About Last Night

Last night, amidst the biting Michigan cold, a baby was born at 10:03 P.M. And while none of the major news outlets or camera crews had reason to tell you about this average birth, in an average town, in an average hospital, the baby’s family doesn’t feel it was average.

The baby’s name is Kristen. And this was a happy night for her family. Kristen’s dad, for example, took 3,122,391 cellphone pictures of Kristen within the first five minutes of her life. Which is very different from how things were done when I was born shortly after the Civil War. We had delivery-room sketch artists.

I talked to Kristen’s father this morning. He was emotional on the phone. In fact, he was all-out crying about the birth of his first child. He blew his nose loudly and said, “This is the happiest day of my life.”

It’s too bad the newspeople didn’t tell you about it. Maybe they were busy.

Also, it’s a shame nobody told you about Hilary’s dog, Dingo. Last night in Albuquerque, Hilary’s dog passed away.

A little about Dingo: He was golden colored. He loved eating corn chips, pizza, carrots, Jergens Ultra-Healing Moisture Lotion, and expensive electronics. He was a very special animal.

Dingo watched Hilary graduate high school when he was a puppy. He saw Hilary into college. He was around when she got married. He was also beside her when her first husband walked out on her. Dingo, the Lab-mix with the big smile, was the one who helped carry Hilary into adulthood. He deserved a headline or two.

Hilary knew on Friday that something wasn’t right with Dingo when he started having multiple accidents indoors. It was bad. Pancreatitis. Hilary made the decision no pet owner wants to make. They put Dingo down.

“I just wanted someone to know about the best dog in the world,” wrote Hilary.

So now you do.

Meanwhile, 1,397 miles away, more breaking news was happening in Georgia. Fifteen-year-old Paul was preparing for a first date. Paul was standing before his closet mirror, getting dressed. He was nervous because he does not find himself attractive.

“I’m kinda overweight,” says Paul. “Not super fat, but, you know, kinda fat.”

Paul believes that most girls think he is ugly, although his mother adds that Paul is flat wrong.

His date’s name was Sophia. For a long time now—two years—Paul has had a crush on Sophia, but she never really paid him any attention. Until last Saturday when Paul’s uncle gave the kid a pep talk, saying, “If you don’t ask this girl out you might regret it for the rest of your life.”

So Paul summoned his intestinal courage and got Sophia’s number from a friend and texted her with his trembling thumbs. Paul was bold. Paul was courageous. Paul almost vomited in his mouth.

But he actually asked her out. And within the six agonizing minutes it took Sophia to respond he died one thousand deaths. Her text response was: “Sorry I missed your text! My phone was on vibrate! Yes, I’ll go out with you!”

You could have buried Paul with a grin on his face.

The two had a date yesterday evening. During the date, Sophia voiced her serious interest in follow-up dates.

And then there was Elaine’s big news. She vacated Dallas last week amidst the mass power outages. She carried her two kids home to Tennessee and moved in with her elderly parents. And last night she made a pivotal life decision.

“I’m gonna go back to school and finish my education,” she says.

Elaine plans on getting a GED, then she’s aiming for college, then nursing school. It’s a tall order, there is a lot of work ahead, but there is joy in her voice.

I asked why she chose nursing.

“When I got the coronavirus this past summer,” says Elaine, “I was pretty scared, and the ER nurses were so amazing, I knew I wanted to do THAT with my life.”

Classes start in the summer, Elaine is so excited that her face could light up four city blocks.

And don’t forget the newsworthy thing that happened 3,845 miles across the Atlantic, in Dublin. Alana had been injured from an on-the-job accident for a few years. She decided to get surgery to deal with this at age 41. After her operation, the surgeon recommended physical therapy.

Alana went faithfully to each session, three times every week where a therapist named Ricky helped her regain mobility by engaging in unusual, moderately embarrassing exercises involving weighted balls, squatting positions, and fitness contraptions that resemble medieval chastity hardware.

Ricky was handsome. And nice. He had longish brown hair, a gentle disposition, and Alana found herself giggling for no apparent reason whenever he was nearby.

Finally, the inevitable happened.

Ricky asked if she was busy that weekend. Alana said no, so Ricky asked would she like to do something, and she said yes, and he said what time, and she said any time is good, and he said okay how about six, and she said six sounded fine, and then they got married.

Okay, it didn’t happen THAT fast, but they did get married one year later. And as it happens, Alana and Ricky just celebrated their 31st anniversary yesterday. Which, in case you forgot, was the same day baby Kristen’s birth took place, along with all the other stuff I just told you about.

So the next time you feel like the world is falling apart, take a moment and think of the 7.6 billion happy stories the headlines forgot to mention.

59 comments

  1. Leigh Amiot - February 23, 2021 7:09 am

    Welcome to the world, baby Kristen!
    Happy Anniversary, Ricky and Alana!
    And thanks again, Sean, for the reminder to right our perspectives. This column made me think of some very good mental health advice found in the good book, to focus on “whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” (from Philippians 4:8)

    Reply
    • Kathie - February 23, 2021 7:19 am

      Thank you, Ms. Leigh. You took the words right out of my mouth.

      Reply
  2. Bert Anne - February 23, 2021 7:40 am

    I love you, Sean! God Bless you!

    Reply
  3. Bob E - February 23, 2021 8:01 am

    Sean, thanks for more laughs – always enjoy your stories.
    This is totally unrelated to today’s column but I just have to let you know that I’ve been occasionally forwarding some of your columns to a cousin who is taking great care of her mother (my Aunt) whose health is rapidly declining with the end apparently very near. Your recent articles on the therapeutic value of taking walks and sharing hugs really hit home with her and she told me how she spends much of her time taking those strolls and holding her frail mother who she will soon lose.
    You mentioned recently some doubt about the value of your writings – let me assure you that you serve a great purpose in comforting and helping people in a sincere heartwarming way – and humorous too.
    You are important to many folks.
    THANK YOU SIR.

    Reply
    • Pamela James - February 23, 2021 1:03 pm

      Oh darlin’. You don’t know how badly I needed to hear a little good news today.

      Reply
  4. Joe Dorough - February 23, 2021 9:06 am

    Didn’t know where you were going with this but it turned out beautiful! Best I’ve heard in awhile but I bet the newspapers can’t make a profit on these stories! This is the real news! Thanks!

    Reply
  5. Mimi - February 23, 2021 10:31 am

    Thank you. We needed that.

    Reply
  6. Barb - February 23, 2021 10:47 am

    And this is why I read your column every day Sean, rather than the news. Exactly, Miss Leigh . . “Think on these things”.

    Reply
  7. Peggy B Proffitt - February 23, 2021 10:51 am

    I needed to hear all this good news today. The news gets so overwhelming sometimes til I read your stories. Glad I chose this email to read to start my day. Thank you.

    Reply
  8. Dale Edwards - February 23, 2021 10:51 am

    Just want you to know you’re a star in a dark sky! Thank you so much for your writing. One day you will realize the impact you had on earthlings!
    Keep it going!❤️❤️❤️

    Reply
  9. Ann - February 23, 2021 11:39 am

    Your timing is incredible!
    How we all need to pause and consider all the wonderful happenings going on in the midst of this messy media show.
    Thank you Sean for bringing us to a positive hopeful thought process… it could lessen the hate that is evident each day!
    There IS a lot of good out there!

    Reply
  10. Dr. Dennis Stalvey - February 23, 2021 11:58 am

    Many, Many, Many years ago, Paul Harvey came to my hometown and spoke in the city high school auditorium. The one thing I have never forgotten Paul say that night was he knew of several radio stations and newspaper outlets who made a vow to carry nothing but good news in their media outlet. Harvey said, “All of those media outlets went bankrupt because all the listeners and readers stopped supporting them.” Then Paul Havey said, “They went out of business because people are hungry for and flock to bad news.” I guess people love to be shocked by horror and awe. Or maybe they are just saying, “But by the grace of God, go I.” The last thing Paul Harvey said was, “I know there is more good news out there than the bad because I know there are more good people out there than the bad.” It all depends on what you feed on.

    Reply
  11. Lynne Hill - February 23, 2021 12:10 pm

    Thanks so much for pointing out the positive!

    Reply
  12. Karen Erwin-Brown - February 23, 2021 12:12 pm

    You are so right. Yesterday was beautiful on the Chattahoochee. Look forward to another today.

    Reply
  13. Bill - February 23, 2021 12:47 pm

    I’ve noticed for the current news sources to sell news, for some reason, it has to be bad. What’s wrong with our world today. When people are down they need encouragement not a reminder what is bad with it. Don’t get me wrong. We still need to be aware of the things around us. And..we don’t need your, the news peoples opinion as to what is wrong. Just report the news as it is, not what you fell it should be.

    Reply
  14. Tammy S. - February 23, 2021 1:01 pm

    Amen, Ms. Leigh! You said it so well.
    And as always, Sean, there you go again.
    What a wonderful, encouraging read this morning. Right alongside God’s wonderful words, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” -James 1:17 You & your words are some of the good and perfect gifts these days, Sean. Thanks

    Reply
  15. Sonya Tuttle - February 23, 2021 1:01 pm

    And God inHeaven smiled and thought it was very good. We need more of this!!

    Reply
  16. Lisa Wilcox - February 23, 2021 1:08 pm

    This is one of my favorites and will go into my folder of said favorites by you! Thank you for brightening my day (& the days of countless others, I’m sure)

    Reply
  17. Dawn Byrd - February 23, 2021 1:13 pm

    Your column starts my day with smiles every morning but today you’ve outdone yourself! How wonderful to hear good news in the midst of these trying times.

    Reply
  18. Nancy - February 23, 2021 1:17 pm

    Your column is a bright start to my days—thank you!!

    Reply
  19. Kate - February 23, 2021 1:38 pm

    Sean, I too read you each morning, instead of ever turning on the news. This is the NEWS. This is real life. This is the miracle of every day, the good that happens, the goodness of people. Thank you for reminding us. And thank you Leigh for the Bible verse. I needed to remember that, it so helps if we focus on the good.

    Reply
  20. Pat Morgan - February 23, 2021 1:43 pm

    Thank you, Sean, for reminding us again, that there really ARE good things out there!

    Reply
  21. kristydunnigan - February 23, 2021 1:51 pm

    Yes, Sean! Yes, yes, yes! And in South AL, a man reminded many that there is light in a seemingly dark world. Thank you.

    Reply
  22. Angie Tucker - February 23, 2021 1:52 pm

    Amen! I want THAT news channel!

    Reply
  23. Mim - February 23, 2021 1:55 pm

    Right on, Mr. Sean.

    Reply
  24. peggyhayesauthor - February 23, 2021 1:57 pm

    This is great! I needed to hear it. Thank you for reminding me that there’s still a lot of good in the world! Sean, you have a gift and you are a gift.

    Reply
  25. Jo Ann - February 23, 2021 1:59 pm

    Thank you, Sean. Happy & sad. Happy about babies, anniversaries, & dates. So sorry about Hilary’s dog, Dingo. She’ll have him in her heart forever. I hope she’ll eventually be able to bring another pet into her life. There are so many dogs & cats that would love a chance to make her happy again & to share good times & bad. Hope all have a good day.

    Reply
  26. Julie - February 23, 2021 2:00 pm

    🎵“Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive”, eliminate the negative🎶…Johnny Mercer, circa1944. Still rings true today!! Thank you, Sean❣️

    Reply
  27. Jan - February 23, 2021 2:06 pm

    Thank you, Sean, for reminding us that life in all its simplicity and complexity does go on. You bring joy to our hearts when we recognize that the important stuff continues like love, joy, peace and hope. I do hope that Hilary will remember Dingo with all the love and joy he brought to her life. Maybe, just maybe, some day Hilary will find another dog, not to replace anyone but to help her find joy again!

    Reply
  28. Beryl - February 23, 2021 2:15 pm

    Yes, life is far more joyous than any news outlet is going to mention. So, I stopped watching the news. I’m not the ostrich with my head in the sand, I do “catch” snippets of “news”. The doom and gloom never stops. So, I create my own newsworthy stories to fuel my day and fill it with JOY. Right now, I’m watching the sunrise, the hummingbirds at the feeder, and I can hear other species making themselves known. Soon the red-tailed hawks will alight on the pole across the wash. When I sit still, really still, I can feel the earth rotating, my heart beating, my neighbors awaking, and I am filled with GRATITUDE for all the beauty that is around me. Today I choose to be of service to others and I am filled with a peace that NO ONE AND NO THING can take away from me unless I allow it to be so. May you find your slice of heaven. Look no further than your heart. The journey from head to heart is the longest and worth starting. Good morning hawks!

    Reply
  29. Christine - February 23, 2021 2:35 pm

    Thank you for good news❤

    Reply
  30. Katherine - February 23, 2021 2:46 pm

    Oh Sean, you’re the best. Please don’t ever stop.

    Reply
  31. Jo - February 23, 2021 2:47 pm

    Love the positively!! Your post is the first thing I read in the morning together with my Bible. God Bless You!

    Reply
  32. Dianne - February 23, 2021 2:52 pm

    Thanks for this column, Sean. It was a reminder that we all tend to overlook the many, many blessings God places in our lives on an hourly and daily basis.

    Reply
  33. JonDragonfly - February 23, 2021 2:52 pm

    You made me smile.

    Reply
  34. Joan Crowson - February 23, 2021 3:09 pm

    Your writing is Isaiah 52:7. How beautiful upon the mountains
    are the feet of him who brings good news,
    who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness,
    who publishes salvation…
    I love how you help us appreciate the beautiful in the everyday. Thank you!

    Reply
  35. Lois Boyd - February 23, 2021 3:21 pm

    This made my day! ☀️
    Lois in SC

    Reply
  36. AlaRedClayGirl - February 23, 2021 3:44 pm

    I quit watching TV news almost 20 years ago and then gave up my newspaper subscription several years ago. I do not miss that negativity at all. I get my news from trusted online news sources, and I get my morning dose of happiness by reading Sean of the South!

    Reply
  37. Margot Miller - February 23, 2021 4:11 pm

    Thank you so much!! I just recently started reading your column and they make my day. I am a southern expatriate living in Santa Fe and your voice takes me home to Alabama. I haven’t been home in over a year because of the damn virus and I miss my family and the beach. Thank you for making me feel closer to home every morning!

    Reply
  38. Cheryl Buchanan - February 23, 2021 4:14 pm

    Great story, again! Thanks for making people smile!

    Reply
  39. Jim Thomssen - February 23, 2021 4:19 pm

    Thanks – That is all. It gets depressing occasionally – That helped.

    Reply
  40. Christina Davis - February 23, 2021 4:21 pm

    Exactly!! Here is another one.
    There is this guy who writes columns every single day to remind people about what is good, about possibilities and about things that matter. It doesn’t cost anything to read his words. He often helps fix at least one lady in this world, when her heart is hurting.

    Reply
  41. Bettye - February 23, 2021 4:26 pm

    You need to be head of the news media in our sad country. Maybe the good citizens of the United States could start to act like the good Lord God
    Commanded .

    Reply
  42. Cathy Callender - February 23, 2021 4:31 pm

    Lord Sean Dietrich I just love you!

    Reply
  43. Suzanne - February 23, 2021 4:47 pm

    Sean, thank you for reminding us there is good news out there! I love this stuff! Abs thank you for making me laugh sometimes when I desperately need to.

    Reply
  44. Marilyn - February 23, 2021 5:05 pm

    Thank you for the positives you remind us about. I quit watching the news sometime in 2019 because it was depressing and slanted in one direction, which was not the way I wanted to go. Keep reminding us of the good, Sean. Have a great day!

    Reply
  45. Cheryl McWilliams - February 23, 2021 5:17 pm

    Amen. You just said it all, brother. Amen.

    Reply
  46. Linda Moon - February 23, 2021 5:27 pm

    Good. The story was about a baby’s birth. I was worried when I read the title that it might be rated “R” and thus offend my sensibilities. News often offends me, so I avoid it a lot. Even though the good stuff doesn’t make headlines, your readers know you’ll tell us about it. Most of us have some of those 7.6 billion happy stories to tell. I do!

    Reply
  47. DiAn - February 23, 2021 5:39 pm

    Sean -Thank you for giving us the good news we NEED for balance! This column is a GREAT ministry to all of us. I share it whenever I can. Keep it up!

    Reply
  48. Bonnie McCullough Joslin - February 23, 2021 6:25 pm

    AWESOME! JUST OUT AND OUT AWESOME.

    Reply
  49. Harriet - February 23, 2021 6:51 pm

    I love that. All of it. The way you write is so cool.

    Reply
  50. Julie Cotten - February 23, 2021 9:08 pm

    Thanks Sean, I needed that today.

    Reply
  51. MAM - February 23, 2021 11:44 pm

    Thanks for good news! There always is good news, and I wish people would buy newspapers that are nothing but good news. I would love to be the editor of that paper. 🙂

    Reply
  52. Sondra - February 24, 2021 12:24 am

    Just what the doctor ordered!!! You’re a breath of fresh air!!!!

    Reply
  53. Steve Winfield (Lifer) - February 24, 2021 4:57 am

    You’re the best, Sean. You really are.
    Thank you for the smiles. You make me want to hug you so much & so often. Man I’m so glad you came along. Really.
    Take care. Stay healthy. Keep making us all feel better about life. Please.
    God bless you in Jesus name.

    Reply
  54. JANE - February 24, 2021 4:42 pm

    Thanks

    Reply
  55. Lucretia - February 24, 2021 9:13 pm

    Amen.

    Reply
  56. Rita Wood - February 25, 2021 10:53 am

    Thank you Sean for the wonderful stories you write. I subscribe to your e-mail and read every one of them. Keep doing what you do so well, writing about ordinary people and restoring faith in mankind. I’m a 71 year old hugger and if we ever meet I would like to share one with you.

    Reply
  57. Kay Morgenthaler - February 25, 2021 4:49 pm

    And on that same day my husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary of 52 years. We’ve had our second coved vac shot, so we went to Ruth’s Chris’ for dinner! We had not been in a restaurant in a year…and the angels sang…it’s the little things sometimes.

    Reply

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