I could not disprove my grandpa’s story about the tooth fairy. He said he had seen her walking down the street on a late, rainy night, undoubtedly because her wings were too wet to lift her tiny body into the sky.

I also could not prove that Santa was a fake because every Christmas, after the packages had been opened and the stockings emptied, I had slipped out the garage door and examined our front lawn. Sure enough, I found chewed carrots strewn across the grass each year.

But this holiday was going to be different. I was seven years old. I was going to outsmart the people behind the trickery.

On Easter Eve, I sat in on my bed in my family’s attic, which my father had transformed into a bedroom fit for a princess. The pink wallpaper was decorated with thousands – maybe even millions – of tiny white bunnies. I had tried to count them at bedtime, but always fell asleep before reaching the second wall.

In my lap was a Rainbow Brite coloring book. I opened the book and tore off a corner of the first page. With one of my school pencils, I wrote: “I love you, Easter Bunny” on the bit of paper.

If the Easter bunny is real, he’ll see my note and he’ll write back, I thought. If he doesn’t write back, I’ll know he isn’t real.

I placed the bit of paper at the edge of the staircase that led downstairs. Then I fell asleep, surrounded by the little white bunnies, frozen in time.

When I woke up the next morning, I jumped out of bed and ran to the stairs. I reached for the paper, turned it over and stared in amazement and shock.

“I love you too, Kelly,” the paper read.

He was real! I ran down the stairs and tried to explain to my parents what had happened.

“See Kelly? You just have to believe,” my father said.

I thought about what he said and felt a tremendous amount of guilt for doubting the Easter Bunny’s existence, as well as Santa’s and the tooth fairy’s.

There was just so much evidence against their existence. I had been to the Bronx Zoo plenty of times, but I never found a bunny bigger than the ones out in my yard.

And even if there was a huge bunny somewhere out there, could the Easter Bunny really make all those Easter baskets for all the Christian kids in my town? How did he get that smart? Most bunnies just hop around all day. Did he have a human brain? Where did he get the human brain?

And why did some kids get the Easter baskets that were lined up for sale at our food store? Did the Easter Bunny run out of time and reluctantly use the ready-made baskets for some kids?

How did he decide which kids got them? Did he have a good list and a bad list like Santa? Why did no one tell me about it?

But nevertheless, the Easter Bunny had written to me. He proved himself to me when I doubted him most.

On the surface, the Easter Bunny’s note meant my seven-year-old heart could believe for a few more years. But looking back, the note was a lesson in faith.

Of course when I discovered that the Easter Bunny was my mother and father, I felt a little slighted. But the faith I had instilled in the mystical figure was really just my faith in my parents’ love for me.

While there are so many facts that seem to counter our faith – whether it is faith in fantasies, dreams, love or religion – we find a way to keep believing. Even the most cynical people believe in something.

So when you’re questioning your faith, try to find the part of your heart that wants to believe.

Hope that your faith will carry you from moments of doubt to moments of belief. Faith is what keeps us going.

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