The Last Rose of Summer

Summer is gone, of course, but just like the rest of us stalwart blooms, the summer roses are hanging on, at least out here at the edge of the desert. Faded, perhaps. Maybe even lonely. But hanging on.

Sometimes I get embarrassed, occasionally even annoyed when people tell me how admirable I am because I don’t see it. (Though I used to, oddly enough, back when I was going through those first horrendous years of grief.) Now I’ve come to see that I’ve only done what everyone else does in the face of great trauma, angst, and turmoil — hang on to that last shred of sanity, humanity, honor, or whatever you want to call it. (Not dignity, that’s for sure. Dignity goes out the door when seemingly never-ending pain and tears enter.) Sometimes when we are fighting our way through turmoil, it feels as if we are surrendering to our worst side because we live in a culture that seems to revere stoicism — the ability to accept great pain with little affect. And yet, as I learned, hiding pain does not help anyone, though it does let others escape the discomfort of hearing us scream out our agony.

The truth is, we are all stronger that we believe we are, braver than we can imagine, more emotional that we ever expected, and have the ability to pick ourselves up and take another step when all we want to do is dive into oblivion. Sometimes it seems to take forever to go through the trauma of hellish heat, buffeting winds, destructive storms, but then all at once, there you are, still standing in the warmth of a new day.

The last rose of summer.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels UnfinishedMadame ZeeZee’s Nightmare, Light BringerMore Deaths Than OneA Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am IBertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

8 Responses to “The Last Rose of Summer”

  1. LordBeariOfBow Says:

    They’re such a beautiful flower, in what appears a very pleasant garden where one can sit in peace and quiet. 😀

  2. rami ungar the writer Says:

    I think those are Violet Carson roses. They’re a favorite of mine, mainly because they’re used in the V for Vendetta movie.

  3. Sue Williams Says:

    soon it will be three years since my darling husband died. Autumn now setting in and I have the last roses blooming in what is now only my garden – your words sum up my feelings exactly. You write beautifully. Sue W. UK.

  4. Coco Ihle Says:

    Years ago, when I was going through a really rough time, my neighbor, a colonel in the Air Force said, “You go through what you have to, because there is no other choice.” Such a simple sentence, but true. Then later one wonders where their strength came from. Yes, we are stronger than we think and able to handle more than we deemed possible and somehow we manage to come out the other side. We are actually pretty remarkable.

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