Dear Sean

And look at all these birds, perched on fence posts, flying in the air. I wish you were here with me. You might see these birds and think like I'm thinking


I’m pretty sure my mom is dying and we don’t know if she’s going to make it long. A doctor told us she will probably not and she wants us to start talking about funerals. I’m so afraid of life right now, please write something for me.



The sun is coming up over the green hills of Crenshaw County right now. Rutledge, Alabama, isn’t far away from me.

Have you ever been to Crenshaw County? It’s nothing but hayfields, chickenweed, and cattle.

This sun is spectacular. No. It’s breath-stealing. Especially with all this hay around.

There is something about the way hay smells in the morning. It makes me feel a pleasant, heavy feeling in my chest. It makes me feel—how do I put this—very, very small.

See, while I write this, I’m looking at seventeen trillion acres of hay bales. I’m on a two-lane highway, I have the windows rolled down.

If that doesn’t make you feel small.

And look at all these birds, perched on fence posts, flying in the air. I wish you were here with me. You might see these birds and think like I’m thinking.

Did you ever wonder how many meals a bird eats? Or: who feeds them? Or: how many meals YOU’VE eaten since you were born?

During my time on earth—and this is only a rough estimate—I’ve eaten fifty or sixty THOUSAND meals.

That’s not even counting boiled peanuts or ice cream.

You heard me right. No matter how sad things get, nor how bad life seems, I am like a bird who manages to find food. Somehow.

Anyway, the sun is getting higher now. It glows orange on the world.

I see a horse. She’s gray, and she’s galloping with a colt who’s keeping pace behind. You ought to see them, they’re poetry.

I wonder where they’re going? I wonder if animals know how much their mothers love them?

Love is a powerful thing you know. A lot stronger than some think. It’s not just an emotion you feel on Valentine’s Day.

Love makes hay sprout, trees bloom. It makes rain, stars, clouds, camellias, sparrows, lilies, gray horses, it makes mamas strong.

And you better believe it can make miracles happen.

I’m not going to pretend with you. I don’t understand a thing about this universe. I understand even less about God. I don’t understand why bad things happen, or why people suffer.

Still, I know love. And I know that it kills fear outright. Even if only for a few minutes at a time.

So I hope you read this slow. I hope while reading, you think: “Hey, this guy seems to love me.”

I hope the feeling starts small, then gets big. And I hope it makes you feel safe for a few seconds.

When you’re finished, I hope you close your eyes and think about breathing in and out. About how important you are. And about how many birds are eating breakfast right now.

It’s too bad you can’t see this magnificent sunrise I’m seeing.

Because I think God meant it for you.


  1. teachenglish67 - September 21, 2017 1:46 pm

    As long as I’ve been reading your writings, I have not found a single one I didn’t like, nor one which didn’t give me something to think about. Thank you for another “think coming” and another something to like.

  2. rider4472 - September 21, 2017 1:50 pm

    Thank you for reminding us it’s not about us. Again.

  3. Connie - September 21, 2017 1:52 pm

    I read your words every day and every day they touch me in some way. Some happy, some sad, always with love tho. You “may not understand much” but you understand love and send it out every day. I hope you feel it coming back to you in waves.

  4. Marilyn Cook - September 21, 2017 1:56 pm

    Dear Sean, my eyes are leaking again. Thanks.

  5. Pat - September 21, 2017 1:57 pm

    “For if I have not love, I have nothing”.

    • Diane Enloe - September 21, 2017 2:18 pm

      Thank you for helping me to see, feel, and smell once again what I haven’t thought about in far too long~

  6. Gale - September 21, 2017 2:13 pm

    Just beautiful. Your words paint a beautiful portrait of life. And it is true that when you live in the moment and truly are aware of all around you, you can see miracles. And love does conquer fear.

  7. Carol - September 21, 2017 3:39 pm

    Pure poetry…

  8. Joan Lang - September 21, 2017 4:08 pm


  9. TN Lizzie - September 21, 2017 4:09 pm

    Oh, Sean! You have given DEAR THIRTEEN, and the rest of us, a gift of sunrises! Every morning now I will think of her and others like her, and pray they see the power of God at work. One name for Jesus is Love. One name for the Holy Spirit is Comforter. Love conquers fear and brings comfort. Deep, deep stuff today – it does my heart good to read and ponder! Thank you, Sean.

