Life Is Such A Wonder!

A Rose By Any Other Name Is…..

April 30, 2009

The weather is really hot and the haze seems to be worsening from the numerous bush fires. I suspect some of these fires have been started by unscrupulous people as this is an easy way to clear the land for whatever purposes these people are intending to use the land for. When I sent my son Les to Curtin University this morning, I could see how bad the haze was as visibility had been badly curtailed. A heavy downpour would be most welcomed by everyone.

I am still feeling unwell. My throat is a bit parched and I have a lingering urge to clear my throat. I took a nap this afternoon but when I woke up, I was seized with a splitting headache. I had no choice but to take a Panadol. Fortunately the headache subsided after that.

I like to save emails with great stories. The following story is from an email sent to me quite a long while back by Laila, an ex-colleague of mine in Brunei. It is an inspiring story and I hope it will stir up in you a decision to embark on a journey to live the rest of your life without any more regrets. Enjoy….and be touched!

A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME IS……….

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 reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living up to it.

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 so 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 ae 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 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 that 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.

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.

Good friends are like stars….you don’t always see them, but you know they are always there.

Lyrics of “The Rose”

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 dyin’
that never learns to live.

When the night has been too lonely
and the road has been to 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 becomes the rose

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