The Massage Therapist; oil on canvas
On the first anniversary of my father's death, hoping that maybe an afternoon of concentrated mommy-daughter time might ease the ache of that day, I made an appointment for my mother with my favorite massage therapist, to be followed by a long, leisurely lunch. Fragile, tired, she was not at all convinced that this was a good idea. But my mom, who was always game for just about anything, agreed.
An hour later, with a posture and a strut that made her look 10 years younger, we walked next door for lunch.
We slithered into the booth, ordered wine, and laughed about really good we both felt.
"So," I asked, "what'd you think? Would you do this again?"
It's been over two decades since that day, and I still remember exactly her response: "It's been a year since anyone's touched me," she said. "I didn't know I missed it so much."