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Rose – An 87 Year Old College Student!

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 round 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 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 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.


*To all the readers: this story is not mine. I just got this from facebook. I don’t know also if this is a true story. The old woman in the picture, by the way, is Nola Ochs who is a Guinness world record holder as the world’s oldest college graduate. She is an example of this story.

In a Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011 photo, Nola Ochs, center, of Jetmore, Kansas, celebrates her 100th birthday with friends, family, and cake during halftime of the FHSU men’s basketball game at Gross Memorial Coliseum in Hays, Kansas. Ochs officially turns 100 on Nov. 22. People who are 90 or older have nearly tripled in number since 1980, to 1.9 million, according to Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011 first-ever census numbers on the age group. The trend is posing unique health challenges and adding to rising government costs for the strained Medicare and Social Security programs. (AP Photo/The Hays Daily News, Raymond Hillegas) MANDATORY CREDIT

I posted it here because i like the story and it inspires me. So to all who misunderstood my post: keep calm and be touched.



About Cowboy

I'm just myself, a cowboy. As a cowboy I speak my feelings, pure, innocent and honest feelings. Give me a moment and I'll definitely take you to your true sense of humor - to your inner self.

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  1. I like this woman. She is amazing. She accomplished her dream, she lived her dream. I’m sad she died so soon after graduation, but I’m happy she did what she wanted finally.

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    I can’t go along with what you composed listed here. I had a different perspective and also to my mind it’s much more developing! We should look at it from different angles, though i think that Rose – An 87 Year Old College Student! is the topic which is very interesting!

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