This is something that actually happened some time back, but I didn't really write it down or anything. Lately though, I was thinking about it, and I wanted to share it with my friends here.
To give a little background, everyone in my family watches (and loves) Doctor Who. I have a very young sister who has only gotten to see a handful of episodes of the new series because the rest would scare her, but she still was desperate to see more of the Doctor, so we started watching the classic episodes together. She's our little Whovian. She loves all the Doctors, especially Eleven and Four, and she said Sarah Jane is her hero because 'she must be, like, the bravest person EVER and I want to be brave like her.'
I guess that's why I wasn't sure what to tell her when one day she walked up to me, a serious expression on her little face, and asked 'Sarah, is the Doctor real?'
I was stunned. I thought she understood it was just a show. She's never even believed in Santa, so this was completely unexpected. What was I to say? Telling her no might break her little heart. Telling her yes would be a lie. She waited, eager but patient, for my answer, and my mind raced. Sure, no one could prove that there WASN'T a Time Lord with a blue box flying around the universe somewhere, but you could use that logic to 'prove' almost anything.
I was about to go ahead and explain that it was just a show, when something came to mind. Something powerful.
"Can I tell you a story?" I asked.
"Will it answer my question?" she wondered.
"I think so." I replied.
She climbed into my lap and answered "Okay."
This is the story I told.
Not so long ago, there was a young girl, not too different from you, who wondered if the Doctor was real. So every night, when the rest of the house was asleep, she'd stay up looking at the stars, hoping to see the TARDIS.
The time passed and the Doctor never came, so she started to think he wasn't real.
One night though, when she was in bed, she heard a strange and familiar sound. The TARDIS.
'I must have been dreaming.' she thought 'the TARDIS couldn't actually be real.'
But sure enough, before she could even get up to investigate, someone entered her room. It was actually him, the familiar Doctor, as she had always imagined he would be. She asked him if he'd come to take her on adventures. He shook his head, and answered "I came to tell you thank you."
"Why would you thank me?" she asked "I almost gave up hope that you were even real."
"Because," the Doctor replied "it's people like you who MAKE me real. Every time you smiled, or laughed, or cried for me, every time you were brave or kind or even happy thinking about me, you made me real. So thank you."
I ended my story.
"So, he was actually real?" my sister asked.
"What do you think?" I asked.
She thought a moment, and I started to worry that the point of my story was lost on her.
"I think...I understand." she replied finally. Then she smiled, her curiosity satisfied, and skipped off, back to her regular routine.
So what defines real? One of the definitions of Real found in the dictionary is something that influences that which is around it. I look around, and I see what the Doctor has inspired and influenced. I see people all around the world connected and brought together to conventions and gatherings, I see smiles, tears, laughter, even charity drives put together by Whovians who want to make the world a better place.
It is us, the fans, and our actions as people that make the Doctor real.
And that's a happy thought!
(Please feel free to share this story)
EDIT1: now on Facebook and Twitter! I wonder if it'll make it to Tumblr? That'd be fun!
EDIT2: This poem reminded me of this journal post, so I'll share! souljacol.deviantart.com/art/T…