Monday, October 6, 2008

Die Hard

As you all know, my favorite month of year is finally here. An entire month dedicated to one of God's greatest masterpieces. A month greater than the ones that celebrate the taking discovery of America, its independence, or the heritage of its citizens. An entire month in which I can shout from the rooftops, professing my undying love for breasts and not be thought mad. Okay, well maybe it's too late for that.

Anyway, instead of ranting about my reverence for boobs, or dazzling you with tales of my mammiferous adventures, I will instead tell you about a warrior that I met over the weekend. On Saturday, I worked on the best client I've ever had, hands down. Her skin was not smooth, youthful, or taught. Her muscles were not perfectly sculptured and toned from countless spinning classes or pilates. Her head was not adorned with long locks of flowing, vibrant hair. As a matter of fact, she was old and arthritic. Her skin hung loosely over her emaciated muscles and brittle frame. Her hair was thin and scarce, but her soul, her soul was one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen. Her smile was more glorious than a thousand sunsets, and her eyes sparkled like cascading waterfalls of diamonds. She may have stood no taller than 5 feet, but her heart was bigger than a mountain's.

This elderly client who slowly rose to greet me, smiled warmly as she shook my hand. Immediately I could sense her energy and calming presence. Her eyes glimmered like the ones from a person that has seen what so many seek. I led her to my room as she quietly shuffled behind me, fighting to walk as gracefully as her tired joints would allow. I was thankful that I was assigned the first room, because I wondered how long it would have taken had we needed to trek the entire distance of a hallway spanning twenty of them. During the massage, I was told a stupendous story of survival. A tale of many battles. A war of epic proportions. Therein, I discovered truly what people can be made of. This woman of 83 years of age, had joint crippling arthritis, a knee replaced (twice), brain surgery to implant a shunt with a microprocessor designed to drain the fluid in her brain that would assist her body in keeping its balance, (a procedure found necessary only after having fallen down a flight of stairs) and she had a double mastectomy to overcome breast cancer. To top this all off ladies and gentlemen, (yes there's more) some how, scar tissue left over from the surgery had become malignant due to the radiation treatments and maliciously attacked her lungs, from which, the doctor's had to remove a generous portion. Needless to say, her voice was a little raspy and her breathing labored and shallow.

However, her difficulty in breathing could not suppress her humor or wit. Her aches could not bind her will nor could her pains stifle her hope. She spoke so highly of all who cared after her. She knew the names of all her doctors and praised their skill and eagerness to help. She spoke of all her surgeries as a war general speaks of victorious battles. She shared her stories. I listened as though being told the location of the Holy Grail. She talked of how she now volunteers at the very hospital that so many of us would have never wanted to revisit. I was amazed.

When most people would have given up, she walked a treadmill. When most people would have cursed God, she hired a personal trainer to visit 3 times a week. When most of us would have refused to lift a finger, she lifted weights, and exercised in her pool. Without a six pack or a spear. Without a Spartan army, she kicked cancer's ass. Okay, maybe she didn't exactly kick cancer's ass, but she defeated a worthy adversary. An adversary that fights to the death and rarely loses. She's still here. Take that Gerard Butler.

5 comments:

B.E. Earl said...

October is all about boobs?

Well, all right!

Mr. Poopie said...

Dude! I know.

Cheasty said...

that's a really nice story, mr. poopie.

Mrs. Hall said...

Wow. People like this, when I encounter them, make my year.

Great story!

:)

Mrs. Hall

tracey said...

wow. now i know what/who i want to be when i grow up. what an inspiration.