So I hope you find whatever it is you’re looking for. I hope you have a few loyal friends. I hope that while reading this, you feel warm for a few minutes.

I almost didn’t write this. Every time I typed a sentence, I felt like I’d written something incredibly stupid. Then, I’d hit backspace and mumble words not fit for network television.

But, I’ve typed this far, I might as well keep going.

See, I think about you sometimes. It’s not deep thought, mind you. After all, I’ve never met you. But for all I know you are just like me.

Namely, I wonder if you ever feel alone. I wonder if you think you’re drifting through this world by yourself. I know what this feeling is like.

When I was a teenager, we once lived in a twenty-six-foot trailer, right after my father passed. I wondered if anyone would ever take care of us again. When you lose someone, you think about things like that.

At the trailer park, there was an elderly couple named Tom and Norma. Tom smoked three packs per day, and did maintenance work on trailers in the park.

One day, I helped him repair a hot water heater. He had a cigarette hanging from his lips.

Tom said, “You know, you ain’t the only one.”

“Huh?” I said.

“You ain’t alone.”

“What do you mean?”

“My daddy died when I’s your age. And so did lots of people’s daddies. You ain’t alone.”

I’ve never forgotten that.

Some people are obsessed with happiness. They want to feel so giddy that their toenails fall off and their cheek muscles pop. That’s fine, I guess. But happiness doesn’t last long. It never does.

One moment it’s here; the next, it’s heading back to wherever it came from.

But being UN-alone, now that’s something better than happiness. A fella could get used to feeling like that.

I hope you feel that way. I hope you figure out how UN-alone you are.

Like the woman I met today. She’s a waitress. Times have been hard for her. Bone hard. Bills don’t exactly pay themselves, and single mothers are easy targets. She’s been riding a bike to work.

She thought she was alone. She thought she was invisible.

She got a new car this week. It’s a long story, but the smile on her face was so big it made her eyes pink.

“I’m so alive again,” she said.

Alive. And so are you. Or, at least, I hope you’re about to be.

But then, I’m just one little voice stuck in internet oblivion. I can’t do anything. I tell stories. I make pathetic jokes. I write words. I’m nothing but a few insignificant letters on a screen.

But if I could use sentences to make you feel something, I would. I would use my silly, one-syllable words to weave a big quilt that I could wrap around you when you feel that nobody likes you.

I would string together phrases and make them into something that helps you realize how important you are.

Anyway, I’m sort of feeling nostalgic, I guess. I’m going to visit my father’s grave. I’m on my way, riding across the United States to do it. I haven’t visited since we laid him to rest a hundred thousand years ago. I’ve been building up to this for a long time.

I wonder about him a lot. I wonder if he can see the life I’ve lived. The career I accidentally found. I wonder if he knows how alone I felt that one day, fixing a water heater with old Tom.

I don’t know much about life—I know next to nothing. But at this exact moment, I have the tiniest bit of hope. I don’t know HOW I got it, and I don’t know how long it will last.

It could be gone in a few minutes, so I’d better hurry before it goes anywhere. I want to use it all up on you. Every last drop.

So I hope you find whatever it is you’re looking for. I hope you have a few loyal friends. I hope that while reading this, you feel warm for a few minutes.

Maybe then, you’ll know that somebody you’ve never met is thinking of you right now. And that means you’re not alone.

That’s it.

I love you.

78 comments

  1. Nix LaVerdi - May 26, 2018 5:40 am

    Your post came at the perfect moment. All my gratitude, Sean. Thank you so very much. –Nix

    Reply
  2. Penn Wells - May 26, 2018 5:58 am

    “There is no way to happiness…happiness is the way.” We love you, too, as you are our Writer-man.

    Reply
  3. N M Shields - May 26, 2018 6:39 am

    After the last week I’ve had, this came at the perfect time. Deep breaths. One foot in front of the other.

    Reply
  4. Jana - May 26, 2018 6:39 am

    I love you too..!

