Rose……

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, have a
couple of children, and then retire and travel.”

“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 years 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.

— Author Unknown

The Rose
Artist: Bette Midler
Words & Lyrics by: Amanda McBroom

Some say love it is a river
That drowns the tender reed
Some say love it is a razor
that leaves your soul to bleed
some say love it is a hunger
an end less aching need
I say love it is a flower
and you it’s only seed
It’s the heart afraid of breaking
that never learns to dance
It’s the dream afraid of waking
that never takes the chance
It’s the one who won’t be taken
who cannot seem to give
and the soul afraid of dyin’
that never learns to live
When the night has been too lonely
and the road has been too long
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

About Roger Overweg

Interest include: Nature photography, Detroit Tigers, I'm a Spiritual, Meditative, analysis, Divorce, Spirituality, Weather, Chicago Cubs, Talk radio, Lighthouses, Medicine, Meditation, Hiking, Fishing, Short wave radio, Bible, Holy Bible, News, Newspapers, Photography, Baseball, God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Coffee, Prayer, Freash-water-fish-aquarium. Reading, Books, Lakes, Streams, Dunes, Devotionals, Philosophy
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