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When my parents have a drink, they often bring up memories that go back years, even decades. Some stories involve them, others merely involve people they've met along their path. Among their many stories, this is one I'll share with you...

So many years ago, in a small town in Mexico, lived a couple and their two sons. The youngest of the two boys was under 40 days, and in such a short time alive, he was already fighting his first battle; one against death.

For many days, the child would vomit everything he was fed. The young couple wondered what was wrong. They took him to doctor after doctor, and healer after healer, but nobody could cure him. A family friend made a suggestion, "take him to the big city, there's a doctor there who will help you". The couple, on the verge of hopelessness, did as their friend told them, and to the big city they went.

Once in the big city, they consulted the doctor and he concluded that a surgery was necessary. The mere thought of a surgery arouse in the couple a greater sense of concern. Determined to not let the child die without accepting Jesus Christ as his savior, the worried parents baptized the child. Having been baptized, the child now had a name, but would he live to ever respond to it? It seemed unlikely.

The day of the surgery came. The mother gave the child her blessings and handed him to the doctor. From that point on, the child's fate laid on the hands of the doctor, and all the parents could do was hope for the best.

When the surgery was over, the doctor had news for the parents: The child had survived the surgery, but he was to live only eight years, maximum. Considering that at one point they were so close to losing their child, eight years seemed like a gift. They thanked the doctor and went back home, relieved.

The thing about this story is... it has no climax and it ends abruptly. The spot above is where my parents usually end it. Then again, there's no need for them to tell me the rest. After all, I know exactly what became of the child... for I am the man.

Written: November 18, 2001... the day before my 23rd birthday.

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