My talent is guilt. I'm good at it. In fact, I would dare say that at a weak moment, you can darn well guilt me into pretty much anything, no matter how outlandish the request, not matter how lame, now matter how inconsequential in the grandios picture. Wednesdays are my tough days. Classes start at 9:30a and end at 7:30p and Thursday mornings are my early start. Hump day turns into a mountain. Mom's been in St. Andrews on a principal's conference. I met her tonight in town. What did I want to do, she asked me. I need to go pick up some bread and margarine so she came and walked around the grocery store with me. I had a bit day so I was glad to talk things through her. She's a good sounding board in cases with school, and really, cases with life. So I talked about everything I had found out from advisors and banks and student loans and housing and everything that was on my plate that needed sorted through before I made a temporary move 3000 miles west. And she listened and offered some input and said that I was doing the right thing. And everytime she wanted to let me know that she really did disapprove of Peter and I really actually living together, she stopped in mid inhale and said "Andrea, I love you.". And she told me that several times.
Andrea, I love you. Andrea, I love you. Andrea, I love you.
And I couldn't help but stop and be overwhelmed by just how much she did. I hugged her close and said mom, I love you too. Forever. She let go tonight, which is hard for her, and in doing so I had an overwhelming desire to draw near. So when I think about blessings and their costs, I get confused by this turn of events. Because I needed the blessing that she offered, through grace and acceptance and understanding and I can't help but draw back, even slightly, in fright of what the cost might be. And could I afford it? But then I have to stop and think that worries like that are about as important as worrying what colour eyes a newborn baby will have when for the time being the best thing to do is count fingers and toes.
So I'll count my fingers and toes, astonishing myself with how my blessings that have given so much more than they have ever costs, overflow my digits. And I'll accept my mother's love as love and nothing more, because it's everything.
She looked at me and said that people think she's boring because she's never smoked pot, had never been drunk, never slept around. What do you think of that, she asked. I smiled at her and said that I had never smoked pot and then the conversation just kind of hung there. And she smiled and said Andrea, I love you. And she does.
So maybe my outlook is clouded and my own undoing. Maybe it's me and not him trying my best to stand up on a solid rock in the middle of a raging storm with water all around. Maybe it's me with my hands above my head and screaming into the wind Oh My God! And not know myself whether it is a prayer or a curse.
strangely, tonight I am satisfied that no payment with be exacted.
Sometimes when I lose my grip, I wonder what to make of heaven.
Jars of Clay