Thursday, December 04, 2003






The Story of Rose

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The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn't already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being

She said, Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I'm eighty-seven years
?old Can I give you a hug

I laughed and enthusiastically responded, "Of course you may!" and she gave me a giant squeeze. "Why
are you in college at such a young, innocent age?" I asked

She jokingly replied, I'm here to meet a rich husband, get married have a couple of children, and then retire and travel

No seriously, I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age

I always dreamed of having a college education and now
I'm getting one! , she told me

After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake. We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this "time machine" as she shared her wisdom and experience with me. Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up

At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I'll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor. Frustrated and a little embarrassed, she leaned into the microphone and simply said, I'm sorry I'm so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I'll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know

:As we laughed she cleared her throat and began

We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing. There are only four secrets to staying young, being
happy and achieving success

You have to laugh and find humor every day

You've got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die
We have so many people walking around who are dead and don't
!even know it

There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up. If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don't do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty seven
years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight. Anybody can grow older. That doesn't take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding the opportunity in
change

Have no regrets. The elderly usually don't have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear
death are those with regrets

She concluded her speech by courageously singing "The Rose." She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives

At the year's end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago. One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep. Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it's never too late to be all you can possibly be

We send these words in loving memory of ROSE

:Remember

GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY, GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL





~ Author unknown ~


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