Choosing my first movie memory was difficult, because I can't remember my first movie, but I can remember the first time I watched something and it had a positive impact on my life. And that was when my parents and I went to go see Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
We didn't go to the movies often when I was a kid, so when we did it was pretty memorable. I was 10 years old the summer Prisoner of Azkaban was released. I was a bit of a late comer to Harry Potter. It wasn't until the first two in the series were on VHS that I watched them for the first time. Harry Potter was undoubtedly my new obsession. I had the movies, I played the games, and as much as I hated to read, I even tried doing that as well!
It's late June, and my parents and I finally get around to going to the theater to watch it, and I'm psyched. I've seen the first two movies so many times that I could probably recite them back to you. Since I wasn't a big reader, I was going in cold. I had no idea what to expect. I wasn't disappointed, of course, as I was loving every minute.
We're about halfway through the movie when I look over at mom, who is enjoying it. Then I look over at dad, who fell asleep. I roll my eyes as I'm thinking something along the lines of "How could you fall asleep through Harry Potter?!" But I didn't really understand how weak he was at the time. And I certainly didn't think it would have been the last movie I ever got to watch with him. Just four months later, it was only my mother and me.
Perhaps this wasn't as cheerful as you expected...
But despite the awful turn in my story, things could have been a lot worse. I've told my close friends at times, "Harry Potter saved me." and I still believe that it is one of many reasons why I'm here and who I am today. Not only was the magical world of Harry Potter an escape from reality, even if just for a little while, but I could also relate with Harry when I couldn't with anyone else. Harry Potter might not have been real, but he still made me feel like I wasn't alone. And let's not forget the words that Dumbledore and Sirius Black instilled into Harry... into me.
Harry Potter is so much more than just movies, or books, or games to me. It will always be more than that. I wish more than anything that I had the opportunity to thank J. K. Rowling for the world she created, because I don't know where I'd be without it. And in the event that I'm blessed enough for her to see this and read it: Thank you.