I just finished watching the movie “Magic Beyond Words: The J.K. Rowling Story” that is on Amazon Prime movies starring Poppy Montgomery. I was looking for a good movie to watch and came across it so decided to watch it for oh so many reasons.
My daughter Kaitlyn was 11 years old when the book Harry Potter hit the United States like a hurricane. Already a great lover of books, I remember when Harry Potter came to our house in 2001 when Kaitlyn was 11, which was by the way, the same age as the three main characters in the book.
I had never heard of this Harry Potter, but my daughter became thoroughly enthralled and enchanted with the book and consumed the first one in short order. I heard some parents had second thoughts about the book since it involved, heaven forbid, witches, but it was not a book that would lead any child into practicing witchcraft or any such nonsense. Yes, it did have evil people in the book, with the good people fighting the evil that exists even in this real world we live in. It is a book that shows good can win over evil.
With each subsequent book of the series, Kaitlyn would have her father take her to Walmart at 12 midnight when the book was released and Kaitlyn would stay up all night reading, which it was always released on a Friday so it didn’t interfere with school. She spent all weekend reading these huge tomes of a book and barely came up for air. I was somewhat concerned but put up little resistance to her desire to read these books until she either fell asleep in it or it was finished.
She read every one of the 7 books and I do believe there were some she read many times over. When the movies came out, she would go see them as fast as she could with her friends and many times she would often go see them again but with me the 2nd time because I also loved the books and the movies.
I remember she always wanted me to read the books, but during that time of my life, I was not reading as much as I once did because I was so busy. I read the first one and part of the 2nd one before other things called me to not read another one, but I watched every single movie with her.
I remember her vividly coming to me with that 2nd book, sly smile on her face, sliding it almost secretively into my lap just begging me with her eyes to start it. She was like me in that when I watch or read something I love, I want someone else to experience it too. I never finished that second one, but they are all sitting on her bookshelf now….all of them in hard back. I think I will start that 2nd book over again and read all the rest. Truthfully, they are not just for children, any adult would find them fascinating as well. They are magical and J.K. Rowling deserved every dime she made on them.
Getting back to the movie I just watched, I cried off and on during the whole thing. Not only because Kaitlyn loved the books and movies so much, but because of J.K. Rowling’s story of her life. She never really fit in because she never seemed to be doing the thing that she really loved and that was writing. She worked on that first book for years as her life went from one job she hated to the other; to a marriage that ended badly, to having a baby, and living on assistance which she was so ashamed of. But she kept on and when she finished her book she was refused by many agents, then one finally accepted her. Her agent submitted her book too many publishers before one finally accepted her book and of course, the rest is history.
I thought of Kaitlyn during this movie. I thought of her love for Harry Potter and I thought about how she probably never thought she fit in, but knowing if the disease of depression had not killed her, she would have went on to be what she had always dreamed of.
Like the books, Kaitlyn’s love for the Harry Potter books was magical to me. She got to grow up with these characters, always remaining their same age. She went to the last installment of the Harry Potter movie with a group of friends when she was in college. At the bottom of this post is the night they went with matching T-shirts. I think this was the midnight premier.
All of this was an important part of Kaitlyn’s life and I will never see anything that has anything to do with Harry Potter where it does not make me think of all those times.
In my living room where I put Kaitlyn’s table is a box that was hers. It looks like an old fashioned book, but it’s not a book at all. It opens up like a box. Inside I have her jewelry, her watches, her passport and along with those things is the ticket stub to the very last Harry Potter movie that we went to see together, which was the last installment.
I think I’ll now go and get Kaitlyn’s huge DVD case that has all the Harry Potter DVDs and watch them all over again….starting with the first one.
Thank you J.K. Rowling for giving this joy to my daughter and millions of other children around the world as it will continue to do for more years than I can imagine.