November 24, 2012
Why is nay saying the popular thing to do lately? It seems like all we do is nay say, Snopes, doubt, disbelieve and scorn those who do. It is almost as if our culture views intelligence as the skeptics, the doubters, the negative nancies rather than those with hope, curiosity and an open mind.
When I see something in my email or on facebook, if I am interested enough to consider it the first thing I do is look at Snopes to see if it has already been reported by somebody. When someone tells me a fantastic tale, my first instinct is to doubt. When I see a report of Bigfoot, Loch Ness, you name it – I am sure there is some sort of deception behind it so I don’t allow the possibility to enter my head.
I am not a religious person, I am not even sure I am a spiritual person. But I see those with true faith (not the judgmental, critical, or blind to facts faith, the real kind that you can see in someone’s eyes) as holding something magic that I wish I had.
Here is my Christmas tale. As most of you know, my daughter lost her three year fight with cancer on January second, immediately after the holidays. I had a very difficult year coping with that loss. Having no faith to rely on, despite the many people who said things like, “She’s in a better place” or “God brought her home”, I didn’t believe what they believed. Also, since I didn’t believe in much of anything, it felt like she was just gone, vanished, poof. I was heartsick and alone in a way only a grieving mother can be. The first Christmas without her, we returned to our isolated lake cabin where we spent the last year with Amber. The kids had walkie talkies for Christmas and left me alone with her grandmother to go ice fishing with their dad. Now, when I say isolated, I mean isolated. We were 30 miles to the nearest farm (or other residential dwelling), 75 miles from the nearest town (of 350) and the only people at the lake. There are three cabins at the lake, but since we had to plow our way in and the snow was still falling, there is no chance anyone else made it to their cabin. As my mother in law helped me go through old boxes of things deciding what to donate and what to keep, the walkie talkie downstairs kept buzzing.
Grandma, can you read me? Over and out. Grandma, I want a cookie (giggling), do you read me? Yoo Hoo, mom, where are you? (more giggling). Wiping away my tears I told Vicky (my mother in law) that we had better go tend the walkie talkie. When we got downstairs she picked up the toy and went very pale. There were no batteries in either walkie talkie, and they were both on the counter. As she stumbled over the words trying to tell me this, the walkie talkie went off in her hand again. Haha, I tricked you! (That was Amber’s favorite game). That is also the last time that walkie talkie ever went off. I held that toy (and still keep it near my bed today) and wouldn’t let anyone put batteries in it, hoping that magic would happen again and I could hear my mischievous daughter’s giggle again. I never did. The real magic, though, is that I now believe. I don’t know what I believe, or in who or how. In fact, I am skeptical that anyone truly knows, but I shed my inner doubter and know that there is something else.
So, this Christmas, let the nay sayer rest. Look for miracles, marvels, or other magic in the world. Be open to the unbelievable stories, unlikely discoveries, and fantastic ideas of other people. If you don’t shout at the top of your lungs “I DO believe in fairies”, then Tinkerbell may cease to exist. And really, isn’t life more exciting with an element of mystery and magic anyway?