Tag: Personality

That’s Not How It Was Supposed to Happen. Group Writing: Surprise!


Aug. 15, 1981.

I’m waiting at the front of the church for her to walk down the aisle for our wedding. But I only met her 20 months ago. And for all but seven of those months, we were a thousand miles apart. That’s not how it was supposed to happen. I always knew that I would need to know a girl for several years (I figured about five years ought to suffice) to be sure she was the one to marry. Surprise! Met Dec. 26, 1979. Engaged September 1980. Marrying Aug. 15, 1981. Isn’t that too fast for me?

Thoughts on Thinking: A Personal Odyssey


brainYears ago, I never tired of asking anyone who would sit still long enough some variation on the following question: Suppose you had to choose between having a strong and alert mind but with severe physical limitations (e.g., wheelchair-bound), or a perfectly healthy body and yet be as dumb as a bag of nails. Which would you choose? There was no right or wrong answer as far as I was concerned, though my own preference was for mental acuity. I simply wanted to hear the preferences and thoughts of people I found interesting.

That particular thought exercise loomed large in the mind when I sat down with my neurologist recently, having undergone a series of tests (cognitive, brain EEG, brain MRI, etc.) in the preceding weeks to determine, A) whether or not the mental fog I was occasionally experiencing was real, and B) whether there was a physical cause. “Mr. Carter, you had a stroke,” the doctor said as matter of factly as if he were announcing the Dow Jones daily closing numbers. Well, that was bracing.

It wasn’t recent, he added, though I had already figured as much. Reviewing my personal history, the doctor determined that the stroke likely occurred during an extremely stressful and traumatic event a few years back that, at the time, had me quite literally immobilized, unable to speak, with what seemed like a ribbon of agonizing pain shooting across the top of my head. Yes, I know I should have gotten myself checked out at the time, but personal circumstances made it impossible. At least now I know what happened.