When you think about where you are in life and you try to figure out how you got here there is always that one particular moment that you knew the choice you made would change your life forever. I haven’t always loved reading and it was hard for me growing up. I was great with numbers and still am, but there is something about getting lost in a story that just captivates me and I no longer understand people who just don’t like to read. To me you’re doing it wrong.
Now with this love to read I think back as to when I realized that I loved ready and that was in middle school when I was able to finally read what I wanted to read. I read all sorts of classic YA and traditional YA. I never really understood that need for classics. That was until I hit my junior year of high school. I had read plenty of classics, but because I had to.
In my honors English class we had to read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and let me tell you how this book struck me. We were supposed to be reading it together as a class over the next week after we started, but I had other plans. After finishing about five chapters in class the first day when I got home I just couldn’t stop reading. I remember staying up to almost 4am so that I could finish it and I couldn’t wait to get back to school to tell my teacher just how much I loved this book.
This was the first literary novel that I fell in love with and it was the first book that made me realize just how much it can impact your life. The story wasn’t just about kids growing up, but about a life that needed to be justified. I truthfully don’t know where I would be right now without this book. This book made me realize that you could LOVE classics and that they didn’t just have to be a chore. Soon after I started picking up classics on my own to read and I even went on to college as an English major, just so that I could have an excuse to read classics all day every day.
Thinking back to this day I don’t think that I ever realized just how much Harper Lee’s words stayed with me until her latest novel came out last year, Go Set a Watchman. Her second novel to me was just a masterful as the first novel, even though the audiences were completely different and the messages polar opposites. Being a young woman having grown up with Lee’s words this book spoke to me, since it is a coming of age novels and about finding your true self and making your own decisions about the life you lead and the thoughts you carry. It’s like Lee’s words know when to come into my life at just the right time.
As you all can see this woman played a huge part in my life and the fact that I love literature so much. It was such a sad day today after hearing of her passing. The second I found out I cried. I couldn’t stop. I’m still crying. I was at work for 14 hours today and just couldn’t keep that Disney smile on my face. I didn’t even actually know this woman and I’m over here acting like she was my own relative. I know most people don’t understand, but when someone has had such an affect on your life you can’t help but get emotional when you know that they are gone.
I know she is in a much better place now, and I know that she lived a full life and am so grateful to have been alive while she was and able to witness such amazing words flow from her. I wouldn’t have it any other way than the life she lived and I know that her words will live on forever, not just in her books, but in our souls as well. Because that was the kind of author she was. She dug down deep into your heart and nestled herself there where you just couldn’t shake her, and you didn’t want to.
I hope that if you haven’t read her books that you will give them a chance and that if you have read them that even if they didn’t effect you like they did me that you realize just how amazing of an author we lost today. ❤
Rest In Peace Harper Lee 1926-2016 ❤