I took a photo of this beautiful rose in my garden early one morning last week.

I remember my mother dead heading her roses, crushing the petals and removing the fading bloom.  I always thought that she removed them a bit too early, I thought that there was a bit more left in them, that they should be allowed to bloom for a bit longer.

How do you see this rose?  Just passed its best and soon to be beheaded or in full glorious bloom, a little tatty round the edges but with so much joy still to give?

How we see ourselves and how we see older people is embedded in this rose.

What do you see when you see an older person?  Is it someone past their best with not much left to offer?  Someone waiting for the end to come?  Or maybe you see someone who has grown from a small bud to a glorious blossom, someone who may fade a little but whose essential beauty will never be gone?  It is so easy to dismiss an older person, to choose not to see everything that goes to make up that person.

At ATB we never forget that the person in front of us has lived a life that we can barely imagine.  Many of our clients have been though things that we know nothing about.  They have loved and lost, worked and had families.  Many have lived through wars that we only know about second hand.  We always look at the rose in full bloom, ignore the faded edges and focus on the heart.  Beauty doesn’t belong only to the young!