“Young at Heart”: Pictures That Speak Volumes #66

Photo Credit: Unknown (if you know, please LMK)

Photo Credit: Unknown (if you know, please LMK)

The beautiful thing about life is that some people have neve decided to get old. It is a good thing to remember that it is OK for our bodies to get old but our heart and soul should always be forever young!

Love Life!

The Secrets of Staying Young

Photo Credit: Alex via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Alex via CC Flickr

Bad news folks…we are all getting old. Every day that passes by is another day “in the books.” The most important thing that we need to remember is that there is a BIG difference of growing old and growing up. You can decide to be a person who will be forever “young at heart” or someone who just sits around and grow “old.”

The following story that I found on The Life of Hope is a heartwarming tale of a special young lady and her exploits in an environment where most people her age aren’t normally found. I trust that this story will brighten your day, bring a smile to your face, and maybe, bring a change to your life.


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 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, have a couple of children, and then retire and travel.”

“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 share 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 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 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 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 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 years 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.

Cranky Old Man

Photo Credit: chilombianovia morguefile.com

An Old Man
Photo Credit: chilombianovia morguefile.com

When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in an Australian country town, it was believed that he had nothing left of any value.
Later, when the nurses were going through his meager possessions, they found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital.

One nurse took her copy to Melbourne. The old man’s sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas editions of magazines around the country and appearing in mags for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem.

And this old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this ‘anonymous’ poem winging across the Internet.

———————

CRANKY OLD MAN

What do you see nurses…What do you see?
What are you thinking…when you’re looking at me?

 

A cranky old man…not very wise,
Uncertain of habit…with faraway eyes?

 

Who dribbles his food and makes no reply,
When you say in a loud voice…’I do wish you’d try!’

 

Who seems not to notice…the things that you do.
And forever is losing…A sock or shoe?

 

Who, resisting or not…lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding…The long day to fill?

 

Is that what you’re thinking? Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse…you’re not looking at me.

 

I’ll tell you who I am…As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding…as I eat at your will.

 

I’m a small child of Ten…with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters…who love one another

 

A young boy of Sixteen…with wings on his feet,
Dreaming that soon now…a lover he’ll meet.

 

A groom soon at Twenty…my heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows…that I promised to keep.

 

At Twenty-Five, now…I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide…And a secure happy home.

 

A man of Thirty…My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other…With ties that should last.

 

At Forty, my young sons…have grown and are gone,
But my woman is beside me…to see I don’t mourn.

 

At Fifty, once more…Babies play ’round my knee,
Again, we know children…My loved one and me.

 

Dark days are upon me…My wife is now dead.
I look at the future…I shudder with dread.

 

For my young are all rearing…young of their own.
And I think of the years…And the love that I’ve known.

 

I’m now an old man…and nature is cruel.
It’s jest to make old age…look like a fool.

 

The body, it crumbles…grace and vigor, depart.
There is now a stone…where I once had a heart.

 

But inside this old carcass…A young man still dwells,
And now and again…my battered heart swells

 

I remember the joys…I remember the pain.
And I’m loving and living…life over again.

 

I think of the years, all too few…gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact…that nothing can last.

 

So open your eyes, people…open and see.
Not a cranky old man .
Look closer…see…ME!!

Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you might brush aside without looking at the young soul within. We will all, one day, be there, too!