Monday seems to have turned into the day of inspirational posts.
I love inspirational pieces.
They really make you think… and more than that I love that everyone has a different reaction. I’ve said that before, haven’t I.
So what do you think about the following piece? I am interested to read your thoughts.
An 87 Year Old College Student Named Rose.
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 non-stop.
I was always mesmerised 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 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.
When I had finished reading this piece I went to look for the lyrics to “The Rose” written by Amanda McBroom and sung by one of my favourite vocalists 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, its only seed
It’s the heart, afraid of breaking
That never learns to dance
It’s the dream, afraid of waking
That never takes the chance
It’s the one who won’t be taken
Who cannot seem to give
And the soul, afraid of dying
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 snow
Lies the seed
That with the sun’s love, in the spring
Becomes the rose
for a little extra info – here is how the song came about… In the words of Amanda McBroom
HOW “THE ROSE” CAME TO BE
“People often ask me what inspired me to write The Rose. Here is the story:
I was driving down the freeway one afternoon, some time in 1977-something.
I was listening to the radio. A song came on the radio. It was “MAGDALENA” by Danny O’Keefe, sung by Leo Sayer. I liked it immediately. My favorite line was “Your love is like a razor. My heart is just a scar.”I thought,”Ooh, I love that lyric.”
As I continued to drive down the road the thought came, I don’t agree with the sentiment. I don’t think love is like a razor. (I was younger then.) What, then, do I think love is? Suddenly, it was as if someone had opened a window in the top of my head. Words came pouring in. I had to keep reciting them to myself as I drove faster and faster towards home, so I wouldn’t forget them. I screeched into my drive way, ran into the house, past various bewildered dogs and cats and husbands, and sat down at the piano. Ten minutes later, THE ROSE was there.
I called my husband, George, into the room and played it for him, as I always did with my new songs. He listened, and quietly said to me, “You’ve just written a standard.” I protested that no one but my pals would ever hear it. (This is long before I had ever recorded anything.) He said,”Mark my words, something is going to happen with this song.”
A year or so later, a great young songwriter named Michele Brourman, who became my primary musical collaborator and best friend, said “Listen. There is this movie coming out called “The Rose”. They are looking for a title tune. Do you want me to submit this to them?” I had never really tried to submit this song to anyone. I didn’t consider myself a song writer at the time. So I said, “Sure.” Originally the film had been called THE PEARL, which was Janis Joplin’s nick name. But her family refused permission to use that name. Lucky for me. “Pearl” is MUCH harder to rhyme.
She submitted the tune to the producers, who HATED it. They thought it was dull and a hymn and NOT rock and roll and totally wrong. They put it in the reject box. But the divine Paul Rothchild, who was the music supervisor on the film, and had been Janis Joplin’s producer, hauled it out and asked them to reconsider. They again said no. So he mailed it to Bette. She liked it, and that’s how it got into the film and changed my life forever.
I have never written another song as quickly. I like to think I was the window that happened to be open when those thoughts needed to come through. I am eternally grateful… to Bette… to Paul Rothchild… to Bill Kerby, who wrote the screenplay…to my friend who first submitted it for me… and to the Universe for speaking to me in the first place and for showing me what I truly believe.”
Pretty awesome – right. 🙂
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Posted on February 10, 2013, in Inspiration, Inspirational Finds and tagged age, amanda mcbroom, bette midler, college, growing old, growing up, inspiration, speech, the rose. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.