Thursday, December 27, 2012

Anniversary Celebration Welcome 
by William Daniel Jordan, M.D.

Many of you know of my interest in reading alternative history, where the
author takes a pivotal point in history, and writes a story about what would
have happened if the historical events had gone the other way.  It makes me
stop and look for that event in my past that was indeed a pivotal event.

  I believe that event occured a little over fifty years ago when I was faced with a
decision about attending medical school.  In the first part of my senior year in
college, for some strange reason, I had three personal interviews for admission
to medical school in the same week, beginning at the University of Alabama in
Birmingham on a Monday.  Next here at Emory on Tuesday and at Duke in
Durham, NC, on Friday.

  During my interview in Birmingham, the UAB people asked me, "If you are
accepted at both UAB and Emory, which school will you attend?  I paused for a
moment, and said, "I will go to Emory, because Emory has a better clinical
exposure for medical education."  I don't recall any other portions of the
interview.  I finished there, drove over to Atlanta and had my interview with
Emory on Tuesday.  All of which seemed to go well.  The next day,
Wednesday, I received a letter of acceptance from UAB, with a provision that I
must reply within ten days, and requiring a deposit on my tuition.  I resolved
my dilemma by returning my plane ticket to Duke and using the refund for the
deposit to UAB.  Then, one week later, I was accepted to Emory and, of
courrse, began my studies there.

   I believe that the pivotal event in my life was my decision to attend Emory,
because this led me to my wife.  In the last months of college, God placed this
woman in my path.  Some days we argue about just who had designs on
whom, but a little reflection makes it obvious that our marriage was
predestined.  I used various excuses during my freshman year of medical
school, trying to forstall making such a radical move, but in the fall of 1955 (my
sophomore year) I concluded that the only alternative to failing medical school
was to get married.

   So -- fifty years ago, on Tuesday, the 27th of December, we began our true
lives.  The old southern adage of keeping your wife barefooted and pregnant
did not apply -- she wasn't barefooted all the time.  All of you know that getting
a bundle of children in a short time is a life changing experience.  Add to that a
five year residency program of internship and residency at Grady Hospital and it
becomes more like an odyssey.

   I don't believe I recognized the full impact of this odyssey until I watched my
children have their own children.  Then I could see the trials and tribulations of
rearing children, and understand the strength and dedication my wife exhibited
while I was off somewhere operating or trying to straighten out the medical

   Then, as if caring for seven children (six plus me) wasn't enough, she
decided to let the rest of her see the light of day.  First as a house designer and
contractor, then horticulturalist and landscape designer, then as a paralegal,
and finally as an artist.  Little did I know that the pivotal decision to attend
Emory Medical School would lead to all of this.

   But then I came to the full realization that the pivotal event was not my
choice, but was the Providence of God.  How else could two innocent,
immature young people begin with two cats and a bunch of guppies and have
such a life of happiness and fulfillment.

   I could probably ramble on for a while, but there are two points that I really
want to make:
           1) To acknowledge and praise God for His sovereignty and kindness,   
               and His direction over the years of our marriage.
            2) To offer toast to my wife, that incomparable woman who has     
                nurtured me, admonished me, accepted my faults and loved me
                in spite of them.

May our future years be as bright and beautiful as the past ones.

December 27, 2005 


  1. What a beautiful story - thanks for sharing and happy anniversary!

  2. Hapy anniversary to the Jordans and Jagos! Love you all.
    Joe and Becky