The Rose

  1. 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 wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with smile that lit up her entire being.

    She said, "Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I'm 87 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, 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 3 x 5 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 19 years old and lie in bed for one full year and don't do one productive thing, you will turn 20 years old. If I am 87 years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything, I will turn 88."

    "Anybody can grow OLDER. That doesn't take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding the 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 2,000 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.

    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.
  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   Liddle Noodnik
    Lyrics to "The Rose" by Bette Midler

    Some say love, it is a river
    that drowns the tender reed.
    Some say love, it is a razor
    that leaves your soul to bleed.
    Some say love, it is a hunger,
    an endless aching need.
    I say love, it is a flower,
    and you it's only seed.

    It's the heart, afraid of breaking,
    that never learns to dance.
    It's the dream, afraid of waking,
    that never takes a chance.

    It's the one who won't be taken,
    who cannot seem to give.
    And the soul, afraid of dyin',
    that never learns to live.

    When the night
    has been too lonely,
    and the road has been too long,
    And you think that love is only
    for the lucky and the strong,
    Just remember in the winter
    far beneath the bitter snows,
    Lies the seed, that with the sun's love,
    in the spring
    The Rose.
  4. by   funnygirl_rn
    That was nice Zoe, thanks! I also like Bette Midler too.
  5. by   mageean
    Poignant and thought provoking!
  6. by   Liddle Noodnik
    This is another "Rose" story that I like

    Three Yellow Roses
    -- Author Unknown

    I walked into the grocery store not particularly interested in buying groceries. I wasn't hungry. The pain of losing my husband of 37 years was still too raw. And this grocery store held so many sweet memories.

    Rudy often came with me and almost every time he'd pretend to go off and look for something special. I knew what he was up to. I'd always spot him walking down the aisle with the three yellow roses in his hands. Rudy knew I loved yellow roses.

    With a heart filled with grief, I only wanted to buy my few items and leave, but even grocery shopping was different since Rudy had passed on. Shopping for one took time, a little more thought than it had for two.

    Standing by the meat, I searched for the perfect small steak and remembered how Rudy had loved his steak. Suddenly a woman came beside me. She was blond, slim and lovely in a soft green pantsuit. I watched as she picked up a large pack of T-bones, dropped them in her basket, hesitated, and then put them back. She turned to go and once again reached for the pack of steaks.

    She saw me watching her and she smiled. "My husband loves T-bones, but honestly, at these prices, I don't know." I swallowed the emotion down my throat and met her pale blue eyes. "My husband passed away eight days ago," I told her. Glancing at the package in her hands, I fought to control the tremble in my voice. "Buy him the steaks. And cherish every moment you have together." She shook her head and I saw the emotion in her eyes as she placed the package in her basket and wheeled away.

    I turned and pushed my cart across the length of the store to the dairy products. There I stood, trying to decide which size milk I should buy. A quart, I finally decided and moved on to the ice cream section near the front of the store. If nothing else, I could always fix myself an ice cream cone. I placed the ice cream in my cart and looked down the aisle toward the front.

    I saw first the green suit, then recognized the pretty lady coming towards me. In her arms she carried a package. On her face was the brightest smile I had ever seen. I would swear a soft halo encircled her blonde hair as she kept walking towards me, her eyes holding mine. As she came closer, I saw what she held and tears began misting in my eyes.

    "These are for you," she said and placed three beautiful long stemmed yellow roses in my arms."When you go through the line, they'll know these are paid for." She leaned over and placed a gentle kiss on my cheek, then smiled again.

    I wanted to tell her what she'd done, what the roses meant, but still unable to speak, I watched as she walked away, tears clouding my vision. I looked down at the beautiful roses nestledin the green tissue wrapping and found it almost unreal. How did she know? Suddenly the answer seemed so clear. I wasn't alone.

    "Oh, Rudy, you haven't forgotten me, have you?" I whispered, with tears in my eyes. He was still with me, and she was his angel.
  7. by   adrienurse
    Thanks, This is why I work in geriatrics.
  8. by   kjseam
    Thanks a lot Zoe now I am crying. LOL
  9. by   nursemouse
    I'm crying too, I'm at work and I have to present in an hour! Good grief...where's that thread on wearing make-up at work?
  10. by   jnette
    Thanx, ZO !

    That first one a coworker of mine sent to me as I was finishng up Nursing School. I am quite a bit older than she. I was touched.. deeply so.

    I printed it out and will eventually frame it, as the words contain such tremendous truth, as do the words of the SONG... whichg also happens to be my alltime favorite song in the whole world!
    And again, because of the truth of the lyrics.
  11. by   Tweety
    Thanks. I loved the song The Rose so much. (Loved the movie too!) I used to get teary eyed when I heard it because at the time it was all about me.
  12. by   Rustyhammer
    I could have gone a few more hours before reading this.
    The first thread I check and it's a tear jerker!
    'Scuse me... I have something in my eye.
  13. by   Jay-Jay
    Awww, you've got MY eyes all blurry, too!

    Just so happens I LOVE roses, too (see my sig. pic....that's one of my babies!)

    Another rose story:

    Away back in the 12th century, there was a wealthy noble lady who had a heart for the poor and hungry. She would bake loaves of bread, and when her husband was out, would take it down to the poor area of the city to give away to the needy. Her husband didn't approve of her charity. One day, he passed her on the road to the town.

    "What's that you're carrying under your cloak," he demanded angrily. "and it had better not be bread for the poor!"

    His wife opened up her cloak....and saw to her amazement, that the bread had been miraculously transformed into a bouquet of roses.

    The company I work for is named after this noble lady. I carry a picture of her in my wallet, and try to remind myself every day that SHE is my employer!
  14. by   H ynnoD
    Seems like the older I get the more things touch my feelings and start to make me cry.