Good

There is a lot I don’t know about this world. I don’t know why society gets colder. I don’t know why families break up, why good people get cancer, or why the self-centered get promoted.

It’s early. I am on the road this morning. I stopped for breakfast at McDonald’s. I know the food’s not good for me, but Egg McMuffins and I have a long history.

There’s a man here with his daughter. They’re in the booth behind me. He talks to her with so much sugar in his voice it’s hard not to smile.

He asks if she had a fun weekend.

She tells him she doesn’t want to leave him and go live with her mother. He tells her she must go. She cries. He holds her.

“Don’t cry,” he says. “We still have weekends together.”

In a nearby booth is a group of Mexican boys. Their voices are happy. Their clothes are filthy.

A jokester in the group attempts a stunt for entertainment value. He leans backward and balances a full cup of coffee on his chin.

This is a bad idea.

A few tables over: a woman. She has a service dog. She doesn’t appear to be blind, but then what do I know?

The dog sits while she eats. A man comes out of the restroom and pets the dog, but the dog doesn’t even acknowledge him. The animal is all business.

“Pretty dog,” the man says.

The woman answers, “He’s my everything.”

A few kids burst through the doors and stand in line. They are breathless, like they’ve just covered fifty miles on their bikes.

I wish more kids rode to town on bikes.

The man behind me is still talking to his little girl. “Your mother’s here,” he says.

A tall woman walks through the doors. She makes a beeline for the man and daughter. There is no small talk. She’s cool and collected.

They head for the parking lot. The man pops the hatch of an SUV and unloads pink backpacks, roller skates, a scooter, and flower-print luggage. The tall woman shoves things into a minivan.

He gives the girl a hug, kisses her forehead. He watches the minivan roll away. He hangs his head.

Well.

There is a lot I don’t know about this world. I don’t know why society gets colder. I don’t know why families break up, why good people get cancer, or why the self-centered get promoted.

I don’t know why news anchors use excited voices to talk about bad things. I don’t know why mass shootings earn more camera-time than people who change tires for strangers.

But I’m no fool. There are a few things I do know. Real things.

I know, for instance, that service dogs are loyal. I know Mexican boys stick together and try to make each other laugh.

I know kids still ride bikes. I know people still make music on porches, and that mornings are still the best time of day. I know some fathers fight tooth and nail for weekends with their little girl.

I know this Egg McMuffin isn’t half bad. Neither is love.

I know I am one of God’s children.

And I know that no matter who you are, where you’re from, or what kind of hell you’re going through…

That means we’re kin.

25 comments

  1. Nancy - June 26, 2018 9:49 am

    I love this American life you show us every day. It’s so much better than the bad news at 6:00 pm. Thanks for helping us see the Good.

    Reply
  2. Kitty Preziosi - June 26, 2018 11:22 am

    Thanks for reminding your readers and fans what a great world we live in.

    Reply
  3. Vaudy Holley - June 26, 2018 11:41 am

    We live in a world where ambition is a great trait, where in most cases it is a sin. It is a good thing to work hard but do it for GOD and family. Always remember we are loved by grace and need to give grace

    Reply
  4. Patricia A Schmaltz - June 26, 2018 12:21 pm

    Proud to be related to you. Thank you for always touching my heart… with every post.

    Reply
  5. Jack Darnell - June 26, 2018 12:24 pm

    You said it!

    Reply
  6. Christine Duncan - June 26, 2018 12:25 pm

    I am glad and not glad that i joined this mailing list. Sometimes, i read until my heart is full and I can’t stop smiling. Other times, I read until I can’t stop weeping and I have to take a breath and pray my mascara isn’t running too badly. I am so thankful for you writing these stories because they have really made me start paying attention to what’s going on around me. What is happening, seemingly in secret, in individual lives amid the hustle and bustle that I live in. I’ve stopped looking at the floor or straight ahead with blinders on to those around me. I look around, at faces and see if I can learn, or appreciate or help or just pray.

