I decided to end this month of literacy by sharing one of my favorite books. The last time I mentioned a book was by the ever popular Dr. Seuss. When I taught preschoolers, we always celebrated his birthday at the start of March with many fun activities. I do believe To Kill A Mockingbird is one of Dana Warrior’s favorite books too and I have some personal connections with the wonderful Harper Lee.
To Kill A Mockingbird was one of the many class books we read during my freshman year in high school. Remember also those Gods and Goddesses were that year too! My son will be reading Ms. Lee’s famous book soon so Mom will be interested for sure… I became so enthralled with this story as our class also watched the movie where Gregory Peck won the Oscar for Best Actor. It was a favorite of mine over 30+ years ago and remains true to my heart today. My freshmen English teacher was also so dear to me and I had her for another subject as well.
This teacher taught freshmen but had the additional job of being the senior class advisor. My senior year also brought on WrestleMania VI but more on that next year as it will reach a BIG milestone…, *** I couldn’t wait to get one of my favorite teachers to sign my yearbook as graduation got closer. Before asking her, I was one of two girls chosen to lead our graduation ceremony! How in the world did I receive that honor? I joked with her saying there were shorter girls than us but that wasn’t why. She valued me as a student and that really impacted me. Us girls made two lines on either side of the auditorium as I beamed with pride. She picked me. ME… It was something I never forgot and never will. Also, graduation means “Pomp and Circumstance” which was Randy Savage’s entrance music. Back then, oh no! Today, “oh yeah!”
When I did ask my teacher to sign the yearbook she mentioned our times in class together. She wrote this: “You lead your class beautifully! Long line Atticus!” Atticus Finch is the main character in To Kill A Mockingbird. Three years later and she remembered personally. Words do matter just like I mention in my book Spirit and Belief. We never forget the influence they have. I never forgot Warrior’s either. It’s like the WWE slogan previously blogged about Then, Now, and Forever. It’s never just the words but how they make you feel. Whatever that emotion is, it stays with you if it truly matters.
After my Grandma passed away over six years ago, my mom and I began cleaning out many things from her house. I ventured up into the attic alone to contemplate and relive memories by myself. She had this enormous rotating wooden bookstand one would find in a library. Years before, I’d come take a peek but now stayed longer. My Grandma had given me Danielle Steel romance novels to read long ago but now I saw others.
It was then I spotted one of my favorites inside this huge stand. Immediately, I knew it had to be mine. After all, Grandma had given me as her only goddaughter plenty of other treasures over the years. When I came downstairs, my mom was surprised to see only one book in my hand. I told her the others didn’t interest me and this one was well, quite personal.
A few years ago, I heard how Harper Lee finally wrote a sequel to her best selling novel. I found it in the library detailing the life of a now grown up Scout Finch. Go Set A Watchman was released and then the following year, Ms. Lee passed away at almost 90. It was like her destiny to finally tell more of the story made popular 40 years prior.
We need to “write” our stories however they come to life for us. No need to publish but just make them your destiny everyday. This story today was brought on by another’s written before I was even born. I hope my son enjoys To Kill A Mockingbird in some way. No, he won’t have the same experiences but my wish is that some book along his destiny will influence his memories as is my wish for my daughter and all of you.
I reread my Grandma’s book shortly after bringing it home as the smell reminds me of her. From freshmen English, senior year, reading, writing my own book, and now— it all makes a difference. Every month should be for advocating literacy since the littlest words can truly create lasting memories. THANK YOU Harper Lee…. “Long Line Atticus!”
P.S. The table in the photo also belonged to my Grandparents and was in their home for years… ❤️