BY KATIE LAMAR
I thank you now because I was too selfish to thank you when I was little. I placed my heavy head on your shoulder and expected you to hold my weight for the rest of your life, as if your only meaning was to carry me around. As a baby I was the same. I have heard story after story about how I would cling to your neck so tightly I would leave bruises; you couldn’t even put me down to use the bathroom. I had to be with you at all times. As a toddler I was the same. I remember you would make a meal for yourself and I would snatch up your food and refuse to eat the food you had made for me. I had to eat your food because you were my mom and obviously your food was better than mine. As a child I was the same. You would be reading your romance novel and I would place my heavy head on your shoulder and breathe heavily, making sure my hot breath was as close to your face as it could get, attempting to antagonize and provoke you until you finally shooed me away, causing me to cry. I had to cry so you would pay attention to me. As I got older, I began to notice how heavy my head was getting. Suddenly, you couldn’t hold me up anymore. You couldn’t take my weight. You couldn’t support me. And I thought it was because maybe I was getting bigger. Larger. My body was consuming you. You were getting crushed and I was the crusher, hurting your insides even more as you were collapsing before my very eyes. Dad had to help you go to the bathroom. Dad had to help feed you. Dad had to read to you. Was I a monster? I still depended on you even though I saw you slip away. I could compare it to a slow thunderstorm or a quick flash of lightning. Your abilities weakened slowly; you found speaking was a chore and silence fit perfectly into your schedule. Your eyes shut one by one over the course of ten months. But still, your disintegration felt too fast, felt too hurried. I was under the impression it was just a harsh winter and by springtime you could hold me and love me just as strongly as the springtime before. But you were destroyed. I blamed you so hard for giving up, or at the very least not warning me that you were leaving. I hadn’t realized you had been warning me for months. Everyone had. You were gone.
As a teenager I lay my head on the your pile of ashes. I write poems about you and cry until all my tears are dry, and I thank you now because I was too selfish to thank you when I was little.