Saturday morning, 48 hours before my heart surgery, Charles and I had breakfast with my dear old friend, V and her husband J. They are wonderful, salt of the earth people, and breakfast was casual and unhurried. Our conversation was easy and positive. It was exactly what I needed.
After breakfast, though, I was in a little bit of a panic. I had a to-do list a mile long. One thing on my list, my massage, I was talking myself into canceling. Charles wondered why. “Because, I have too much to do in the next two days,” I said.
“You have more than three full days of things on your to-do list,” he said, “but only two days to do them. The two hours you take for your massage will not make a difference. Just go have your massage.” What Charles said, was exactly what I needed. He is exactly what I needed.
I always say a good massage therapist asks where you hurt, and a great one already knows. My therapist is a great one. When I arrived my L asked how things were going and whether I had anything in particular I wanted to work on today. I told her I was having a double heart valve transplant on Monday, so I really needed her to put everything she had into it, and really work me over.
She stared at me a long moment, frowned and shook her head. “No,” she said. “Your body doesn’t need to be assaulted right now. There will be assault enough on Monday.” She flipped on her music and started to work.
“Great,” I thought. “Ninety minutes of a light rub. What a waste.” Then I noticed for the first time the music that was playing. She always plays piano music and I never pay attention to it. I only know that it is soothing. But to my surprise, I recognized it. Softly and Tenderly was the song playing when I answered the call to Christianity in a tiny church in Woods, Oklahoma back in 1985. What a loving group of people they were and, at the time, they were exactly what I needed.
As the song came to an end, and another one started, I recognized each one. There was Amazing Grace, The Garden, Because He Lives. It is strange how I never noticed the songs that L played were good old gospel tunes.
Her massage was gentle but directed. She massaged my lymph nodes to cleanse them, and massaged my kidneys and liver to make sure they were supported while the heart was out of commission. She did facia work on my chest “to make it easier for the surgeon to get in,” she said. I felt peaceful, safe, whole and healthy. It was exactly what I needed.
As I was dressing, I noticed a plaque on the credenza near her lighted candles. The plaque said:
It was exactly what I needed.
Later, Charles insisted we go to dinner at a place we haven’t been since Daddy died. He was acting strange. When we arrived, my son and his wife were waiting for us with two of my grandkids. They had driven up from South Texas to see me. Had I known they were coming, I could have bought food the kids liked, and planned things to do, and cleaned the house (which was probably what the point in keeping their visit a secret). We had a good visit last night, and they joined me this morning to check off another thing on my list. We picked up trash along our adopted mile where we live. Eighteen hours later, they were gone. The visit was way too short, and I imagine was hard for them to pull off. It was, however, exactly what I needed.