Tuesday, August 12, 2008


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, and 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


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 y ears 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. 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


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


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. "Good friends are like

stars.........You don't always see them, but you know they are always