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The first day at college our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn’t know. As I looked around, a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady, beaming at me. She said, “Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I’m eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?” “Of course, you may!” I responded. “Why are you at college at such a young and innocent age”. I asked. She jokingly replied, “I’m here to meet a rich husband, get married, have a couple of n, and then retire and travel.” “No seriously” I asked. “I always dreamed of having a college education and now I’m getting one”. She told me.

We became instant friends. Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and easily made friends wherever she went. At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I’ll never forget what she taught us that day.

“I’m sorry I’m so jittery” she started. “I gave up beer and this whiskey is killing me.” 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. There is a big 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 doesn’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.

Rose finished the college degree she had begun all these 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. She taught us that growing older, is mandatory, growing up is optional! Anon


Groete - koekie erlank.


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