    Reply
  5. staffordmotion - May 26, 2018 6:54 am

    Sean, I am fairly new here but have really been enjoying your posts. I live in Ocala, Florida and have always loved the culture, customs, community and heritage of the South! Thank you and God bless!
    Howard Alexander Stafford

    Reply
    • Leslie in NC - May 26, 2018 10:56 am

      I was born & raised in Ocala, and for the past 3 years have lived in the North Carolina High Country. Welcome new Sean of the South reader! You’ll never be disappointed in his stories, which as you probably already have figured out are poignant and uplifting and sometimes sad…but always give us something to think about and be grateful for. He’s the real deal! 😊

      Reply
      • staffordmotion - May 26, 2018 11:39 pm

        When I hit reply 3 times it came up Carolyn Kent but wanted to reply to Leslie in NC. Leslie, I used to live in Charleston, SC and loved NC especially Asheville and my brother Gordon almost bought a vacation home in Boone, NC. He loved the Appalachia Hwy.
        Anyway, we have been living in Ocala (World Center for ALL horses) for at least 20 years and are very Happy here. You live in a beautiful place and wish you all the best, have fun, be well!
        Howard

        Reply
  6. Linda - May 26, 2018 7:43 am

    Thank you, Sean. I’ve been feeling very alone lately. I just turned 71 and know that my possibilities are becoming more limited every day, but, as my Daddy said, “I’m still above the ground.” when asked how he was. Thank you for thinking of me!

    Reply
  7. Beth Reed - May 26, 2018 7:48 am

    Dear Sean,
    Your Not Alone Either!
    You say that you don’t know Life, but your wrong. You know a lot about life. Living it makes you know deep inside.
    You know Love. You give and show love to your wife, your family and friends and you love your dog.
    You have Compassion. Compassion for others is a gift that a lot of people don’t have in living this life.
    Don’t put yourself down. All that will ever do is lower your confidence and your stronger than that.
    Be safe on your trip and yes I am sure that your father knows just what kind man you are and is proud of you.
    Sincerely, Beth Reed

    Reply
  8. Joan Williams - May 26, 2018 7:50 am

    Love reading your funny, sweet and sometimes sad stories! We need more uplifting things to read with all the horrific news items pushed at us everyday…just wanted to let you know that I think you rock! Love you!

    Reply
  9. Mary Talton - May 26, 2018 9:00 am

    You are loved back Sean !!!!Thank you! You are kind.

    Reply
  10. Brenda - May 26, 2018 9:34 am

    I can’t wait to read your post everyday. Somehow you always say what I need to here.
    I hope to meet you someday.
    Thank you my friend,
    Brenda

    Reply
  11. Carolyn Kent - May 26, 2018 9:37 am

    We love you too!!!

    Reply
  12. Kelly Crowl - May 26, 2018 10:08 am

    Thank you. I needed to hear this today. This world is so hard right now, so you are a blessing everyday. We love you!

    Reply
  13. Betty King - May 26, 2018 10:28 am

    Today I will meet a kid with schizophrenia. With your help, I will try and tell him he’s not alone.

    Reply
  14. Victoria - May 26, 2018 10:31 am

    Thank you for this. I cannot TELL you how bad I need these exact words at this exact moment.

    Reply
  15. Nancy McEntee - May 26, 2018 10:57 am

    Give a man a dog and a good wife, and you have a one-of-a-kind , all American, incredible author. My day is incomplete without your stories. Thanks for loving me.

    Reply
  16. Pam Bishop - May 26, 2018 11:06 am

    Your sentences always make me feel something. …especially these today. Thank you Sean! Love you too!

    Reply
  17. Cathi - May 26, 2018 11:22 am

    Ditto, Sean, ditto.

    Reply
  18. Jo Ann - May 26, 2018 11:37 am

    Thank you, Sean. You’re not alone, either. I love you, too. I hope you find some peace at your father’s grave. Please remember that what he did had nothing to do with you, your sister, or your mother-it was something inside him that made him do it to relieve whatever pain was there.

    Reply
  19. Gerri Johnson - May 26, 2018 12:03 pm

    Hi Sean, As I read this my eye was drawn to a one page hand-written list of folks invited to my very small wedding in 3 weeks. All of the ones with “Yes” by their name are the folks I like to call “the usual suspects”, “the hard core”, the ones who have seen me through some of my lowest lows, the ones who have always been there for me – so I know I’m not alone. But it’s good to hear it from time to time. Thanks.

    Traveling mercies for your journey and may you find the peace you seek.

    Reply
  20. Toni Tucker Locke - May 26, 2018 12:03 pm

    Sean, you are AMAZING! Your readers are lucky to have you.

