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September 15, 2016 at 1:13 am #2815MARCIA KOSTERKAKeymaster
Name is 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, and have a couple of
‘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
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
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. Have no
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
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.
REMEMBER, GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY. GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL.
We make a Living by what we get. We make a Life by what we give.
‘Good friends are like stars. You don’t always see them, But you know they are always there.’
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