Opinions - 05-07-2008
Written by Bob Tribble   
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Ms. Rose Was A Mother To Many

The story is told about an 87 year old lady named Ms. Rose who had gone back to college to complete a college education she had started more than sixty years earlier. It was told by a young college student who became friends with Ms. Rose.

The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we really did not 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.

“Hi handsome, my name is Rose,” she said. “I am 87 years old. Can I give you a hug?” “Of course you may,” I said. “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, then retire and travel.” “No, seriously,” I asked. “I decided to complete a college education I started more than 60 years ago,” Rose said.

We became instant friends. Everyday for the next three months we would leave class together and talk non stop. I was always mesmerized listening to this “time machine” as she shared her wisdom and experiences with me. Over the course of the year Rose became a campus icon making friends wherever she went.

At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. “There are simple secrets to staying young, being happy and achieving success,” she told us. “You have to laugh and find humor in life everyday. You have got to have a dream. When you lose your dream you die. Have no regrets. The elderly usually don't have regrets for what we did but rather for the things we did not do.”

At the year’s end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago. One week after her graduation she passed away peacefully in her sleep. Over 2,000 students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it is never too late to be all you can possibly be.

The true story about Ms. Rose reminds me of the country song “River” made popular several years ago by Garth Brooks. Some of the words in the song are, “I will never reach my destination if I never try, so I will sail my vessel till the river runs dry.” Ms. Rose certainly sailed her vessel until the river ran dry.

The story is told about a Cub Scout meeting one day where some of the boys were misbehaving. One rather large child for his age said, “If they had a mom like mine they would not be acting that way.”

The young boy’s mom was not a very large lady weighing just over one hundred pounds. Yet her boys were very well behaved. She was not a cruel mom but she did believe in discipline.

She demanded absolute respect and punished the boys when it was not given. Yet she would stay up late at night to bake cookies or finish a costume for them. Her boys always came first in her life.

Ms. Rose was a motherly figure to many young folks at the university where she completed her college degree at age 87. Her “children” proved that by the turnout at her funeral.

It is an awesome responsibility to be a good mother and lead your children down the right road, yet it is a wonderful privilege. Proverbs 31:28 says, “Her children arise up and call her blessed.”

Enjoy your Mother’s Day Sunday with your family and loved ones mothers.