I’ve been writing you every day for four years. You’ve brought me back to life, whether you know it or not.

The first thing I ever wanted to do was be on the radio. I decided this when I was seven. I went to see the Grand Ole Opry with my father. The lights. The steel guitars. The cowboy hats.

I didn’t want to sing on the radio. I wanted to introduce the bands, shake hands with folks in rhinestones. I wanted to hug Minnie Pearl’s neck.

My father said it was a good dream, especially the part about Minnie Pearl.

“Anything’s possible,” Daddy once told me.

Anything.

By fifth grade, I’d expanded career interests, since ANYTHING was possible. I wanted to be a writer. Maybe even a journalist.

But fifth grade was when life fell apart. I flunked school, which did a number on my mind.

Kids who flunked were doomed to live in vans and visit KFC’s just to lick other people’s fingers.

In seventh grade, things got worse. My father died. I dropped out of school altogether. I never attended high school. It’s not something I’m proud of.

I played a lot of music during that period. By fifteen, I was playing weddings, church socials, feed-store openings, and shoe-store clearances. I played a lot of funerals, too.

Once, I played a Pentecostal funeral. A woman spoke in tongues while I picked “Peace in the Valley.”

I’d never heard such.

The preacher told me to nod and shout “Thank you JEE-ZUSSSSS” when I heard the thus-saith-the-Lords.

In my twenties, I worked construction and played music in the evenings. I played in establishments my mother would have preferred I hadn’t.

I also played piano for a Baptist church on Sundays. That didn’t last long. But that’s a long story I don’t have room for. I will, however, simply say that some Baptists object to playing in beer joints.

Which is no surprise. The Baptists I grew up with objected to all sorts of things. Such as:

—False doctrine

—Rock and roll

—Short sleeves

—Marlboros

—Color television

—Certain types of goldfish

—Pomegranates

—Norway

Anyway, by twenty-five, I was a bona fide loser. I had no direction. I attended community college at night and worked by day.

I’ve had too many petty jobs to count. I installed gutters, laid floor, painted houses, drywalled, worked on landscaping crews, and at an ice cream shop.

Blah, blah, blah. Woe is me. I’ll cut to the chase here.

I didn’t like my life. And one night, between college classes, I locked myself in a men’s bathroom stall at the school and talked to my late father. With tears.

He didn’t answer.

“Help me,” I asked.

I don’t know what I was even asking. Maybe for a little guidance.

I sat in a stall for forty-five minutes. Finally, a janitor knocked on the door and said, “You alright, son?”

“Son.”

A sign from On High? I don’t know.

So I don’t know why I’m telling you this. After all, you have your own life story. Mine hasn’t been an exceptional one. In fact, it’s been a glorified bus wreck.

But I am grateful for it. Because there are people who have made it almost beautiful.

People like you. Yes, you. I’ve been writing you every day for four years. You’ve brought me back to life, whether you know it or not.

And not that it matters, but a few nights ago, before a rundown, crowded theater, I introduced a bluegrass band on a live broadcast. The lead singer had rhinestones on his collar. I told a few stories over the air.

It was no Opry. No Minnie Pearl, either. But I don’t feel like a loser anymore.

And that counts for something.

Someone once told me that anything is possible.

56 comments

  1. Pam - March 11, 2018 7:53 am

    You’ve made this reader smile, with tears

    Reply
  2. Sherry - March 11, 2018 10:11 am

    You define your life…you find beauty and love in the best people and places…and you share those stories…we always treasure our storytellers…thank you.

    Reply
  3. Cynthia - March 11, 2018 10:28 am

    You give me hope .

    Reply
  4. Nancy - March 11, 2018 10:45 am

    Oh Sean, you brighten my day – every day! I feel blessed to have found your blog – it is the first thing I read every morning. I send it to my friend, Angie, and you connect the two of us as she always responds. You are talented, humble and your stories touch my heart.

    Reply
  5. Carl, another pilgrim - March 11, 2018 11:09 am

    Thank you, for reminding me anything is possible.

    Reply
  6. Kathy - March 11, 2018 11:11 am

    Sean, you are a winner! Trust me on this. 💙💙

    Reply
  7. Theresa Clark - March 11, 2018 11:19 am

    Sean, You write from the heart. You write from the soul. I, along with many friends and much family, anticipate reading your stories each day. So glad you had a dream come true.

