For many years I went to the most special massage therapist. And older man, formerly in business, in his second career who wanted to give back to society. And give back he did, generously. He charged only $40, would not take tips because “You don’t tips as a nurse, do you?,” and readily overflowed the hour appointment if your chronic pain body needed it.

Today, in sorting my files, I found notes I’d made once after a session. In quiet husky tones, he’d speak sparely–often only a few phrases from start to finish during the session. Close your eyes, imagine the smell of eucalyptus, and hear the sounds of distant flutes and tumbling water, and you will experience what I did, relaxing breath by breath.

Call when ready (with a smile as he left the room).

Tell if too hot (heated towels on my back).

Comfortable all around?

Ease down, turn over.

Did we miss anything? Anything feel neglected?

Be sure everything’s working before you get off.

I’ll get your cup of spring water ready.

And then I’d sit in his recliner, he on his loveseat, and we’d discuss life. A truly special man indeed. I missed his Christmas card last year and haven’t been able to track him down. I hope wherever he is, he is being treated as gently as he cared for many others into his eighth decade of life.