with spouses

Christmas Day 2004

Boyd and Bertha Hampton Family, around 1980
Dean, Jerry, Bertha, Boyd, and Don

For the original Old Lady's Poem, go HERE

For the original Crabby Old Man poem, go HERE