The Banana Tree

Deb -lrgIn January, my daughter, son-in-law and I visited my mother in Florida. We went on a walk around her development to look at the houses, plants and fruit trees. We made a special trip to the back of one of her neighbor's yards because she wanted to show us a banana tree. She was particularly fond of these bananas that she called Lady Fingers and told us how much she enjoyed them whenever her neighbor shared a few.

Fast forward a few days where my mom won some money on a slot machine during a gambling cruise we took into international waters. That was pretty significant because my mom just loves the slot machines, but NEVER wins! She said the money was for all of us to share on our vacation and asked what we'd like to do with it. I suggested we go and get her a banana tree since she was so fond of them and that way her winnings would be the gift that keeps on giving.

My mom had the most puzzling reply, "Oh, that would be nice, but I don't think I'd live long enough to see the fruit, so why bother." WHAT? My mom is in her early 70s, very healthy and active. That would NOT be the reply I would have expected. As a daughter, that's just not the thing you want to hear from your mother.

Well, I wasn't about to buy into that baloney, so I suggested we take a ride to a nursery to find out exactly what it takes to grow a banana tree and how long before the fruit arrives. Luckily, we found some very healthy plants and the attendant told us they would bear fruit in a year to a year and a half. So I asked my mom, "Are you willing to stick around at least a year and a half and make this commitment or is that asking too much?" She was a sport and the banana tree found a home.

After a little trial and error, we found the perfect place and my son-in-law planted the tree. I'm very happy that my mom has the fruit to look forward to and she actually has a wonderful reminder of the day she finally won on the slot machines!

My mom is very happy to report on the progress of her little addition that is growing like a weed, has sprouted baby banana trees and will probably be an early bloomer. In fact, when my sister was visiting her recently, my mom tied some bananas from the store on the tree and sent a picture. She's a nut - glad she'll be around for a while!

So, I'm sure you're thinking, nice story, but what does this have to do with massage therapy? Well, the moral of the story is you should never think you're too old for anything, whether it be planting a fruit tree or changing careers. Many prospective students that I talk to are cowering behind their fear of being too old or out of school too long to start the massage program. Nothing could be further from the truth - those students are usually the ones who do the best and end up being sought-after therapists. A little bit of life under your belt never hurt anyone.

Our classrooms are full of students from all walks of life and all ages. We have nurses, personal trainers, recent high school graduates, recent college graduates, stay-at-home moms, teachers, flight attendants, high-end managers, and retirees. The diversity of ages makes it so much more enjoyable and so much more enriching to each student. Everyone is scared, everyone is worried, everyone is excited, and everyone is on the same adventure into the unknown. In addition to gaining a career, you'll probably make some wonderful friends.

The banana tree and my mother are thriving - so will you! Please give me a call when you're ready to make that commitment.