I want to introduce you today to an 87 year old college student called Rose ….
I’ve never met her personally but her story touched my heart and it goes something like this ….
On her first day at Uni her course mates were encouraged to get to know someone they didn’t already know.
So this chap (and he has no name) in Rose’s class turned around and was shocked to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at him 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?”
He laughed and enthusiastically responded with “Of course you may!” and she gave him a giant squeeze.
“Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?” he asked.
She jokingly replied, “I’m here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids…”
“No seriously,” he asked. He was curious as to 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 him….
and so the friendship started right there and bloomed beautifully over the following months ….
So the story continues ….
Every day after class they would head to the café to share a chocolate milkshake they would leave class together and talk nonstop.
This chap was mesmerized as he listened to what he describes as a “time machine” as she shared her wisdom and experiences with him.
Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon simply because she was loving in nature which helped her easily make her friends wherever she went basically because she was so genuinely kind …and at the end of the semester they invited her to speak at the football banquet.
She was introduced as Rose 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 the whiskey is killing me!
I’ll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell
you what I know.”
As they 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.
1)You have to laugh and find humour every day.
2) 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!
3)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 opportunity in change.
4) 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 as best they could with this song in there hearts
At the year’s end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago and just one week after her graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep.
So its said that over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to this wonderful woman who taught by example that it’s never too late to be all you can possibly be.
I had an overwhelming sense of peace as I sat listening to the lyrics that dear old Rose sang to her fellow students ….and I understood her message …..
Some say love, it is a razor, that leaves your soul to bleed
Some say love, it is a hunger, an endless aching need
I say love, it is a flower, and you, its only seed
Its the dream afraid of waking, that never takes the chance
Its the one who won’t be taking, who cannot seem to give
And the soul afraid of dying, that never learns to live
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong
Just remember in the winter, far beneath the bitter snows
Lies the seed, that with the sun’s love in the spring becomes the rose