    Reply
  8. Candice - March 11, 2018 11:31 am

    We’ve brought you back to life? If you only knew how many lives you affect every day! Because of you, I look at people and situations so much differently than I did before. I have more empathy and compassion. I see more good. Your stories give me hope and encouragement. You are a very special person who is an absolute gift to the rest of us. God bless you Sean.

    Reply
  9. Cathi - March 11, 2018 12:21 pm

    Sean, we’ve been waiting for you too! My mama, who passed away last fall, absolutely loved your books. I bought her all of them and she would love that I’m passing them along now to others. Thanks for taking your time finding your voice, it is so much sweeter for the journey. ❤❤❤

    Reply
  10. Becky - March 11, 2018 12:48 pm

    I love your writing and look for it first thing every morning. Hugs.

    Reply
  11. Howard Humphreys - March 11, 2018 12:59 pm

    Be proud of hard work ….

    Reply
  12. Nix LaVerdi - March 11, 2018 1:07 pm

    Beautiful, Sean. You are all heart. Your heart speaks at high volume and I know I can hear it, feel it. Your stories are a gift. We are fortunate to receive and open that gift, everyday. Thank you. –Nix

    Reply
  13. sdkulwicki - March 11, 2018 1:19 pm

    You are not a loser. You are a beautiful old soul who has lived a lot of life on this planet and made it beautiful for many others. As Nix said, every morning I look forward to receiving the gift you have for me. I buried a son almost thirteen years ago. Died in a car wreck on Easter Sunday…..and me a Bible teacher. He had been drinking. Took me lots of years to heal from that…..and then yesterday I made the stupid arrangement for his headstone and sunk into that pit again. Woke up feeling the hangover of grief and then read your post. All things are possible. The sun will shine again. I will feel joy again. Maybe not today……but I will. Thank you Sean. Keep writing. You never know who is reading.

    Reply
  14. Jack Darnell - March 11, 2018 1:26 pm

    I enjoyed the visit. LOL I wuz raised in one of ’em Penny costal churches, Thankye JEEEESUS! I don’t remember you playing! (smile) It is always a pleasure to join you in the morning!

    Reply
  15. Mart Martin - March 11, 2018 1:53 pm

    I grew up Baptist. And Norway is my favorite country. I guess I will just have to live in that tension.

    Reply
  16. Laura - March 11, 2018 1:53 pm

    All things are possible with a little help from above..;-) As for being a loser- how do you define it? When someone can touch as many souls in a positive way as you do- NO WAY are you a loser. It is because you have been there hanging drywall, laying floor, cleaning gutters, etc that you relate to so many and why you can touch us in a way no one before you has! I love you, Sean!

    Reply
  17. Carolyn Huggins - March 11, 2018 1:58 pm

    Sean, I also write, and just posted this one yesterday:

    “Nothing Is Impossible”

    They say to always reach for a star, but you say:
    “No! It’s impossible; it’s just too far!
    It’s not in the distance; not how impossible it may seem,
    It’s in always striving to reach—not for a star,
    But to keep working always toward your dream!

    Carolyn H. Huggins

    Reply
  18. Steve Welch - March 11, 2018 2:11 pm

    No Sean. Thank you. Your brutal honesty and choice of words to express yourself prove you are no loser.

    Reply
  19. Jerenell Gorbutt - March 11, 2018 2:41 pm

    You have just begun… I love your writing, read you every day. I am pretty sure I would love your music… get yourself on Utube and start to read your stories and put yourself on there with your music as well… Looky here young man… you have a whole lot of out here that are proud as punch to call you “Son” now get going!

    Reply
  20. Toni Alphord - March 11, 2018 3:13 pm

    I too never went to high school! I have regrets, but life has been good to me. I married the love of my life at 15 1/2 and our 43 Anniversary is coming up in June! We have been fortunate enough to own two successful companies in our marriage,raise 3 daughters and 1 nephew. We are now enjoying 9 beautiful grandchildren and looking for to retirement! We both grew up poor, so, I guess your right! Anything can happen! All by the Grace of God!

    Reply
  21. Debra - March 11, 2018 3:15 pm

    Good love ya, Sean.

    Reply
  22. Anelia Chatham - March 11, 2018 3:16 pm

    You speak from your heart, most people can not do that. I do enjoy your letters, some are happy and some are sad but they all make you think and you can relate most to something that has happened in your life. You are a shining star!

    Reply
  23. Carol Houston Rothwell - March 11, 2018 3:26 pm

    You are a beautiful man,Sean Dietrich…
    You have accomplished your dream…
    You shine brighter than any rinestone…in my eye’s! !