    Reply
  21. Karen Erwin-Brown - May 26, 2018 12:11 pm

    Peace for your journey.

    Reply
  22. Nancy - May 26, 2018 12:14 pm

    I love you, too, Sean. Thank you, Dear. May you have safe travels and sweet hope.

    Reply
  23. CaroG87 - May 26, 2018 12:16 pm

    Wishing you the best. Thank you for the reminder.

    Reply
  24. Alice - May 26, 2018 12:18 pm

    Thank you for writing this Sean you made me cry I love you too God Bless you

    Reply
  25. Jeanie C - May 26, 2018 12:20 pm

    Thank you———touching words.

    Reply
  26. David Styers - May 26, 2018 12:38 pm

    I think you know a lot more about life than you claim. You have accomplished something greater than life. You have risen up from poverty and a lack of formal education to a college grad, prolific writer / storyteller and speaker. Few that start with your circumstances in life rise up and escape. I applaud you for your hard work and insight. May God Bless you and your ministry to us common folk out here listening.

    Reply
    • Keith Forehand - May 27, 2018 1:56 am

      Amen. Thank you.

      Reply
  27. Jack Darnell - May 26, 2018 12:40 pm

    I have never felt alone except in my thoughts. I sometimes wonder if anyone else thinks like I do. Surely they do, but then surely they don’t! I cannot stop my brain, I want to fix things I see broke. I am constantly thinking. Evidently you do to. I think you do fix things. I tried ‘fixing my sons’ they got fixed by themselves I guess. Now it is machines, houses, roofs, bicycles, pressure washers, you know the physical things.
    You do a good job of fixing peoples ‘mind set’ I think.

    You sure give me a lot of enjoyment! Maybe reading ‘you’ will fix my brain! LOL

    Keep up the good work, I think you would make a good psychiatrist.

    Reply
  28. Bobbie - May 26, 2018 12:43 pm

    I love you too, Sean!

    Reply
  29. Frannie Keller - May 26, 2018 12:52 pm

    THANKS FROM A NO LONGER ALONER!

    Reply
  30. Jan - May 26, 2018 12:52 pm

    Sean, you are priceless! There are people who can be with other people and sense exactly what they need to say or do to help. You are one of the special ones who knows what to say or do to help even for people you never meet. You are loved by many! Wishing safe travels and blessings for you always!

    Reply
  31. Susan Hatfield - May 26, 2018 1:08 pm

    I love you too. I raised a child alone. Recently divorced now after twenty two years of mostly happy marriage, alone again. But that child is determined that I not be alone any more. God’s ways are mysterious. Hope you are blessed by Him at your Dad’s grave. Peace to you. And hug Thelma Lou for me. .

    Reply
  32. Donna J. masmar - May 26, 2018 1:10 pm

    Love starting each day with your inspiring epistles; thanks;

    Reply
  33. Laura - May 26, 2018 1:21 pm

    You are not alone because you will have me as a friend for as long as you (or probably better to say “as long as I live” since I am 70). You help me each day to feel Un-alone. I have family but they have their own lives. I have a Mother -in name- but she has Alzheimer’s and doesn’t know I’m her daughter most days. (I lost her as “mother” some time ago). You know, I think it is harder to “lose” someone who is still here than if they really die, because you see the shell- the body- but the mind is gone and you have to see that all the time, but I am on a rabbit trail. What I mean is I am a friend for life. I love you, too, Sean. Remember when you see the grave of your Daddy that only his shell is there, but who he was and how he loved you is in your heart and his spirit watches over you, proud of you!

    Reply
  34. janiesjottings - May 26, 2018 1:29 pm

    We love you too Sean! We look forward to reading what you share with us every day. Your daddy would be proud of you.

    Reply
  35. Connie Jobes - May 26, 2018 1:42 pm

    Sean I love you too… your thoughts are amazing and comforting…they always give me hope and inspiration…they bring me to look inward… we are all just children of God…have a blessed day 😘

    Reply
  36. Anne Godwin - May 26, 2018 1:51 pm

    “But if I could use sentences to make you feel something, I would. I would use my silly, one-syllable words to weave a big quilt that I could wrap around you when you feel that nobody likes you.

    I would string together phrases and make them into something that helps you realize how important you are.”

    That’s exactly what you do. Thanks!

