Today I would like to tell you a different kind of story – a true story.
When I was 19 years old, I met the most wonderful women. Her name was Hilda and she was a first year German student at the community college where I worked part-time as a German tutor. While there is nothing so unusual about being a first year German student, Hilda was unusual, exceptional even.
You see, Hilda was almost 80 years old and as she came into my office hours for help with her homework, we became friends and I learned a little about her story. By the time I had met her, she had already lived a long and interesting life that included a real life fairy tale romance with her husband of almost 60 years.
From the stories Hilda told me, I could tell she had had a good life – she had traveled, she had explored exotic places and she had been lucky enough to do so with the love of her life. But then one day, her husband died and she was left alone. After losing him, it would have been easy for her to say “I am old and alone and there is nothing left for me,” but that is not what Hilda did. Instead, she took stock of her life and set out to do the one thing she had always wanted to do, but had never gotten around to. And so, in her late 70’s Hilda Kemp enrolled in college. When I met her, she was working on a degree in Mathematics.
Over twenty years later, I still think about Hilda Kemp sometimes, particularly when I am feeling “too old” or too paralyzed by fear to heed the call of my heart. Hilda taught me one of the most valuable lessons I’ve ever learned:
It is never too late to live your dream.
It was not too late for her and it’s not too late for you, so next time a dream comes up, entertain it. Follow Hilda’s example and see where it leads you.