  10. Pat Durmon - September 21, 2017 4:42 pm

    Bless you, Sean. This will bless Thirteen. Your finger points the right direction.

  11. Marty from Alabama - September 21, 2017 4:48 pm

    Wish I had read this about an hour ago. Then those words I said would not have ever been said.

    • teachenglish67 - September 21, 2017 5:11 pm

      Dear Marty,

      We all regret some words we’ve said in hasty anger or disappointment. What will help you and the recipient is a heartfelt, “I am so sorry I said words which were hurtful and unkind. I hope you can forgive me; I am having a lot of trouble forgiving myself.”

      I hope my words to you have helped you.

      Peace and blessings

  12. Edith - September 21, 2017 4:53 pm

    As i read your letter it fit right in with a sermon I am writing for a sermon I am writing to give this Sunday. I hope you don’t mind if I quote part of your letter. My sermon is on the joy we who believe in Christ have.
    I haven’t written a sermon for 4 years as I am retired. But my pastor is in the hospital. And we are all in need of Christ love.

  13. Pamela McEachern - September 21, 2017 5:19 pm

    Dear Sean this was beauriful and it certainly made me appreciate everything you spoke about today.
    This next part is for that precious girl, baby girl this is one of the hardest times your young life has had to face but you seem so mature and this comes from the way you are being raised. Your Mom ans Dad must love you so much, and there is now a whole bunch more that love you too.
    We will all be keeping you in our prayers, you just have to have faith knowing we are by your side. God Bless you and your family. You are stronger than you think ??

  14. Jeanne - September 21, 2017 6:08 pm

    Beautiful…just beautiful. Tears.

  15. Ashley Turner - September 21, 2017 6:12 pm

    I grew up in the “middle of somewhere”, and can relate to almost every word you write. You so eloquently put into words the way I feel about simpler times and places. I am blessed to still be able to enjoy rural life, but things just seem so much more complicated than they once did. Every time I read another of your stories I feel like life slows down, if only for five minutes. Keep it coming; your talent touches so many!

  16. anthonykorey - September 21, 2017 9:01 pm

    Sean; You have a gift. A gift for a Thirteen year old and one for a 74 year old. May God bless you and your family.

  17. Perri Geaux Tigers Williamson - September 21, 2017 11:35 pm


  18. Linda - September 22, 2017 12:03 am

    Brought a tear to my heart…

  19. Buckie - September 22, 2017 12:32 am

    Thank you for writing about life, love, and God. Please keep writing, it makes me feel good about all of those things and gives me hope.

  20. Leo Larkin - September 22, 2017 12:50 am


    Thank for for this post. It’s beautiful! I hope it brings comfort.

  21. Beth Anne - September 22, 2017 1:04 am

    I love you, Sean of the South.

  22. billy nunn - September 22, 2017 1:23 am

    I look forward to these daily uplifting posts. I even look forward more to when you play at The Place. I enjoyed the tribute to Ray Charles. Take care until next time.

  23. Michael Hawke - September 22, 2017 2:19 am

    We almost lost my mother to cancer when I was 14 and she was 35. She’s 83 now and going strong. All for the love of three children.

  24. Kathy Lee - September 23, 2017 1:26 am

    Awesome! You make me smile you encourage me please keep writing. God loves you and all of us who reads you daily!!?

  25. Tawanah Fagan Bagwell - September 23, 2017 3:27 pm

    You touched me with this one. Thank you.

  26. Betty King - November 1, 2017 9:27 am

    You make a difference in our day. Thanks.

  27. Donna Hicks - November 1, 2017 10:01 am

    You always seem to know what to say. Tears roll down my cheeks and my heart seems to swell and beat a little stronger. May your words and God’s love give comfort to this young man. And may his mom beat the odds and live a long, long life.

  28. Suzette - November 1, 2017 11:52 am

    “Breathing in and out” is sometimes all I can do since my mother passed in June. I wish I understood how miracles are doled out. Why didn’t we get one? “Love is a powerful thing you know.” That line is what I will carry with me today. Sometimes all I have is anger. I wonder if you read these comments? Thank you for sharing your thoughts.


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