Dear Cerebral Vascular Accident,
Excuse me for not keeping in touch, but hey, here I am.
Hard to believe November 2nd is right around the corner.
You know what that means? The big Two-O! Imagine,
we’ve been together for 20 years. Wow?!?! My excitement
defies punctuation. So, let me take this milestone to finally
say thank you.
Seriously. Thank you.
First of all, you were the one responsible for never letting
me forget my wedding anniversary. You made quite the
entrance when you burst into my life only seven days after
my marriage. Wasn’t it gracious of Marilyn to allow you to
crash our honeymoon? The fact that she has put up with
us this long defies belief. Let’s face it, if it weren’t for her,
we would be in some back alley competing with feral cats
for restaurant scraps, drinking cheap wine and generally
existing in a Charles Bukowski-style universe. That should
qualify her for sainthood status. I bet if I shot off a quick
text to Pope Francis, I could make that happen. Then
again, thanks to you, I’d probably forget to do it.
Speaking of which, you really worked your magic in
that department. Other than my anniversary, you hit the
“delete” key on everything else in my memory banks. It was
you who gave birth to such stunning accomplishments as
forgetting to turn off the gas, lock the apartment door or
why I’m leaving in the first place. On the plus side, who
wouldn’t want their home festooned with a kaleidoscope of
Day-Glo reminder Post-it® notes. It’s like walking into a box
of Froot Loops®. All I need is Toucan Sam™ greeting me at
the door to make me feel like I’m 5 again.
See, there’s another thing I should thank you for. You
are so amazing! You allowed me to relive my childhood.
Learning how to walk and talk again was awesome. It’s
even more exciting now that I’m an adult familiar with the
laws of physics. Specifically, gravity. So what if I take a
header every once in a while? At least I get to spend quality
time with my wife later in the emergency room.
Then there are those pesky cognitive issues you casually
slipped in when I wasn’t looking. I love those. Some stroke
survivors might feel differently, but they’re the outliers. Take
my buddy, Tim. In group, he’d grumble, “I’ve lost my mind,”
because he couldn’t make change for a dollar. Hey, don’t
take it personally. Tim’s mind was lost way before his brain
injury. It took me over an hour to pick out prepositions in a
New York Times paragraph, but did I complain?
Thank you for allowing me to never again set foot on a
golf course. Honestly, is it even a sport? Personally, I think it
was invented to give men an excuse to dress like a pimp.
Which reminds me, my wife would like to thank you
for giving me the option to cheerfully disregard all sexual
positions but three: me on the bottom, me on the bottom,
and me on the bottom.
Best of all, as a comedian I’m always searching for new
material. Now, thanks to you, I’ve got a treasure trove!
I could go on, but I’ve forgotten half of it. So, here’s to
us, old friend. On the big day we’ll pop open the bubbly
and toast our future. I’d jump for joy, but I can’t do that
A Unique Perspective on His Survival
by Stroke Survivor and Comedian John Kawie
DVDs of John’s award-winning one-man show, Brain
Freeze, are available at Amazon.com. For booking
information, contact John at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See a clip from John’s one-man show, Brain Freeze.