Mom and the Massage

Just thinking…..

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“Massage” was not a word Mom used very much….. and when she did, it was not a favorable connotation. She liked “rubs”…. back rubs, shoulder rubs, head rubs. Often she would ask, “Would you rub the back of my neck?” Never did she ask us to rub her feet: no one touched Mom’s feet except the doctor.

I get regular massages due to complications from a car wreck many years ago. When my folks came to visit one time, I was touting the benefits of massage, and then I gave each of my parents a certificate for a massage at the place where I regularly went. Dad was elated. Mom did not think it was a good idea.

“You know about those places,” she murmured. “Not nice people  there.”

Dad chuckled. “She thinks you are taking her to a red light district!”

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So I assured her that it was on the up and up and respectable. We went, and Mom went in first. She was shaking like a leaf. I helped her undress and helped her up on the table. Then I left. The look on her face was of sheer terror.

“It will be fine,” I assured her.

“Just don’t let them touch my feet…..”

When she came out, she smiled. “It was a rub!” she said. “Not bad at all!”

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Two hours or so before my mother died at Hospice, a Hospice volunteer who is a licensed massage therapist, gave my mother a “rub”. He gently massaged her arms, her legs, her shoulders and neck and scalp…. and yes, her feet. She had been restless that day, not really conscious, but the massage settled her and relaxed her. I think it helped her die more peacefully, and I am so grateful for the therapist who voluntarily gave of his time.

I miss giving my mom little massages. I would pick a favorite scent of lotion and make little circles with my finger tips on her fragile skin. She loved the neck and shoulder area the most. Aye….. there’s the rub…..

Father, I thank You for the caring touch given to my mother that eased her into eternity.  May I ever be mindful of those times when I can reach out to comfort others. Amen.

To God be the Glory….

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