Monthly Letters to Pulmonary Patients by Thomas L. Petty

Thomas L. Petty, M.D.

Professor of Medicine, 
University of Colorado

Chairman, National Lung Health Education Program (NLHEP)


National Lung Health Education Program
A collaborative project with



HealthOne Center
1850 High Street
Denver, CO 80218
Phone: 303 839 6755
Fax: 303 832 8137

The Last Rose of Summer

November 1998
PEP Pioneers
Second Wind
Torrance, California

     Dear Friends:

On my daily health walks, I enjoy the sound of birds chirping, the smell of morning air, and I admire the architecture and building designs when walking the City and the parks.  I love the flowers, particularly the rose.  They begin to bloom in Denver each May and often continue to produce their unique flower well into November, until the autumn frost slows their growth and the winter freeze makes them dormant for about six months.

The last of the roses are now blooming as winter approaches.  Today, I admired a large red rose, alone as it perched on its stalk.  No more buds surrounded it.  “What made this one last?”, I pondered.  Why so large and dominant?  Will the same rose bloom first or last next year?  I don’t know a lot about growing roses, but I have admired them all my life.  I like to muse about survival and endurance, even of the roses.

I walk each day for both physical and mental health.  It keeps me fit and helps me deal with frustrations.

Some time ago, I wrote a little poem for a wonderful person, a friend:

The frustrations of life,

Are mixed with misery and strife.

So, why do I this hour,

Miss the beauty of a flower?

Happy Thanksgiving.  I will be in touch next month. 

Your friend,

              Thomas Petty, MD

Last update:
16 March 2002