Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hi Handsome!

I am not the author of what follows since it was sent to me by my old U.S. Navy shipmate, Bob Christ,but I was so touched by it, I thought I'd pass it along.

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 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 revelled 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 humour 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 months 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.

Pass this message on to 7 people.


At December 21, 2011 at 11:47 AM , Blogger Van Christo said...

Marvelous message !!!

Prof. Ahmed Abdelaziz Ismail
Chairman of ob/gyn department
Faculty of Medicine
Alexandria University
Mobile : +2 0122135714
Fax : +2 034863981

At January 7, 2012 at 1:02 AM , Blogger Husni Ashiku said...

Your message here about Rose makes me want to share a story with you about an older woman who's words affected my life as well.

When I was young, about four or five, I remember walking from my families restaurant to the bus stop everyday. On the way to the bus stop there used to be a small ma and pop antique store named after one of the owners. Dot, as everyone called her, was a gracious short old woman whom about once a week my sister and I would go see.

Maybe it was the endless trinkets, toys, and buttons she had collected over the years that made me want to come in as often as I did. Or perhaps it could have been the sweet tootsie rolls she'd give my sister and I for stopping by. Either way this old woman's soul had its way of warming our hearts.

About a year ago I left for school and now I periodically come back home for visit's during extended breaks. During Easter I came back to hear one of the waitress' at my father's restaurant tell me Dot was sick. She'd had cancer and because of her old age (88) chose not to fight it. She'd apparently been feeling sick at this time so her appearances at our restaurant were becoming less frequent as well.

So, I chose to give Dot a visit. I walked down the block to where her old antique shop used to be, and her and her husband Ken reside. I knocked and Ken answered he greeted me and showed me the way to his ailing wife. All things considered she looked well and was very talkative.

We started with talking about my sister who had just recently recovered from cancer. Which led to a conversation about my family and her family and the differences in the way's we were raised. We spoke about the differences in our cultures and the customs. She said she'd always wanted to speak to someone about my religion.

My religion being muslim, and her growing up in a mostly white area, I wouldn't imagine she had much of a chance to speak to any one about it. But, here she was 88 years old and finally asking. We spoke more and she revealed to me her plum pudding recipe that had been in her family for generations, which her husband said was horrible, but she found knowing it important. We laughed a lot in that hour or so I visited.

And as it so happened it was my last visit with Dot as she died very shortly afterwards. But, a funny thing happened when I came back for the summer. My mother gave me an envelope with my name on it. I opened it and it was a birthday card from Dot! She had written a whole message for me to read. It was about her father and how he was born out of wed lock in the late 1800's and how he had a hard life because of it. My eyes began to well up.

I remember feeling so bad for this woman as she had no children, no living relatives, no one, except her husband to share these sorts of stories with. She will literally take them to her grave. As I read further her last message to me was to keep my heritage alive. She advised me to go to all my family gatherings and learn as much as I can.

This is where I will thank the creator's of Frosina. I am Albanian and the information on this site has helped me do just what Dot said. I have come across much useful information here and as I read your "Rose" story Dotty came to me. So, I thought I'd take the time to thank you through sharing a story of my own.

ju falenderoj - Husni Ashiku


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