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Rose

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 non stop.

I was always mesmerised 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 revelled

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 a

tour 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 humour everyday.

"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 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 years 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.

If you read this, please send this peaceful word of

advice to your friends and family, they'll really

enjoy it! We send these words in loving memory of

ROSE.

Remember,

GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY,

GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL.


 

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