Thank you, Ms. Lee

I was having such a good day, too. I’m sure that most of you have heard, but if I’m the first to tell you, I’m really sorry. Harper Lee, author of To Kill A Mockingbird and Go Set A Watchman, passed away this morning.

It’s amazing that an author who only wrote two books could have such an impact on my life. But then, we’re not talking about any old books. So I wanted to take some time today, to thank her for everything that her work gave me.

  • Thank you for Scout. As a little girl who was always told to ‘be quiet, don’t play in the mud, stop yelling, don’t swear, be a lady’, Scout was just who I was when I was allowed to be.
  • Thank you for Atticus. He was a hero to me, as I struggled to find a place for myself as a liberal minded person in an old school Republican town. Yeah, we have those up North, too.
  • Thank you for writing a story that I couldn’t put down. Your work is considered a classic, and is served with so many others that even a bibliophile like me had trouble choking them down, they’re so dry.
  • Thank you for giving us Go Set A Watchman. Thank you for giving us Jean Louise, and the wonderful, independent, loving, brave woman Scout became. Thank you for showing us how hurt she was when the only mother she ever had turned on her because of the disparity between black and white people. Thank you for reminding me that race disparity hurts, and it hurts all of us deeply in a very personal, not political way.
  • Thank you, Ms. Lee, for sharing your stories with us.

And now, here is a picture of my cat, Harper, named after Ms. Lee. I know I wanted to hug her today.

Photo by Garrett Luttrell

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