“Go be someone’s Hagrid.” – Jeff Richardson”
While giving me a pep talk one night and giving me encouragement to get through some of the rough stuff in life, one of my closest friends told me that and it just touched my soul and caused a lightbulb to come on. I’ve been through a lot of terrible things in my life. Now, granted a lot of those things were as a result of a bad decisions I had already made, a lot of them weren’t. There are, without a doubt, children that had it exponentially harder than I did growing up, and I feel blessed for the few good things I did get from the beautiful train wreck that was my adolescence.
One of the best, and most influential things to come out of the calamity was the introduction of the magic world into my own and the subsequent strengthening of some of my foundational pillars that had been damaged quite severely.
In July of 2001, I was introduced to one of the most loyal and genuine book characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of getting to know.
In the event that you’ve lived under a rock for the past fifteen years, you may have no idea who Rubeus Hagrid is or realize that he is one of the most genuine and endearing characters in the entire Harry Potter series. The level of adoration I feel towards him, is pretty on par with the adoration I have towards the Obama/Joe Biden memes.
(here’s a hint……that’s a LOT)
To give you some context, I have to try and convey to you my incontrovertible and unequivocal admiration for the series, and help you comprehend how completely pivotal of a role that J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter books have played in my life.
To be honest, I’m not sure that anything I say will ever get across to another person how deeply connected I feel to the world that J.K. Rowling designed, forever changing my life.
When I was eleven years old, and a week away from the end of fifth grade, I was taken from my father’s care and placed in the state of Florida’s care. That summer, I lived in a group home called Youth Haven, which could probably have a blog post all on its own. I’m thankful for being placed there, though, because that’s where I discovered the gem, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
So many of the things I believe in were founded upon things I learned from the Harry Potter books. From the first introduction of Hagrid in The Sorcerer’s Stone, I instantly fell in love with his heart. He is the unexpected gentle giant with a heart bigger than words can convey. He wears his heart on his sleeve and he loves unconditionally. He became Harry’s protector and took him under his wing from the moment he came back into his life.
That is what I needed.
That is what Hagrid and the Harry Potter series became for me. At a moment in my life that was severely shattered and disintegrating fast, I needed someone or something to prove they were going to be there for me unconditionally and without fail.
So many people had given up on me, and had reduced my confidence to a level that cannot sufficiently be described, that I allowed myself to completely immerse myself into the magic of Hogwarts. It became my solace and my safe space when I felt as though I had nowhere else to turn.
At this point in my life, I have gone through some really dark times and have struggled incredibly hard to get through them. I am going through a pretty rough patch right now, to be quite honest, but no matter what I can always turn to the pages of Harry Potter and find some comfort. There are so many wonderful and inspiring quotes that came from the mind of J.K. Rowling and the one that sticks out the most is this:
If you take one thing away from reading this, please take this: no matter how bad it is, it can always be worse and that everyone deserves to have someone fighting for and with them. One of the things I’ve said for quite some time now, is that I wanted to use my pain towards helping someone find their happiness, just as J.K. Rowling did for me with the pages of Harry Potter.
I’ll leave you with one final quote:
“Words are, in my not so humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic, capable of both influencing injury, and remedying it.”