A Chance Meeting with Rose
On my first day of school, our professor challenged us to get to know someone new. Little did I know that this would lead me to meet an extraordinary woman. As I looked around, a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned and was greeted by Rose, a wrinkled, eighty-seven-year-old lady with a radiant smile.
With enthusiasm, Rose introduced herself, “Hi handsome, my name is Rose. Can I give you a hug?” Laughing, I responded, “Of course you may!” and she embraced me warmly. Intrigued, I asked why she was in college at her age. She playfully exclaimed, “I’m here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids.” But when I pressed further, she revealed her true motivation – she had always dreamed of a college education, and now she was living that dream.
A Lasting Friendship
Rose and I quickly became friends, sharing a chocolate milkshake in the student union building after class that day. From then on, we were inseparable. Over the next three months, we would leave class together, engaging in endless conversations. I was captivated by Rose’s wisdom and life experiences. She had become a campus icon, making friends wherever she went, and embracing the attention she received.
Lessons from Rose
Towards the end of the semester, Rose was invited to speak at our football banquet. As she began her prepared speech, she dropped her note cards and fumbled to regain her composure. With a sense of humor, she admitted, “I’m sorry I’m so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent, and this whiskey is killing me! Let me just tell you what I know.”
And with that, she imparted her wisdom upon us. Rose stated, “We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing.” She shared four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. First, she emphasized the importance of laughter and finding humor every day. Second, she encouraged us to have dreams because without them, we are merely existing. Third, she highlighted the difference between growing older and growing up, stressing the importance of seizing opportunities in times of change. Lastly, she advised us not to have regrets, as the only people who fear death are those with regrets.
In a courageous act, Rose concluded her speech by singing “The Rose” and challenged us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives.
A Lasting Legacy
At the end of the year, Rose fulfilled her lifelong dream of earning her college degree. Tragically, one week after graduation, she peacefully passed away in her sleep. Her funeral was attended by over two thousand college students, paying tribute to the remarkable woman who taught us that it’s never too late to become the best version of ourselves.
As you finish reading Rose’s story, please share this peaceful word of advice with your friends and family. Let them also be inspired by Rose’s spirit and the valuable lessons she taught us.