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

ps what r all those A things for? the Â's


thanx so much for that story! its strange how an elderly lady as her would go back to college at 87. it almost seems too good to be true! ❤️ i believe rose is right in all the things she said. she mustve been a very sweet woman. i can imagine! well, too bad she passed away "so soon". in her sleep. sad……… but she found what she was looking for. she made her dream come true ❤️ lived the life she wanted

Awesome story!! Thank you:-)

Absolutely beautiful. Only one can wish to be touched by someone as inspirational as her


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.

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

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. :)

wonderful story! Every college campus could use a woman like that.

Why not? Just make sure you have a bigger rock that their paper can't cover it, keep the scissors as a back up.

Your welcome...

thanks for this inspiring story, i'm touch!!! she's really great person...<br />
thank you for sharing :=)

Damn, that was a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing. It gives me a bit of courage for the future.

I am just reading this and i learn alot from it.... I love ROSE and also the writer of this story.. May GOD bless you both ! Amen

I am just reading this and i learn alot from it.... I love ROSE and also the writer of this story.. May GOD bless you both ! Amen

This is so inspiring i love it!

Wow. How beautiful.

This really touched me. thanks for sharing such a heart warming experience.

What a wonderful story....we can not tell what will be our future from our past, as long as the sun still rises from the east and sets from the west we got to be strong and have that positive attitude about living our lives the way we want it.

Not only did this post make me stop & smile for Rose, it made me stop altogether. I read it through one more time. I like Rose. I'm glad you liked and appreciated her too. I hope she's smiling at all of us hearing her story & feeling her energy. Thank You "both".

Wow..what a wonderful story...we all need a bit of the spirit of "Rose."<br />
We can feel the truth of her message and I would have loved to have sat down and shared a laugh with her...Guess we all need to find our own way but Rose sure had a powerful roadmap!

Beautiful story. I'm in college now and feel like though I've done a lot so far, there's still so much more to do in my lifetime. This story has inspired me to make a point of achieving all of my goals and to live a good life without passing up opportunities that present themselves. Thanks for sharing

her words are so true...thank you for sharing.

Sounds wonderful Dreammmer....

Your appreciated.........:)

beautiful story. absolutely wonderful.

it was a really nice story bout rose

Awesome, I absolutely love this story and the message is empowering.

That truly is a remarkable story, thank you for sharing it. I hope the spirit of who she was became your inspiration from then on.

MTVLM,<br />
<br />
Nice story and Rose must be an inspiration to many who knew her. Old people in general has so much wisdom, we should talk to them more to learn.<br />
I would love to add your story about Rose to a blog called www.wisestories.com where we have this type of inspirational stories. Or you could do it yourself too. It would be a nice read to everone.

I had joy in my heart in the beginning of this story and in the middle towards the end I Cried. What a wonderful Woman she probably was:)

thank u so much for sharing :) i def. feel touched...i too also had a special wise friend like that..may she rest in peace.

That is such a beautiful story.

God Bless That Wonderful Womans Soul

thats the best story..rose words will always stay..shes angel but she knew so much..

She's a perfect example of having a "beautiful mind". :) I wish I could meet a person which is as intelligent and satisfied about her own life as Rose. I'm certainly sure you won't ever forget about her.

She is such a wonderful woman..... Great spirit....

Absolutely recommended! I copy-pasted her words, they are so inspirational. She was a great woman, persuading her dreams like that. RIP Rose, thank you for the advice.

Your welcome........

Marking this a favorite. Thank you for posting it!

Glad that you read it T......

MT....just what I needed my friend...just what I needed...

Yes she was an amazing woman..... <br />
<br />
Thanks all for the comments.....

Really touching, really ironic she died after she achieved her dream. She did her last thing on earth, like she wanted :) and she must have done everything she could here, i believe once you've done all your goals and such like, your time is over, but you will always leave a footprint on another person, whether it be good or bad :) Wish i could of met Rose, she's sounds an amazing women.

Wonderful story. Truely inspirational. That's what we all need from time to time - to either meet people like Rose or read/hear stories about them through other people. I have to say I had trouble holding back my tears. That's a way to live indeed. I wish we could all be more like her. Thanks for sharing this with us.

beautiful and inspiring indeed.. :)

Now i understand why one just cries out of the blues. Very touching

Thanks all for the comments, they are greatly appreciated.

This story is beautifull! :)


How lovely. Some people are inspiratoinal for people, others are inspirational as the beauty around us.

This is a great story

beautiful story about a lady who never gave up her dream. life is too short my mom fights for her life everyday and no one around her even knows of her illness, but you have to have faith in yourself and others around you. Rose was a smart and loving person.

i just read it. is was so wonderful, that it made me cry, just a little bit... this story will be in my mind forever, thank you.

Agreed Quest, to be the positive force in someones life.

We all need to continue to grow up, glad that it was an inspiration to all and that it lets you know that there is life out there.

This is a rare beauty, a sweet counsel, an affective inspiration. I used to wrongly think that I am old. Thanks, lots of thanks.

definetly a must read!

streba - No I don't think that is what it meant about turning it over to God and letting him do it for us, it is more about that God who created us has put things in our path to have us grow and that he will not put a trial before us that we can not overcome or accomplish, that does not take our choice away from us or that we don't have the responsibility of the choices that we make through our trial.

A beautiful story, and the sentiments expressed here are right on the mark - especially the one about regret. Well-said.<br />
<br />
But you lost me at the end, where you seemed to suggest we should turn everything over to God. That goes something like this...<br />
<br />
- when something bad happens to me, God is TESTING me<br />
- when something good happens to me, God is BLESSING me<br />
<br />
<br />
Where's my responsibility in all this? Does history teach us that when we turn everything over to Gods and/or Goddesses, we inhibit our growth?


And yes SS you commented on it before.<br />
<br />
;))<br />
<br />
But feel free to comment on it again.

Yep it is the doing that takes the effort.<br />
<br />
Hope you can get all of your dreams fulfilled.

I should probably make a list of unfulfilled dreams and work on them. Like owning a convertible, going to Hawaii, getting trained in something I WANT to do for a living, etc. Those are the easy ones.... just takes doing them.

When you are dead then it is too late.<br />
<br />
As the story has said we grow old because we loose our dreams not because of actual age.<br />
<br />
My grandfather right now is 82 and he suffers from early Alzheimer's and he still goes out with the horses and does what he loves every day and until the past 2 years he was still going out on trail rides and having fun with the grandkids. <br />
<br />
Follow you dream Dancing and achieve what you want in life, live with no regrets.

Up till now I thought 52 was too old to go back to college....