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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 kids.."    "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.

When you finish reading this, please send this peaceful word of advice to your friends and family, they'll really enjoy it!  These words have been passed along in loving memory of ROSE.

We make a Living by what we get, We make a Life by what we give.  God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.  If God brings you to it--He will bring you through it.  Lord I love You and I need You, come into my heart, Today.  For without You I can do nothing.

mtvlm mtvlm 41-45, M 99 Responses Apr 19, 2009

Your Response



i like this story who wrote this story i like him and i will say to everyone

Im a use certain parts of this and make a poster for my room love it

I love this story....

Dumb fake cheesy crap. In real life, people dont give a crap about an old lady or anyone for that matter.

Hey, imabittervagina . . . Oh, sorry, Freudian slip on my part. Did I say that out loud?

Wonderful wisdom! I really liked this story! Thank you for posting it.

I'll come back and read it.

That is an awesome message and an even greater story

Thank you!

Thank you for sharing!

I leaned a lot

Great story

Wonderful story,

Lovely story - one to show all elderly parents who lose their way

This is so inspiring !! Thanks for sharing... Makes me reevaluate alot...

I love this story! Such a great story to share. Thank you for passing it on. I first read it in one of those "Chicken Soup For The Soul" books, and it brings a smile to my face every time I reread it! Thank you for the smile

Thank you so very much for sharing this. I will now think on these words of wisdom and apply them in my life. For many years, I could not do anything about my dreams. Now, we have moved and started over in our lives, and I am again reaching out to dream and dare to think of new possibilities. So, thank you for sharing the inspiration!

this is inspiring.i love it. chesterlove selma uukule @namibia

A sweet, powerful and beautiful story!! Goes to show no one is too old to learn new things; and those who are older and wiser do not only have stories to tell, but life lessons to pass on to help motivate and inspire young minds to push forth with achieving their dreams and life goals. Bravo!

Love it!

That is so sweet. I love that story.

Wow It's a motivation to keep moving on no matter how rough the road may seem to be. Thank you for sharing such a brilliant story. Thank you...It really gave me hope!

B-e-a-u-t-full, indeed!!!:) May we all bloom to reflect such wisdom & lightness unto our youth! Thanks for the share...Good Journey! (And Blessed be, Miss Rose.):)

I've read this before, and it's a touching one. I have shared Roses wisdom with others. RIP Rose!

I've read this before, and it's a touching one. I have shared Roses wisdom with others. RIP Rose!

I've read this before, and it's a touching one. I have shared Roses wisdom with others. RIP Rose!

I am sitting here thinking I love this story so much I should comment it but can't find any words other than she is the most amassing person.

Feeling the same way!

This is beautiful....

a truely beautiful story. thank you for sharing.

A truly beautiful story about a wonderful lady. I know and listen to the song referenced often. :)