Friday, August 17, 2012

Me and Mulder, We Believe

On the “X-Files,” I stood with Mulder.  His motto, my motto:  I want to believe.

In fact, I do believe.  I love the mysterious and the unexplainable because so many events in my life fall into those categories.  Accepting that sensation of ‘something more’ in my daily existence adds a personal ‘God particle.’

And for me, Scully and her skepticism constituted buzz kill wrapped in a wet blanket.  Come on Scully!  Don’t you see it?  The beauty and hope of the enigma. 

It doesn’t take too much to keep me convinced that there’s more to life than the superficial, the mundane, and the rote.  I love knowing who’s on the phone before I answer. Or when I dreamed about the long-lost friend before she called.  

It made me smile when I felt my mother, gone since 1977, urging me to pick up Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Red Headed League” at the library.  Of course I knew she was a red head, but my grandma didn’t tell me until later that mom was an avid fan of Sherlock Holmes.

At a recent dinner party I sat near a lovely woman, “Ms. Jones.”  She’s a retired teacher, so we had our education backgrounds in common.  We chatted and got comfortable.  Then, as though compelled, she told me a story that floated in the halls of her consciousness: 

At home in the mode of creating order and eliminating the superfluous, she found herself sifting through boxes and stacks of papers and pictures and books, making decisions about what could stay and what must go. 

In the process, she ran across a book by Dale Evans Rogers (Roy’s wife of 51years).  The book, Angel Unaware:  A Touching Story of Love and Loss, told the story of the Rogers’ daughter, Robin, who lived less than two years. 

My dinner companion puzzled over the find.  She didn’t recall acquiring the book.  She vaguely remembered the story of the Rogers’ heartbreak, but…?  How did this book find its way into her home? 

On opening the cover, the mystery deepened, for there she found Dale Evans’ signature.  A signed copy!   

She leafed through the pages and saw that the story is told from the viewpoint of the child as she looks back to earth from heaven.  Her sweet voice recounts the trials and trauma of coming into the world with multiple devastating birth defects.  The intended ‘take away’ is that throughout their ordeal, little Robin brought joy to her parents, pulled them closer to each other and enhanced their lives in myriad ways. 

My dinner companion shook her head, unsure what to make of her discovery.  The story, while touching, had no special significance for her.  Still, without reasoning why, she knew she would keep it.  She found a spot on her bookshelf and tucked it in, then moved on to the purging at hand. 

Later that week with order restored in her home my new friend received an invitation to the 40th year reunion of students she’d known in her classroom.  She prevailed upon her husband and they attended the event. 

She felt honored and happy to be among her former students and to find them doing so well.  Many of them approached her with hugs and fond stories of their adolescence and her contribution to their successful lives.  

As the evening drew to a close a final alum came toward her saying, “Remember me, Ms. Jones?”   In fact, Ms. Jones didn’t have a strong memory of this student. 

“I’m the one who lent you that book….Angel Unaware.  Remember?” 

Well of course she remembered, now.  She studied the face before her and listened to her former student’s story of the troubles in her life.  Remarkable.   

And the book had been a loan!  Of course, Ms. Jones made arrangements to return it to the one who now needed its comforting message. 

Now tell me, Scully, how was it that Ms. Jones unearthed that forgotten book and gave it a ‘safe’ place in her bookcase just in time to be reunited with its owner?   

Coincidence?  Sure, Scully, I’d like a neon sign saying ‘a merging of the cosmic consciousness created this meaningful episode of seeming serendipity.’   

But even without it, I believe.