    Reply
  24. jackmokan - March 11, 2018 3:50 pm

    Sean, I saw Sam Bush last eve! You two are cut from the same cloth. Keep writing and playing music!

    Reply
  25. DI D MOORE - March 11, 2018 3:55 pm

    You matter, you count, you are my morning gem that fills the heart to continue on.
    D.M

    Reply
  26. Rick - March 11, 2018 3:59 pm

    S.O. (the) S. [Sean of the South]
    Sometimes the cry for help is answered.
    Thanks for invigorating our souls.

    Reply
  27. Frank - March 11, 2018 4:06 pm

    That “Opry” place in Nashville would be a whole lot more Grand if you were a part of it!

    Reply
  28. Maxine - March 11, 2018 4:15 pm

    Sean, you have enough life experiences for a dozen people which has put you in a place of ease in striking up a conversation with anybody and everyone else. That experience has given you empathy for all. Which is why you have so many who LOVE YOU. Quit thinking you don’t have anything to offer. Please keep your visits with us going on and on and then some.

    Reply
  29. deborah boswell - March 11, 2018 4:54 pm

    Wow. You make a difference Sean. I love reading your posts. You have had an amazing life. I am so glad we are part of it!

    Reply
  30. Lynda - March 11, 2018 5:10 pm

    Oh Sean, you are the BEST!!!! Thanks for writing. God has blessed you with a big heart and a gift for writing! I love reading your work, it lifts my heart. Keep up the good work. You are amazing. Hope you read this.

    Reply
  31. Anne - March 11, 2018 5:29 pm

    You brighten my day

    Reply
  32. Suzanne Rainey - March 11, 2018 5:48 pm

    Dearest Sean,
    I sit with tears in my eyes for you at this moment. No man who is a loser could notice, never mind write so wonderfully about, the things that you do!!
    You bring the South, the sweet, sweet South, to life!! The small, important, daily bits of life in your column are “beautifully and wonderfully made”!! You have a true gift and you share it. It makes such a difference to me. You found God’s purpose for you and I thank Him for you daily.
    You are an awesome son of God. No son of His is a loser.
    With love to you and your wife,
    Suzie

    Reply
  33. Peggy White Merrill - March 11, 2018 5:57 pm

    I look forward to your stories each day. You are blessed with a gift of writing . All those life detours have led you to this point and you make a difference in someone’s life daily 👍😀😀❤️❤️

    Reply
  34. Judy Holley - March 11, 2018 6:01 pm

    I think you are an inspiration. I have picked up my pen again after too many years of believing the naysayers who don’t believe anything is possible, even though my life proves the opposite. Thank you for the “hand up” over the edge of the abyss I fell over nearly 30 years ago. Neither of us is a loser. I’m glad we both know that now. God bless you.

    Reply
  35. Maureen Malphrus - March 11, 2018 6:34 pm

    Sean you are making a difference in so many lives through your writing!! And God’s not through with you!! ❤️

    Reply
  36. Kathy Daum - March 11, 2018 6:55 pm

    Keep telling those stories, Friend. They pick folks up and help them put one foot in front of the other. And they remind me I matter.

    Reply
  37. Charles L. Scott II - March 11, 2018 8:32 pm

    This was well done Sean, I started out the same way as you but always a no-father, first WW II than to somewhere else besides me and Mom who had to work hard every day except weekends. I have been able to go far past that upbringing, although not without hard lessons , I am well satisfied with what I have done now in my 75 years. Keep on Keeping on Pard, you’re doing well!

    Reply
  38. Arlene - March 11, 2018 8:42 pm

    Please keep writing because we need to keep reading. You touch our lives in ways we cannot even begin to express. Your absence would be deafening. Thank you for the last four years. We are counting on you for four more. And then another four. And then another…..I will read as long as you write. Or until I die….and that’s a promise.
    Arlene

    Reply
  39. Donna Richter - March 11, 2018 9:38 pm

    The poignant way you express how you see people and everyday life moves me. Your writing is such a gift. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

    Reply
  40. Judy - March 11, 2018 9:51 pm

    I know God led me to your writings during a season of hurts. Your words have a soothing quality and I believe He knew they were what I needed. Even though that season has eased into a happier time, I still look for your words. They would be so badly missed if not found. Last September, I had an opportunity to be one in a full room of people leaning forward to hear from you. Please, don’t stop sharing with us.

