A Letter to Nell’s Fans

*Originally published 2016/02/19

Today Harper Lee died.  As you have read in previous posts, her novel To Kill a Mockingbird has been a great influence in my reading and thinking.  Today I want to take a moment and thank this amazing woman for  not just writing a great book that brought me more than a few hours of entertainment.  She has inspired me  I know that most readers leave TKAM wanting to be lawyers and change the world of law and justice.  I left TKAM wanting to be a writer.  I am not the person that will change the world in any way – no grand illusions here.  BUT I want to bring awareness of what our world is like now and hopefully inspire others that can change the world.  Lee wrote this novel in hopes of writing more works. She didn’t think it was going to be a best-seller or that it would mean so much to people.

I read TKAM and I came away with the one fact…the world is not fair.  It’s not black or white, right or wrong.  People do terrible things to good people and sometimes they won’t pay the consequences.  Not to get too deep, but it me question my own ideals, values and religion.  Every time I read the book I measure myself in a way.  I am a thinker, a worrier, a planner, and I express myself in words and writing.  I write because it frees my thoughts.  I choose to be an outsider and peer at the world in many lenses.  I know some people see it as hiding or not living my own life…but I love stories and being around them and telling them…it’s my thing. Whether anyone reads them or not my words are out there…I am out there.  That is what Lee has given me through her writing…a purpose that is just my own.  With my grandmother’s death three years ago this month, I have let go of the “must be” for the “I am”.  Ms. Lee might be gone but for me she will never be forgotten.  I hope she has found peace and is with her beloved sister.


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