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Memoirs of a Massuer

By Todd Pequeen

This year has been an extremely hot one. Dry with intense sun, sweat never seems to leave my brow. The plants and trees around us have been desperate. Some days I’ve felt desperate; the need to escape. Day after day their leaves curl inward; it is miraculous that they hold on. Soon they know the rains will fall. In the near future the bounty of fruits, flowers, and cooler temperatures will replace the desert like conditions. I’ve always thought of life as a never ending journey of peaks and valleys; plant or animal hardships never stop. Challenges and difficulties should be welcomed; we overcome and that is how we grow. It takes sacrifice and a belief in what’s to come to achieve something in this world. Just as the plants and trees push on each day, so must we human beings. Smiling in the face of hardship; humor in the midst of dispute. In order to hold on, to be flexible yet durable, a strong foundation is essential. Whether it is the roots of a plant or a tree or the support of friends, family, and community, we cannot do “life” alone.

There is a species of French angel fish that are monogamous. They spawn in pairs and are strongly territorial of their home throughout their lives. They are black with vertical yellow bands as juveniles but then develop gorgeous orange, yellow, and white markings as adults. To me it is incredible that a pair of fish choose to be together. Scarlet Macaws were recently reintroduced to the Manuel Antonio area. They are one of the most beautiful birds in the world. They also mate for life and spend their days in pairs as the seasons come and go. Just a quick glance at a pair flying overhead always makes me feel honored to be sharing the jungle with them. They weather storms and winds and also the perfect days preening each other. To be alone in this world for certain species is often too much to bear. However, the contrary can make an average life into an exceptional one. Finding a “true love” and going about the decades as one unit is perhaps one of the hardest yet rewarding partnerships in the animal kingdom. Commitment in the unwavering sort of way is harder and harder to find examples of these days.

This June my parents, Cindy and Jerry Pequeen, will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary here in Manuel Antonio. I am honored to be part of a family with parents that lead by example. Their devotion and ability to get through the hard times is a Cinderella story that has produced a family of five, as well as four grandchildren who are all in their teens now. They gave as well as they forgave and have never forgotten their roots of Buffalo, New York. I’ve watched them struggle, getting three kids through college on a teacher’s salary had to have been hard. Our earliest days were literally in a 2 bedroom apartment (under my Grandparents) and my 2 sisters and I had triple bunk beds. We had little, but we had everything because we felt loved. I imagine the five decades behind them are a bit of a blur; after all they met as young teenagers. They now communicate better how they feel, perhaps the passing of time helps. They have helped me achieve a lifestyle that I’ve always dreamed of, and my sisters equally share in our joy of this accomplishment. So CHEERS, Mom and Dad, happy anniversary and may many more come your way.

(Todd Pequeen is a pioneer of the spa industry here in MA since 2000. He works independently at his tree top studio or at your location and can be reached at 8830-7727. His free time is spent reading, writing, surfing, traveling, and spreading the love!)

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