Egads, I have been too sick to post anything for the past two weeks. First a flu, then a few days of chills and fevers, then some food poisoning and--once the fever broke--an ear infection. The latter still lingers, which means my brain feels somewhat askew, like a light bulb that has not been screwed in properly and therefore flickers off and on if you try to use it. It’s hard to write with such a brain.
Next week I hope to resume with my little series of blogs about dogs and dogginess (and in particular, the dogginess of my former dog, Wallace) but in the meantime I wanted to share a story I heard last weekend while visiting my aunt.
She and I were talking about the Harry Potter series which she (at age 78) has not read and I (at karmic age 800) have read—oh, I don’t know—at least fourteen times. I wish I had started counting years ago, in 2003, when I first discovered the series. (Yes, 2003 was a bit late, but not too late, as we shall soon see).
My addiction to Harry Potter, which I have written about elsewhere, is actually rather pathological at this point. I read the series whenever I am sick and/or in denial about reality and/or experiencing those seasonal blues. (This week I happened to be experiencing all three syndromes at once, which means all seven books must be read, non-stop). What can I say? Harry is my best anti-depressant. He has carried me through some dark, dark times, I tell you, and I know I am not the only one who feels this way.
Take my aunt’s friend, for instance. Her name is not important, and it might even be disrespectful to tell you, because this dear woman is dead. She died of cancer a few years ago, in the winter of 2007, I believe.
How old was she? In her eighties.
Had she led a full life? One would think. Because we don’t seem to die in these lives until something essential has been filled up.
Did she love? Absolutely. And one of her great loves, I am told, was Harry Potter.
Did she have those typical death-bed, looking-back-on-life regrets? Hey, that’s private. But one thing I do know is this:
One day, when my aunt was visiting her dying friend at the hospital, this friend said: “Now I’ll never get to know what happens to Harry Potter.”
I don’t know why this moved me so much. I can’t explain the gratitude I feel that I have had the opportunity, in this lifetime, to read something so good; to be able to spend time with books that make me happy; and to know the happy ending.
I wish I could contact Jo Rowling and tell her this little story. This is such a credit to her, obviously; that she wrote something so powerful that lives have been changed, lives have been saved, lives have been averted, lives have been diverted. And, for at least one woman, for perhaps one second, her life felt almost incomplete without knowing the complete Harry Potter. Or rather, that one aspect of her life was incomplete.
I belong to a daily email list from Gratefulness.org, which sends out daily quotes on reasons to be joyous, grateful, and happy. And so, in my small little life, I am going to add HP to that list. In honor of my aunt’s friend.
I hope I am making at least some sense. The ear infection is in the right ear, which means my creative thinking is impaired. Or is it my logical thinking? Whatever....I’ll probably edit this in a few days, once all has returned to normalcy and balance.