Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Stranger Than Fiction

by Sariah S. Wilson

So here are things that happened to me during my vacation that if I put them in a book, no one would believe me because the coincidences are simply too overwhelming (and I promise you that each and every one is completely true).

First off is something that didn’t actually happen to me per se, but is a great story nonetheless. I had a best friend in high school who had been my best friend since eighth grade when she figured out that I was LDS based on my name (she was LDS as well and in a different ward). We had one of those competitive on and off types of friendships through the years, and after high school we didn’t really stay in touch. When we were freshmen, she had a boyfriend who we will call Brad Tussell. She broke up with him for one of the reasons teenage girls break up with their boyfriends. Brad never quite got over her. I know they remained friends, but I don’t believe they ever really dated again as she was the type who always had a boyfriend that was not him.

I saw her a few times in college after she transferred to the Y from another school, but our lives had really diverged and we didn’t hang out that much. She did call and invite me to her going away party before she left on her mission. I got to introduce her to my now-husband, and she told me that she had been in contact with good old Brad, who had since moved from our California city to Tacoma, Washington. He told my friend that he had prayed about it and that he knew they were supposed to get married. He told her that there would be a sign – she would be called on her mission to his hometown.

Guess where she got sent on her mission? Yes, that’s right. Tacoma, Washington. Of all the missions in the world, she gets sent there. Bizarre, right?

But my friend didn’t see it as a sign and when she got home she married someone else. Had a couple of kids. We talked periodically on the phone, sent Christmas cards.

So this year I contacted her via e-mail because last year’s Christmas card got returned. She sent me an email saying that it had been a crazy year – last year she got divorced and this year she got remarried.

To Brad Tussell.

I was in such shock. Other people aren’t freaking out quite as much as me – I think it was because I was there when all this happened and how funny that all these years later they found their way back to one another.

The second weird thing that happened to me was from buying my baby a Cabbage Patch doll. It’s one of the newborns and I bought it because it reminded me of my daughter – it had a small dimple on the left cheek and just sort of looked like her. I have fond memories of my own Cabbage Patch doll – how I stood in a store holding onto it so that no one else would grab it, how my parents could only afford it because it had been ripped open and one of the shoes was missing.

I took it home, stuck it in the closet, and then wrapped it up on Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day we opened it up for her. I sniffed the doll, loving that baby powder Cabbage Patch smell that all the dolls have. I pulled out the various little fun stuff included with the doll, including the adoption papers.

Do you know what this doll’s name was? Now, keep in mind that I did not look at the name before that moment. I never even glanced at the papers when I bought it.

The doll’s name was Sariah Daisy.

What are the odds of that? How many people do you know named Sariah? (I realize it might be higher for you than the average person since LDS people do give that name to their daughters.) I just thought of all the dolls in the world with all the names that they have, how did I manage to pick up a Cabbage Patch doll that looked like my daughter and had my name? Too weird.

The last thing is that one of my aunts has started coming back to church. She doesn’t have a car right now and so her home teachers have been picking her up and driving here there. They told her that recently they were helping an inactive sister to come back to church, but that she’s been having a hard time as she was older and didn’t have anyone to sit with (and also lacked a vehicle). They asked my aunt if she would befriend this woman. My aunt agreed.

They picked the woman up and helped her into the car. She looked at my aunt and called her by name. My aunt was, understandably, a little freaked out and asked how the woman knew her. The woman replied that she was her aunt – she had been married to my grandfather’s brother. This great-aunt had, once upon a time, wanted to adopt my mother and her brother. She and her husband were unable to have children and since my grandmother had so many, wanted my grandmother to give those two children to her. My grandmother, obviously, couldn’t, but this great-aunt and her husband would take my mother and my uncle every weekend to go do fun things. They did eventually adopt a child of their own, but my mother had always felt close to her aunt because of all the time they spent together. But they lost touch, as sometimes happens in large, extended families.

And then she just shows up, in my aunt’s ward in Indiana, a member of the church (which she was not when she was younger).

Have you ever had a real life situation that was stranger than fiction?


At 1/05/2008 11:47 PM, Blogger Tristi Pinkston said...

Wow -- those are all so cool! And no, you never could put any of those in a book. It would never work. :)

At 1/06/2008 12:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The entire story of my life is stranger than fiction. I want to write it, and publish, but I'm not sure anyone would believe it was true!

I guess, after reading this, that it might just be as entertaining as what you wrote. So there's hope after all. Thanks!

At 1/07/2008 1:50 PM, Blogger Annette Lyon said...

Wild stories. I love things like that.

At 1/08/2008 2:19 PM, Blogger annahannah said...

Now if only your name was sariah DAISY


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