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Rose Budding and Growing Up
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"GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY. GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL"

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 sque! eze.
"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 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 di! fference 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
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 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.
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.

God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage. If God brings you to
it, He ! will bring you through it.

"Good friends are like stars.........You don't always see them, but
you know they are always there."

thanx for taking the time to read it :-D