When I was away in B.C., my massage therapist Nicole sent me a wonderfully supportive e-mail as I was dealing with quitting the Tour du Canada bicycle ride. She’s so much more than a rubber of my skin.
Today I had an appointment with Nicole. I had a laundry list of body parts that hurt, and I could feel myself sinking into “I am old” mode. That’s a deadly mind space – I know that – and sometimes I have trouble bringing myself out from under that particular rock. My mind tells me that I shouldn’t need another human being to do the heavy lifting for me, but today Nicole did just that.
There I was, naked under a few sheets, and feeling naked in my soul. My right thumb, my right calf, my right knee and my left ankle all cried out for attention. Plus my heart needed some massaging too. So Nicole set to work …
“I’m falling apart!” I joked to the dear therapist. Except that deep down I wondered if I really was. The words stayed inside but here they are: “The cane will be next, then the walker, then the wheelchair, and then perma-bed.” How my fragile mind does proliferate! I realize that these possible futures may indeed become part of my aging life but why jump to it with such haste? I smiled under the sheets. “Bruce Kerr, you are a strange dude.”
Once I was past this burst of self-pity, I returned to the job at hand … welcoming Nicole’s touch. Sweeping pressure, nodes of pain, a sense of caress – they all made their appearance. Throughout the hour, I was being held, nourished, given to. Hours later, my pains have less oomph and I know I have been lifted up. Some of what Nicole did was her professional and compassionate touch, some was her sharing the athletic exploits of her daughters and the family times centred around farm chores. She sure loves her hubby and kids. And I was enlivened by her aliveness.
Okay … now it’s my turn. I’m fully capable of lightening the loads of my friends and neighbours. No need to remain stuck in my story, my deficiencies, my “Woe is me’s”. We’re too important to each other to stay down when we’re down.
Here’s to raising each other up