    Reply
  37. Edna B. - May 26, 2018 1:54 pm

    Have a good trip to chat with your Dad. I know he loves you and is quite proud of the man you’ve become. We all love you. You give us so much hope and inspiration with your daily stories. It’s a treat to see what’s waiting in my in-box every morning. Give Thelma Lou a big hug from me and my little dog. You have a blessed day, hugs, Edna B.

    Reply
  38. Jack Quanstrum - May 26, 2018 1:55 pm

    Pure!

    Reply
  39. Connie Havard Ryland - May 26, 2018 2:15 pm

    You have such a beautiful way with words. Thank you for reaching out to us all every day. You are loved.

    Reply
  40. Laura - May 26, 2018 2:19 pm

    I Love you too

    Reply
  41. PE Huntley - May 26, 2018 2:24 pm

    Thank you so much for your heart-felt words. Life is better for everyone you share them with.

    Reply
  42. Carla Dillenburg - May 26, 2018 2:24 pm

    The fact that you shared this, felt called (or driven) to share it, and that you did, demonstrates your love for humanity. And that’s what it’s all about. Thank you for putting good stuff into the atmosphere.

    Reply
  43. Suzanne - May 26, 2018 2:26 pm

    Olive you too Sean!
    You always leave me better!
    Suzanne

    Reply
  44. Beth - May 26, 2018 2:31 pm

    Thank you I needed to be reminded that I
    am not alone. You can never be alone with a puppy in the house. Give Thelma Lou a big hug from me and please have a safe journey. I went through the same thing this month. We call it decoration day here in North Alabama. Love you too!

    Reply
  45. Caron Richards - May 26, 2018 2:37 pm

    Love you back!!!

    Reply
  46. Ricki - May 26, 2018 2:38 pm

    I start the day with your stories and appreciate you very much. You are easing the loneliness in the world, keeping Southern memories alive, injected needed humor into a diet of grim media, and using some strong writing chops to do it. I just want to know if Thelma Lou is in the front seat with you on this pilgrimage.

    Reply
  47. Diana - May 26, 2018 3:12 pm

    Sean, you make me feel un-alone every day. Thank you!

    Reply
  48. Debbie Reynolds - May 26, 2018 3:15 pm

    I love you right back Sean! Thank you, your words happy or sad give me encouragement everyday because they come from your heart! Safe travels my friend, and yes I know your Daddy is proud of you. I believe God let’s them see all things😘🙏🏻

    Reply
  49. Carolyn Huggins - May 26, 2018 3:22 pm

    Sean, there are more of us “I feel so alone” people than you could ever imagine! I lost my mother when I was barely 3; carried around that void all of my life. I have tons of good, close friends; I have tons of good. close friends that I’ve lost to death…it’s that loss and not having someone holding my hand, that makes me feel alone. I know most people will always tell you that you’re not alone…God is always with you. I know that. BUT, I need a human to hold my hand..to feel his touch and then I would never feel alone. I’m so glad that you found your sweet soulmate, so that you will never truly feel that you’re alone. Thank you for all of your wonderful posts, Sean…all of your readers love you, too…..except that “bless her heart” woman who told you you weren’t a writer. 🙂

    Reply
  50. Mary - May 26, 2018 3:49 pm

    As a writer and a quilter this sentence, “I would use my silly, one-syllable words to weave a big quilt that I could wrap around you when you feel that nobody likes you.” makes me swoon. The way you “string” words together is pure art.

    Reply
  51. Jim - May 26, 2018 4:04 pm

    Alone? Only begins then ends, only. Only child, only cousins remain. Wife, father, mother, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc., gone.

    Only son with daughter-in-law, now only grandson!

    There are times when a little is more than enough, God willing.

    Growing old isn’t really a choice, is it?

    Reply
  52. Jamie - May 26, 2018 4:07 pm

    My mom passed away 4 weeks ago today. It was a horrible diagnosis followed by eleven days of watching her fade away. It’s so hard, I don’t know what I expected but it’s so much harder. Everything feels wrong, a little off. I don’t even feel like myself and it’s hard to express that to folks. I don’t like feeling this way, it scares me and I can’t even talk to my mom about it. That’s the worst, I start feeling a little normal, having a good day, then I remember that she’s gone. I don’t know why your post helped me today, but it did. Thanks.

