Hi i have had this problem before. I think its a bug with maya.
I found that if i make the text, then do the beveling, and then del history, it would be fine when i saved it and reopened. But when i didnt del history, and saved, i would reopen it and the text would be missing, and just the curves would be left.
Anyhow, this fixed it for me.
There's nothing normal about normals. In FACT i think the are abnormal.