======== DREAMS ========
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. May I
give you a hug?" I laughed and enthusiastically
said. "Yes, you may!" & she gave me a tight squeeze.
"Why are you in college at such an innocent young age?"
I asked. She jokingly replied. "I'm here to meet a
rich husband, get married, have a couple of kids, and
then retire and travel!" "No, seriously?" I asked.
I was curious as to what 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."
After class we walked to the student union building
and we 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 a year, Rose became the campus icon, and she
easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to
dress up, and reveled on the attention bestowed upon
her by 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 speech, she
dropped her 3x5 cards on the floor. Frustrated and
embarrassed she leaned over 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 4
secrets to staying young, being happy, and acheiving
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 just walking around
that are dead, and don't even know it! There is a huge
difference between growing older, and growing up! If
you are 19 years old, lie in bed for a entire year and
do not do one productive thing. You will turn 20 years
old. I am 87 years old. Lie in bed and do nothing,
I will turn 88. Anybody can turn older. That doesn't
take any talent or ability! The idea is to grow up by
always finding the opportunity to change! You should
have no regrets! The Elderly usually do not have regrets
for what we did, but rather for the thngs 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 to 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
our graduation, Rose died peacefully in her sleep.
Over two thousand college students attended her
funeral in tribute, to the wonderful woman who had
taught by example - That its never too late, to be
all that you possibly can be!
PLEASE ALWAYS REMEMBER - GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY.
GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL!