Worst Day Ever

It was the worst day ever. And I’d just come off the heels of what had been the worst month ever.

I rear ended a Toyota. Six years ago. I was driving the highway, John Conlee was on the radio singing “Rose Colored Glasses.”

I can close my eyes and recall the whole scene. It had been a bad week. A bad year. And it got worse.

A car ahead of me slammed its brakes. The tailpipe came toward me so fast I didn’t have time to say: “Holy Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego!”

The crash was loud. I blacked out.

When I awoke, I was lying in the median. Paramedics were around me. I couldn’t remember my name. I was out of it.

“You’re gonna be okay,” the EMT said. “You’re just in shock. And look on the bright side, kid, at least you didn’t poop your pants.”

Thank God for small blessings.

They rushed me to the ER. No broken bones. Only bruises. A doctor shined a light in my eyes and inspected my neurological reactions.

He was a white-haired man who said, “Say your ABC’s backward for me, son.”

I closed my eyes and said, “‘Your ABC’s backward, son.’”

A good laugh was had by all—except the doctor, who charged an extra fourteen hundred bucks for laughter.

That night, I sat on the sofa with bruised ribs. The medication my wife had given me made me loopy, I was starting to see things. Julia Child, for instance, was on television, descaling a fish with a acetylene blowtorch.

I thought she was the loveliest woman I’d ever seen.

So my truck was totalled. My face was beat-up. My collarbone and ribs hurt.

It was the worst day ever. And I’d just come off the heels of what had been the worst month ever.

Weeks earlier, my longtime dream of becoming a writer had been squashed—I’d been rejected from an academic writing program.

AND: I had been turned down from a newspaper job. The editor told me my writing was about as interesting as a cat licking itself.

AND: I’d lost my job on a landscaping crew.

AND: our bank account had $91.23 in it.

Life couldn’t have been any sadder, I thought. I cried while watching Julia Child prepare salmon with cucumber sauce with a side of electric slide guitar.

The next day, was worse. My wife came home with a frown on her face. She held certified mail in her hands.

Her first words were: “The victim’s insurance company is suing you.”

I started crying so hard it made my head hurt. I’ve never been sued before.

The next day, I laid in a lawn chair in our backyard with my dog. I stared at the sky and felt sorry for myself.

I decided to write a story. I don’t know why. Call it the side-effects of medication, or just plain boredom. I wrote for six hours on a yellow legal pad.

When my wife got home from work, she laid beside my dog and me.

They are my family. And they held me tight. They’ve always done that.

When I finished weeping, my wife picked up the legal pad and read my story. Finally, she said, “Hey, this is good.”

I disagreed.

“You know what you oughta do?” she went on. “You should post this on Facebook.”

And that was it.

Those few words. That car accident. My wife. That legal pad. Julia Child. My worst-day-ever became the best thing that ever happened to me.

Anyway, today I got a certified letter in the mail. After six years, the lawsuit from the car accident was finally dismissed.

I don’t claim to know anything about life. But I know that all it takes is one person to believe in you, and you will never be the same again.

Thank you, Jamie.

I love you more than you’ll ever know.

37 comments

  1. Jack Quanstrum - March 23, 2018 6:37 am

    Loved the story.

    Reply
  2. Jana Hodge - March 23, 2018 8:26 am

    You simply amaze me everyday!

    Reply
  3. Phillip Hadley - March 23, 2018 10:07 am

    Phillip in Stockton, The first thing I do every morning when I sit down with my coffee is read your post for the day. It makes my day. Sure would love to drink a beer with you and hear these in person! Keep up the good work!!

    Reply
    • Wendy Franks - March 23, 2018 8:14 pm

      Years ago, I had friends & dorm-mates from Stockton. Last names McInnis & Gause. (Not sure correct spelling of either) & my brother was pastor of the Methodist Church there in late 1960s. So I know Stockton. ☺ Probably before you were born!

      Reply
  4. Julie - March 23, 2018 10:15 am

    You are the most interesting writer I’ve read in a long time. Thank you for sharing your life with us and thank goodness for that Toyota!

    Reply
  5. Susan Reese - March 23, 2018 10:20 am

    Your wife is a smart lady! It is very hard for me to imagine your writings ever being rejected because reading your stories is something that I look forward to every morning.

    Reply
  6. Sherry - March 23, 2018 10:34 am

    So glad things got better…somehow it always does, but when you’re in it the pain can be paralyzing. You are a writer and your work is comforting; the words feel familiar like a warm summer night down South. Thank you!

    Reply
  7. Trina V. - March 23, 2018 11:15 am

    Thank you, Jamie!! Because of you, we all get to share Sean’s insights. My morning routine is to sit down with my bowl of cereal and read Sean’s post. More than once I have had to go touch up my makeup before heading to work.

    Reply
  8. Connie - March 23, 2018 11:23 am

    You were blessed to find each other. I can only hope that the people who rejected you are reading your words now, wishing they had given you a chance. You have a legion of loyal followers. Some, like me, who travel hours just to hear you speak. God bless. Big hugs to you and Jamie.

    Reply
  9. jones - March 23, 2018 11:27 am

    Wonderful. As always.

    Reply
  10. Penn Wells - March 23, 2018 11:31 am

    No question about it.

    And Jamie? Thank you from the rest of us, too….

    Reply
  11. LeAnne - March 23, 2018 11:35 am

    Please thank Jamie for me.

    Reply
  12. janiesjottings - March 23, 2018 11:37 am

    God bless you Sean and your loving, supportive wife. I am so glad you write the way you do. The things you share with us enrich our lives daily. I can’t tell you what a blessing your stories are to me and my husband. I’d rather read one of your blog posts than every news article we are bombarded with daily. Thank you for using your talent in such a positive, uplifting way!

    Reply
  13. Theresa Clark - March 23, 2018 11:49 am

    Amazing how things that are so bad can work out for good. You ARE a writer, Sean. An incredible one. Hope to meet you one day to tell you so face to face. And how your writing makes each and every day better for me.

    Reply
  14. Jo Ann - March 23, 2018 12:02 pm

    Your worst day was a blessing for us, Sean. Thank you again today.

    Reply
  15. Victoria - March 23, 2018 12:13 pm

    🙂 🙂 🙂

    Reply
  16. Bobby Hamil - March 23, 2018 12:27 pm

    After meeting Jamie and you in Ozark last weekend, you have a keeper, my friend. All the best.

    Reply
  17. Dianne - March 23, 2018 12:48 pm

    Thankful that your wife encouraged you, so that thousands of us can enjoy reading your wonderful stories every day. She is indeed a blessing in your life, as you are in the lives of your readers.

    Reply
  18. Judy - March 23, 2018 1:38 pm

    Congratulations! You survived a bad season, including the car accident. You have the love of a smart woman and a dog. And you listened to said smart woman. There are many of us that are thankful for your successes. Oh, yeah…congratulations on getting that car suit cloud from over your head, too.

    Reply
  19. Jeanie Crutchfield - March 23, 2018 1:48 pm

    Enjoyed————–how do we find a schedule of when and where you will be speaking?

    Reply
    • Jon Dragonfly - March 24, 2018 12:30 am

      Go to the top of this page. Over in the right corner, click “EVENTS”.

      Reply
  20. Debbie Robinson - March 23, 2018 2:00 pm

    Don’t stop, besides seeing pictures of my children and grandchildren on Facebook, your article is the Best thing on Facebook. You encourage us all!

    Reply
  21. Nix LaVerdi - March 23, 2018 2:01 pm

    Beautiful, Sean.
    Your writing heals you, and us too.
    Thank you,
    Nix

    Reply
  22. Lynn poling - March 23, 2018 2:22 pm

    God takes care of the humble!

    Reply
  23. Lisa Perkins - March 23, 2018 3:00 pm

    Wow, what a story. We love your writings, they make us think and inspire us. Six years of a cloud hanging above is hard! I’m glad it’s worked out and I’m glad I get to read your words every day! Thank you for blessing our lives 🙂

    Reply
  24. Kathy Daum - March 23, 2018 3:12 pm

    One person can definitely make a difference.

    Reply
  25. Jack Darnell - March 23, 2018 3:37 pm

    I’m a wanna be writer, but I ain’t gonna try to get there this way!
    Hope you are having a great day. I, like you, have that ‘BEST LADY’. I did write a book once called “It can last forever” (or something like that). Ours has lasted over 61 years and still going strong.

    Reply
  26. Minnie Tate Bourque - March 23, 2018 4:30 pm

    Love you, Sean! Thank you for such an uplifting message…and reminder. I am so happy I have “found” you and your wrtings. Most uplifting and inspirational!
    Min

    Reply
  27. Arlene - March 23, 2018 5:57 pm

    You are appreciated. More than you will ever know. Thank you for my daily dose of pure goodness.

    Reply
  28. Thankfully, Janet Mary Lee - March 23, 2018 6:18 pm

    Your writings are good for many reasons. But most importantly they are real, hopeful, and touching to our souls. I always say this is one of the best you wrote. I say that a lot when you write. 🙂 You are a true Blessing to us. Thank you for sharing yourself and family and friends and music. It is a wise man who values his wife, and a wise woman who values her husband. And wise people who appreciate what God does… Always do that! And always write!!

    Reply
  29. Ted - March 23, 2018 7:22 pm

    Niiice!

    Reply
  30. Wendy Franks - March 23, 2018 8:22 pm

    I’ve always thought there should be a Good News Only channel on TV, but it would probably fail due to sponsors not wanting to risk their precious $$. We’ll just keep reading Sean every day on our mobile phones or laptops or desktops or kindles! It’s much more than worth it.

    Reply
  31. Beth Reed - March 24, 2018 12:07 am

    Sean, I wrote a long reply last night but it was eaten or is traveling around in cyberspace. I can’t remember all that I said to you by but the quick response is…. Sometimes feeling sorry for yourself is not a bad thing. Sometimes it is food for thought. Sometimes it leads to another door opening and sometimes it’s just a way for you to let your body have time for you.
    I read your posts daily to a friend of mine. Then we discuss the ways you have inspired us to do better, be better. Keep writing and give Jaimie lots of hugs. Xxxx

    Reply
  32. Michael Hawke - March 24, 2018 2:38 am

    Thank you. I needed that.

    Reply
  33. Jody - March 24, 2018 4:28 am

    Such a wise man. He listens to his wife.

    Reply
  34. wgarysmith999 - March 24, 2018 2:45 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story and heart. One good thing about your writings is that they do not have a “The End”. They create perpetual thoughts and many of them teary smiles. Keep ‘em coming Sean and God bless you, your wife and dog!

    Reply
  35. Tee - April 3, 2018 1:32 pm

    I concur … been there, lost the tee shirt.
    carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero
    You give us hope!

    Reply

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