    Reply
  41. Susan Hammett Poole - March 11, 2018 10:21 pm

    Sean, you are a genuine, bonafide Winner, certainly not a loser; and yes, all things are possible. The rest of that verse is found in Matthew 19:26 ~ Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Happily and thankfully, you are living proof of this 🙂

    Reply
  42. Karan - March 12, 2018 1:22 am

    Sean, I’m a relatively new reader of your words, and how much your words mean to me! Thank you for your insight into the beauty of people and this world. You encourage us all.

    Reply
  43. Helen - March 12, 2018 2:00 am

    You are my ray of sunshine. Thank you! 🙂

    Reply
  44. Michael Hawke - March 12, 2018 2:32 am

    You have a gift. Thank you for sharing it.

    Reply
  45. Jan Rowland - March 12, 2018 3:07 am

    Sean, your willingness to open your heart and share your soul with your readers tells me you are “real”. There is no pretense, just pure honesty and it’s touches me more than words can express. Please continue to speak to us from your heart because most of us reading your stories need to hear exactly what you write. It’s like sitting in church and feeling like the message was a God send just for me. To make my day complete I need a short passage of Scripture and a Sean Story daily . You are #1 on my to do list each day.

    Reply
  46. Ted - March 12, 2018 3:32 pm

    Grinning like a Cheshire cat, right now..😁 thanks!

    Reply
  47. Tom - March 12, 2018 8:49 pm

    I will keep it short..we are all many things, some we are proud of and some were not. But you Sean are not a loser, you are in my opinion, a spark plug..one that sparks people to feeling good once a day… and a very successful one at that!

    Reply
  48. Dave - March 12, 2018 10:47 pm

    Above GREAT writing, almost thought you were writing about me, in a way! Dave W

    Reply
  49. Kelly Conner - March 12, 2018 11:08 pm

    I look forward to reading your stories everyday! No matter how good or how bad a day I’ve had or how much of a winner or loser I feel like, you somehow always find away to remind me I’m not alone!!! Thank you so much!!! 🤗😘

    Reply
  50. Barbara - March 13, 2018 1:48 am

    Sean, you make a difference in So Many Lives by your thoughts and writings! Thank You for Sharing with Us!

    Reply
  51. Donald Watts - March 13, 2018 7:17 pm

    Sean, I can only say, you have inspired me to write as well. My wife says I have a gift and I should use it, but, I feel, I still have a lot to learn. My point is, through your daily inspirations, I am trying and when I read that you sometimes had doubts, I’m even more inspired.
    You are truly making a difference.

    Reply
  52. kelliec - March 15, 2018 8:56 pm

    Thank you JEE-ZUS for putting pen to paper, man. I’m a sell-out writer…journalist (when it was a noble profession) turned marketing guru. It’s all taglines and social media, not real stories of the people like you tell, like I used to. It pays the mortgage, allows me to put a bit away for a kid who wants to go to an out-of-state private school — thankfully in the south. I’m a fan…a daily reader…and someday I’d like to shake your hand, and agree…anything’s possible.

    Reply
  53. mar - March 18, 2018 7:42 pm

    You are someone who knows what it is to feel alone………….
    You are a blessing to countless souls like me……………..one can feel alone in one’s mind even in a loving family relationship, due to too many brains mixed with depression.
    Things are better every day I read your posts. That is not a small thing!!!
    Those who struggle with whatever demons they have to fight—-know how wonderful a few minutes of love and peace can be.

    Thank you for fighting through your sad previous years to be what you are to me and countless other souls who are also just trying to get through this life. The blessings you have brought to me and others, will be repaid when you die!!
    Tooo bad Jesus couldn’t have had access to the internet like you do. You are truly one of his disciples (who, by the way) were just ordinary men with loads of problems too.

    Thank you, and keep up the courage…….you are appreciated and loved………..

    Another soul……………………….

    Reply
  54. LARRY WALL - March 19, 2018 5:54 pm

    Sean – you and I both, along with many others, have learned that ‘anything is possible’. Well, I say that EVERYTHING is possible if we try to make it so, and you have done that. And remarkably well, I might add. You were born to be an accomplished person and your Dad was just reminding you of that, I think. So you just keep reminding others of that truth.

    Reply
  55. Julie - March 19, 2018 7:44 pm

    You really KNOW how to relate to us all…maybe your “training” was in your life before writing. You had to go through that BEFORE you could become such a great treasure to us all…speaking from your heart to ours. Thank you Sean, with all my heart…you touch us.

    Reply
  56. Katy - June 5, 2018 8:45 pm

    Yes, Sean, anything is possible. I truly believe that and, furthermore, you are proof.

    May God continue to bless you ~

    Reply

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