The Last Rose of Summer


Tonight the overnight temperature is predicted to go well below 40 degrees. I decided that I wouldn’t risk my roses another day, but brought in the last blossoms on the bush. The rose is a “Peace Rose” and the flowers meld from peach to yellow to pink as the bud swells and opens. The rose also has a gentle fragrance, too.

But it’s November 1st, and the reality is that we are deep into Autumn, and the rose is done blooming for the year. It’s later than most years. I’ve loved looking at it out my kitchen window all summer.

I went out and clipped the last blossoms of the bush and brought them in… I inhaled the fragrance and admired the glossy leaves, the tiny thorns. It was one last gasp of beauty before we have the cold, chilly days and long evenings of winter.

Then I realized… how many times do we have a “last” moment — and don’t stop to appreciate it? What ends, and you suddenly realize that it’s gone from your normal routine? There’s many of these milestones in life…

– the last time you clean crayon off the walls

– the last time your hold the bicycle while they wobble down the street

– the last time you see a friend or relative

In hospice, we know that just about any time could be a “last time”… We try to affirm the life well-lived, and remember to appreciate each interaction. It’s part of mindfulness, being thankful, showing appreciation, and honoring others…

All these events can slip by unrecognized for how special they are. Today, for me, was a day to ‘stop and smell the roses.’

Ad majorem Dei gloriam

To the greater glory of God.

One comment

  1. I love this Deb. Your words to ‘stop and smell the roses’ are quite poignant to me because I miss their smell so much since developing a brain tumour but memory is a wonderful thing because I can remember how they smell. I love the Peace rose – quite an old variety I seem to remember – but it is difficult to grow roses here in Wales because of the ‘South Westerly’ weather! Love your blogs.


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