My dad’s side of the family tells me I take after my Grandpa, Roger, meaning that, like him, I have a propensity for sticking my foot in my mouth.

I studied abroad in Vienna, Austria, the autumn of my Sophomore year of college. My younger sister started at Lipscomb University as a freshman while I was gone. She’s only a couple years younger than me, so we were very close growing up. Once spring semester began, I had a lot of catching up to do, meeting all her new friends, many of whom would become friends of mine.

One Wednesday night, we were at the college class at Harpeth Hills Church of Christ. She introduced me to a petite blond girl, very cute, a freshman like my sister. Let’s call her Sarah. 

We got to talking, and Sarah was really sweet. I was happy that class started soon after, so we had to sit next to each other.

She kept coughing.

I couldn’t just leave it alone. I had to be Mr. Funny Guy and charm her. I leaned to my right and whispered in her ear, “Maybe you should get that checked out.”

She leaned to her left and whispered back, “I have cystic fibrosis.”

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