On the verge of my wedding (three months), I have been dedicating a certain amount of time of my week to help ay my moms with odd-and-end jobs in preparation. She is, after all, paying for most of my wedding; it’s the least I can do.
The other Sunday after church, the task was to help with tile work. When I got there, it turned into putting up shelves in the extra bedroom. “Piece of cake”, I say to myself, almost insulted by this so-easy-anybody-can-do-it task.
I really can not begin to say how monumental this task was for me. It might as well had been building the Great Wall of China. Well not really, but you know, kinda.
These shelves really almost defeated me. A shelf dropped, while I was holding up to see if it was even. The shelf got a little beat up and the paint chipped off the side. The screws were so hard to put in, that the wood split on the other wood pieces I was screwing them into. I finally got it on, but then it was uneven, and I had to redo it. I mean, it seemed like everything that could go wrong, went wrong. I finally got one put on, after completely stripping the screw and using every ounce of muscle in my arms (I'm still really sore from it), but then looked at the picture and with a wave of utter defeat, I had put it on upside-down! Not being so easy to take out stripped screws, mind you, it took me about thirty minutes to take the shelf off. Alas, of course.... it turns out I had it in the right way the first time!
The culminating thing was that I also dropped the second shelf when I was trying to see if it was even. I was so convinced the second one would be easier after learning from my previous mistakes. When the second shelf dropped, it ended up landing on a pot. It was broken into probably two dozen or more pieces. “Please, I said to myself, not THAT pot. Please let it not be that pot." Of course it was THAT pot, a Native American (I think Ansai or Acoma) pot that my sister had just given to my Mom for Christmas.
I profusely apologized, to which my Mom replied “Oh, no big deal, its fine. I can glue it. Brenna will never know.”
There was no hint of annoyance in her voice. Nothing but love out of concern out of her clumsy, well-intentioned daughter. She went back to the bathroom to finish her tiling. I left to pick up the broken pieces of pot. At first it was tears of just feeling bad for breaking the pot. She piped up from the bathroom “Don’t worry about it, really. It’s fine.” No annoyance in her voice at all. Surely I would have been slightly annoyed even if I knew it was unintentional. My tears of feeling bad were then completely overcome by tears of overwhelming joy and appreciation for the best mother I could ever ask for. They were then enhanced by feeling so lucky to be getting married in a few months to the man I love.
My joy was so much and so encompassing. I felt spoiled. I felt unworthy of such blessings. Surely these were blessing that were meant for someone else, someone better than me. I went to the bathroom, in tears, and hugged my mom – my mom who has always been there for me, so selflessly.
I came back to the house a couple days later for Brenna’s birthday. Immediately, I went to the bedroom to show off my defeat of the daunting destroyer-of-all-that-is-good shelves to Jared.
Taken aback at first, but to no surprise, there atop a set of drawers was the Native american pot, glued back together – much like the pieces of me that my mother always seems to put together when I have broke.