    Anyway, thanks.

    Reply
  7. Suzanne - June 26, 2018 12:33 pm

    ❤️Thank You!

    Reply
  8. Sue Cronkite - June 26, 2018 1:28 pm

    A fresh reminder of what I love about this world.

    Reply
  9. sunnygram1 - June 26, 2018 1:40 pm

    Okay Mr Dietrich, your writings never fail to give me the “Feels”. A few misty eyes, hearts and flowers. But this one induced full blown sobs. Don’t know what makes it different. Maybe because I need to focus on what I know. Not sure, my friend. But thanks.

    Reply
  10. Grateful Second Wife - June 26, 2018 3:21 pm

    In reference to the father and daughter – I remember watching my husband when his first wife picked up his son from their every other weekend visit. After they pulled away, tears would fill his eyes knowing it would be another two weeks until they could spend time together (they lived too far for visits in between the weekends). In this case, she was cheating and wanted the divorce. I am grateful, however, for her stupidity in letting this man go. We have been married almost 35 years and he has been a wonderful husband and a wonderful father to our daughter.

    Reply
  11. Suzanne - June 26, 2018 3:31 pm

    Sean…you have a beautiful heart…
    One of the thinks “I” know! God bless you today.

    Reply
  12. Dolores S. Fort - June 26, 2018 3:42 pm

    I like being your kin, Sean!

    Reply
  13. Edna B. - June 26, 2018 3:43 pm

    Sean, you’re a sweetheart. I love how you see the good in everyone around you. You’ve made me re-think how I see a lot of things. This is good. God Bless you, hugs, Edna B.

    Reply
  14. Linda Chapman - June 26, 2018 5:17 pm

    Thank you, Sean!

    Reply
  15. Linda Chipman - June 26, 2018 5:17 pm

    Your writing makes me realize that our world isn’t such a bad place to live. I love that you see the good in what goes on around you and write about it so that others can do the same. But about news people, I watch David Muir every night and he has a segment at the end that is always heartfelt.

    Reply
  16. Bill T - June 26, 2018 6:28 pm

    Everything you mentioned in this post you could have found a negative. You didn’t. That’s why I love your writing.

    Reply
  17. D. White - June 26, 2018 8:30 pm

    I don’t comment often but I do want you to know that I look forward each day to reading your writings!!! Keep them coming!!!

    Reply
  18. Pat - June 27, 2018 12:29 am

    Nice to meet you “Cousin”!

    Reply
  19. Janet - June 27, 2018 2:39 am

    Sean, Thank you for seeing the connections. So glad that I have you as a brother-in-life.

    Reply
  20. Jody - June 27, 2018 2:41 am

    Thanks for the profound message on relationships. It touched my heart.

    Reply
  21. C.E. HARBIN - June 27, 2018 6:18 am

    Don’t ever quit noticing all the good stuff that happens between people. We are hungry to hear stories of children, victorious everyday people who fight the good fight for life, and we love incognito Accordion players.

    Reply
  22. Catherine Kiser - June 27, 2018 2:26 pm

    Sitting, watching my younger sister as she struggles to sleep through lung cancer. I can’t cry after working so hard to make jokes, fetch ice, spread blankets, and try to convince her things will get better. Your words open my heart valves just enough and tears well in my eyes. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Janet Mary Lee - June 30, 2018 1:18 am

      Catherine- A heartfelt prayer for you and your sister as you are in my heart reading this. May God Bless you and yours, as He holds you in His hands and heart.

      Reply
  23. outoftheashes17 - June 28, 2018 3:55 pm

    Sean, it’s clear you see God in the faces you reflect on……and you reflecthis image as well. Indeed he did make us all kin.

    Reply
  24. Janet Mary Lee - June 30, 2018 1:21 am

    Love this as usual! I like being kin to you all! …. I like being kin to Thel (and Ellie too!).

    Reply

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