    Reply
  53. Mari Lou Thorne Jones - May 26, 2018 4:30 pm

    I pray you find peace at your daddy’s grave. Just know that he was a product of his environment, the time period he was raised in, he loved you and he did the best he could.

    Reply
  54. Minnie Tate Bourque - May 26, 2018 4:38 pm

    Once again, a beautiful piece by you. If you have not read A Man Called Ove, I think you would enjoy it. Your memories of the man and the water heater reminded me of the book. Thank you, Sean, of such beautiful, well written muses.

    Reply
  55. Catherine - May 26, 2018 4:40 pm

    Sean, you can be assured that one of your gifts to this world is to make folks feel less alone….

    Reply
  56. Sharon McCook - May 26, 2018 4:42 pm

    We love you too!
    Keep writing!!!

    Reply
  57. NovaLee - May 26, 2018 5:30 pm

    I’m two years into my journey with ALS, and some days are more difficult than others. I wanted you to know reading your post is how I’ve chosen to begin every day. I find much peace and love in your words. Some days those words are the sole reason I can face what life has thrown in my path. Thank you, Sean, for helping me along my journey, and yes, I love you too💙

    Reply
  58. Sarah Davis - May 26, 2018 5:47 pm

    Thank You Sean! !
    Truly meant alot!
    ENJOY your Memorial Day weekend!

    Reply
  59. Barbara Wilson - May 26, 2018 6:37 pm

    Barbara from Georgia
    Your post hit home for me today. My son died 24 years ago and I’ve often felt most of my happiness went with him. My daughter is schizophrenic and I haven’t seen her or my grandson in 3 years, no idea where they are. But the Good Lord put a baby boy in our path 12 years ago that we adopted. He brings us joy. I truly believe your Dad has watched you grow into the fine person you are today and he’s very proud. Your stories touch so many hearts, so never doubt that this is your purpose. Compassion is rare in this crazy world today. We love you too!! And may God bless you in many ways!

    Reply
  60. David M Jones - May 26, 2018 7:18 pm

    I love you, too. And your father is very proud of you.

    Reply
  61. Carole Lea - May 26, 2018 7:43 pm

    I am tearful. This is beautiful. Thank you!!!

    Reply
  62. Jane Vaught - May 26, 2018 8:15 pm

    Thank you for thinking of me. Your words inspire me daily and I look forward to reading your column.

    Reply
  63. Julie - May 26, 2018 10:37 pm

    Thank you, Sean. You, Jaime, and Thelma Lou are loved, too.

    Reply
  64. Bettye Bambarger - May 26, 2018 10:47 pm

    I know exactly what you are talking about, not only in this story, but in most of them.

    Reply
  65. Karen Murphy - May 26, 2018 10:47 pm

    Thank you, hugs, and know that I love you. First writer to capture my attention since Lewis Grizzard.

    Reply
  66. Kim kilgore - May 26, 2018 11:16 pm

    You might have just saved a life…..Go slow,,take a photo….GODspeed and prayers of Joy and safety…

    Reply
  67. Bobi rush - May 26, 2018 11:16 pm

    Looks like you are making that dash matter

    Reply
  68. Dru - May 27, 2018 3:35 am

    Sunlight to a seed. You.

    Reply
  69. Debbie Cloud - May 28, 2018 1:24 am

    Wow, just wow!!!

    Reply
  70. Sandi in FL. - May 28, 2018 6:11 am

    Your loyal readers do love and appreciate you, Sean. We are always cheering for your from the sidelines of life. Safe travels to Colorado and back home again. There is no doubt in my mind that your father would be immensely pleased and proud of the fine gentleman you have become. God bless you!

    Reply
  71. Judy Ennis - May 28, 2018 1:13 pm

    As always, thank you Sean.

    Reply
  72. Michelle Jones - May 28, 2018 1:16 pm

    This was needed today. Thank you.

    Reply
  73. Anne - May 29, 2018 7:17 pm

    Thank you, Sean. I love you too

    Reply
  74. Sue Cronkite - May 30, 2018 2:20 am

    Sometimes you write something that is needed by me. This is one of those times.

    Reply
  75. Donna Johns - May 30, 2018 11:23 am

    I really needed this today!! Because I have you, I don’t feel alone!! I love you too!!

    Reply

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