Dear Sean

Life is only a few seconds long. The trip between birth and death is an amusement-park ride. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a few laughs. But you're going to go through your fair share of hell.


I am a guy in high school. There is a girl at school, and we have come to be best friends, but now I value her a little more than a friend.

She’s the only girl I’ve ever come to love. I want to tell her what I feel, but she already has a boyfriend.

They are hopelessly in love. I’ve met her boyfriend, and he’s hopelessly awesome, so I can’t hate him. I feel terrible. What should I do?



What you’re about to read is a middle-aged man’s retelling of his own pathetic youth. I’m the wrong fella to ask for advice.

I’m an ordinary stiff with one back-surgery under his belt.

As a young man, I was a friend to a girl. Let’s call her, oh I don’t know, Princess Ijustwannabefriends.

She didn’t have a date on New Year’s Eve, so she asked if I’d entertain her.

I really liked her, so I agreed. I took her to a party and promised her parents I’d have her home at midnight.

We pulled into her driveway at 11:58 P.M. When my watch struck 12:00, I expected a handshake and a, “You know, you’re like a Labrador to me.”

What I got was a kiss.

I had to be resuscitated with paddles.

After that, I had this erroneous idea that Princess IkisswhoeverIwant liked me. But I was very, very wrong.

A few weeks later, she began dating a much taller, much broader-shouldered, better-looking quarterback with perfect teeth, and the amiable personality of Jesus Christ.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. Who cares about my youth?

Well, I do. And I wish I could tell young, naive Sean a few things.

For starters: pretend, if you will, you’re dying. Bear with me, this is only a what-if.

Would this girl visit you in the hospital while you’re suffering from, say, kidney failure? Probably.

Would she bring you flowers? Maybe. A card? Sure.


Is she the sort of girl who’d ask doctors to cut her open, take out one of her kidneys, and give it to you?

If the answer is no, let her go.

Sound extreme? Maybe it is. But that’s love.

Love isn’t flowers and chocolates like they claim on the Hallmark-Channel. Sure it’s giddy stuff, but this is life, kid. Love is as raw as ground chuck.

Life is only a few seconds long. The trip between birth and death is an amusement-park ride. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a few laughs. But you’re going to go through your fair share of hell.

Love is what makes the ride worth it.

Listen, friend, I don’t know much. To tell you the truth, I’m still learning. But I know one thing for almost certain:

A girl who wouldn’t give you a kidney, liver, or spleen, might not give you her heart, either.

I’m sorry if you wanted better advice than that. I’m not much in the wisdom department.

So I’ll leave you with this:

You sure as hell aren’t hopeless.


  1. Bob McGhee - April 15, 2017 1:40 pm

    Many of us, men and women, have similar histories. They’re permanently tucked in the dusty recesses of the minds’ cluttered closets. Along with life’s other baggage, boxes and broken dreams.

  2. James Godwin - April 15, 2017 2:07 pm

    You’re right Sean, the time between life and death is short, sometimes too short. To live those precious years without love in your life, is tragic.
    I had a girl that would have given me a kidney, but she needed two lungs and I couldn’t give her that.
    I knew love and she gave it all she had, but I gave her nothing. Now she’s gone and my heart is broken.

    Broken hearts don’t get replaced very easily.

  3. Camille Atkins - April 15, 2017 5:01 pm

    Love, Love, Love!

  4. Lee Reed - April 16, 2017 1:06 am

    Great blog. Good advice. But what I want to know is how perfectly intelligent females can be attracted to bad-boy lounge lizards with the IQ of a brain dead anole. Remember the female prison guard in New York who helped the two male prisoners escape because one of them exuded a little testosterone in her direction. That’s what I’m talking about. Meanwhile, she had a loving husband at home.

  5. Carol DeLater - April 16, 2017 11:46 am

    I have and receive just that kind of love. You have created a great gauge for knowing if you do or not. My daughter has not learned it, nor has she found it. Neither have my grandkids. Sometimes I wonder if we have raised a narcissistic generation. How did that happen.

  6. Deanna J - June 21, 2017 12:39 pm

    Good men and women are hard to find, move on!
    Thank you!

  7. Deborah Collins - June 21, 2017 3:25 pm

    Just to let someone that I admire know of one of those loves. My daughter-in-law has been on dialysis for 10-12 years and her husband, my son, is going to give her one of his kidneys. This should happen later this year when all of the details have been worked out. They live in Fargo, North Dakota and I live in Pensacola Fl but I will be there for that act of love.

  8. Jerenell Gorbutt - June 21, 2017 9:27 pm

    I know a couple of sweethearts like you describe/// They dated through HS and married. Some 40+ years ago. He needed a kidney and she gave him one of hers. They have two daughters, two sons in love and one beautiful GrandDaughter. Her Name is Robin and his name is David
    The Hughes are salt of the earth folks and you would love them. They Love the Lord first and then each other and their family and fellow man.
    I wish I could send this to her, so I will just tell her about you and how special you are… Keep on writing young man. You are something special yourself!


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