( A Legacy Reflection)


My father was a handsome man, loved by the ladies, "

My biological father, Lloyd Jewel Godwin. Born into poor circumstances in Arkansas in the 1920’s and with the loss of his mother at age 5, his was a life of struggle and seeking to overcome the challenges of life. His assets were listed as only his coal-black hair, Paul Newman blue eyes, when circumstances found him living on his own at 12 years old. His life was not one of “decency and order” but he conquered his demons before he died in his 70’s and finally found love after his the loss of my mother in divorce in the 1950’s. His genetic “gifts” to my sister and me, are both good and challenging, but the legacy of being a Godwin sits just fine with me, as it did my sister Trula Godwin.

I do not begin to take credit for this literary piece. It is an email in wide circulation but believe me when I tell you that more than forty years in the health care field validates for me that this is a truism that people should recognize and benefit from. For that reason, and the fact even my Uncle Chief  (Dr. Clodus Smith) sent it to me, I have included it in my legacy collection.

In the days I worked as a nurse’s aide, before becoming a nurse, I remember well a couple that I met. He was in a nursing home and was a large man with coarse features and wild grey hair. His wife was a beautiful white-haired lady with her hair meticulously drawn back in a bun at the nape of her neck. She visited him daily.

He had been a Superintendent of Schools who was a highly educated man and very scholarly. A stroke had blind-sided him and made him incapable of articulate conversation and his mind wandered in worlds known only to him. He was very gentle and easy to direct when giving his cares. He had a loving nature that had survived the stroke and everyone loved caring for him.

One day above his bed appeared a neatly hand-made poster with a picture of him as a distinguished educator. These words accompanied the picture. “Mr. Rath is a very dignified man who has earned the respect of his friends and his peers. Please do not baby talk to him as it demeans who he has been his whole life.” I never forgot that lesson and I tried to teach it to all others I encountered in the health field as a nurse and caregivers.

Please now read and learn from;

Crabby Old Man

When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a small hospital near Tampa, Florida, it was believed that he had nothing left of any value. Later, when the nurses were going through his meager 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 Missouri. The old man’s sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas edition of the News Magazine of the St. Louis Association for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem. And this little old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this “anonymous” poem winging across the Internet.

Crabby Old Man

What do you see nurses? ……What do you see?

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

A crabby 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’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 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.

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 guy 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 man. Look closer….see……..ME!!

Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you might

brush aside without looking at the young soul within…..we will all, one day, be there, too!

May we all look not at the crabby old man, but at his legacy.

Pictorial Salute for Father’s Day to my father, Lloyd J. Godwin and Step-father, Dr. Willard M. Smith.

 Dr. Willard M. Smith and Marguerite Smith.

willard and mom in mink and christmaswillard joyce pianovets family step smithWillard at Grubbs Home LibraryDad in helmetWillard in glen plaid suitwillard and mom at Professor Emeritus Palmer College


My dad LLoyd Godwin with one of his game cocks.

Yes, my daddy Lloyd was “one of those”. A “chicken fighter” who raised champions and was presented a plaque after 60 years by the Chicken fighting organization in Oklahoma. His claim to fame, besides being a Boxer by the name of “Red Fight ’em Godwin” was in his sporting pursuits. (And yes, they included wolf-hunting, and again, he raised “the best” hunting hounds in Oklahoma.”

Lunch pail my dad carried to work in the 1940

My Daddy Lloyd’s metal lunch pail he carried for most of his career as a union welder. Inside his “memorial area” in my home, is a picture of him and my mother when they were in the early years of their marriage.






Marguerite and LLoydLloyd birthday collage


About joycegodwingrubbs2

Some call me retired: I am RE-FIRED. I have written 15 books, plus 3 written as a "ghost writer". I no longer offer the novels as printed books, having them only available as Kindle Ebooks since my retirement as a novelist. Twelve books are on Amazon.com Kindle eBooks: collectively they are known as The Greyhound Lady Walking suspense series.They are real cases fictionalized into suspense stories to protect identities..( no victim/survivor names were compromised, and workers and locations were protected.) I also co-authored a non-fiction book: Footsteps Out of Darkness: The Annabelle Kindig Story . It is available on Amazon under the name of Annabelle Kindig. I have traveled, written from the heart, and found an audience that appreciates my "platform". The catalyst to writing the novels was the realization that if I died, I would take all my amazing experiences in these real cases with me; and believe me few have lived 5 lives in one. It would "silence the voices" of the victim/survivors whose triumphs are written into these novels. The suspense series was written in part with the collaboration of police woman and sex crime expert Trula Ann Godwin. In addition to the novels, I have written as a ghost writer for a World War II veteran who fought in the South Pacific aboard the USS Maryland in all the major battles. I have also written a non-fiction book recording oral history stories of my family members beginning with the 1930's to present. There are sixty-six "legacy" stories with pictures. It was recently published as a private printing for family and close associates only. I am a published photo journalist having won the 2009 Editor's Choice Award for internet freelance news articles and pictures of the Cedar Rapid's Iowa flood victim accounts and their personal struggles.. My husband and I are in our 52nd year together (only one blip on the marital radar together), and we have adopted three greyhounds; Dex, Big Buddy and Baby Doll. These were the inspirations in the Greyhound Lady Walking suspense series We have eleven grandchildren, 7 grandsons and 4 granddaughters. My three children live in Iowa, Wisconsin and Ohio.
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