Good

So if you’re still reading this—I wouldn’t blame you if you weren’t—I wish I had more to offer you before you start your day. These stories, plus a dime, won’t even buy you a lukewarm cup of coffee.

I saw a boy with only one hand pitch a baseball in Nashville, Tennessee. I have never seen anything like it. Not before. Not since.

I sat beside his mother in their backyard and watched.

“He don’t even play on a team,” his mother said. “Truth be told, he’s not into baseball. He’s really into Star Wars.”

It all started when his little brother needed help batting for Little League. It was Big Brother who learned how to pitch by watching YouTube. They practiced in the backyard.

The kid turned out to be a good ball player. His mother says this is because he believes he can do anything.

“I mean he REALLY thinks he has no limits,” his mother says. “He’ll try anything.”

You can see it on his face. He is everything I hope to be in when I grow up. And he’s not even twelve.

I asked the boy if I could write about him. He said, “Don’t write too much.”

Then he smiled. “And can you make my name be Luke Skywalker? Then I can read it at school and everyone will be jealous!”

Fair enough.

Then, he and his brother pretended to sword fight, in front of me.

A few months ago, I watched a man ride a bike half way up Pike’s Peak mountain in Colorado. The man was seventy-two. There was a line of traffic behind him while he pedaled.

His calves were shaped like slabs of limestone. His skin looked like old wood. He rode with a clot of younger cyclists and held his own.

When I talked to him afterward, he smelled like sweat, onions, and a retired jockstrap.

He started biking at age sixty-six when his wife left him.

“I was stuck in the house,” he said. “Couldn’t find the willpower to go anywhere. I was just eating crap, and totally depressed.”

His daughter in Minneapolis bought a bike online and had it shipped to his house. She hoped the fresh air would do him good.

It did. One evening, he was riding to the supermarket, he felt so good he didn’t stop pedaling. He kept going. And going. He rode forty miles.

“Took me four months to recover,” he said. “I had muscles on top of muscles that were sore.”

And a cyclist was born.

Miss Ornetta is a pianist. She’s in her nineties now, but she still plays. Her hands hurt in the mornings, but she uses aspirin and exercises to keep them loose.

I visited her once and saw her play, “Stardust,” “Paper Moon,” “Georgia,” and “The Very Thought of You.”

Then, Miss Ornetta offered me three fingers of single malt Scotch whiskey. I declined. I don’t drink Scotch, it tastes like commercial paint remover.

“Scotch is good for the heart and brain,” she said. “It’ll prolong your life if you don’t drink the cheap stuff.”

Behold, the wisdom of the elderly.

I asked Ornetta how she learned to play piano.

“I was seventy,” she said. “It was after my husband died of a heart attack. I needed therapy, and I don’t like to crochet.”

She drove two hours to Atlanta to take lessons. At home, Ornetta practiced for eight, sometimes ten hours per day.

“I’m not exceptional,” she said. “But I accredit my success to good genes, church, and Scotch.”

She still lives on her own—most of the time. But right now, Ornetta is reading this while recovering from hip surgery. The doctor says no Scotch until she’s fully recovered and off meds.

So if you’re still reading this—and I wouldn’t blame you if you weren’t—I wish I had more to offer you before you start this day. Because these stories plus a dime won’t even buy you a lukewarm cup of coffee.

But I wanted to tell them to you just the same, so you’d know that someone sees you.

Me. I see you. Sort of. I see you in Walmart. I see behind you in traffic. I see you play piano in your den while you sip Johnny Walker. I see you ride up a mountain. I see you in a Mexican restaurant.

I want you to know that even though we don’t know each other, this stranger is rooting for you to win.

Luke Skywalker, tell your class I said “Hi.”

37 comments

  1. j - August 21, 2018 5:49 am

    Me ‘n Luke the Skywalker liked this. LOve it.

    Reply
  2. Pamela McEachern - August 21, 2018 7:09 am

    I am a follower of your’s and enjoy each day’s words. So really, you do know me and I appreciate your unique way of bringing so many of us together.

    Peace and Love from Birmingham

    Reply
  3. Glenda the good witch. - August 21, 2018 7:26 am

    I see you as well, red headed stranger 🙂

    Reply
  4. GaryD - August 21, 2018 9:33 am

    Inspiring stories. All of them. Thanks.

    Reply
  5. Kelly - August 21, 2018 10:01 am

    Thank you for sharing these awesome people with us. We all have a strong spirit inside but sometimes we need a gentle reminder to uncover it and be amazing. Your stories do that. Thanks 🙏

    Reply
  6. Frances - August 21, 2018 11:29 am

    Thank you

    Reply
  7. Lancaster Tony - August 21, 2018 11:36 am

    I read you every morning, but it is waaay cool to read about our own Luke
    “Skywalker” Terry. He is an amazing kid from a wonderful family. I love your inspirational stories.

    Reply
  8. Nancy - August 21, 2018 11:44 am

    I am so happy that You see these people for us. Can’t start my day without reading your blog! Thanks Sean!

    Reply
  9. joy luke - August 21, 2018 12:06 pm

    You see people through God’s eyes. I enjoy your words as well as those of your insightful readers. I always look for Pam from Birmingham. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Pamela McEachern - August 21, 2018 5:33 pm

      Wow thank you for your kind words.
      Peace and Love from Birmingham Joy!

      Reply
  10. Jan - August 21, 2018 12:12 pm

    You have given me another blessing to start my day! Thank you, Sean!

    Reply
  11. Terri Boykin - August 21, 2018 12:57 pm

    Love you much, Sean.

    Reply
  12. Gaynell Lumsden - August 21, 2018 12:59 pm

    I LOVE YOU SEAN. You’re a Real Person.
    YOU are always a Blessing!❤

    Reply
  13. Susan Jacobs - August 21, 2018 1:04 pm

    Not a stranger. And I invite you all in every morning. Thanks for the company.

    Reply
  14. Peggy Savage - August 21, 2018 1:12 pm

    Drinking lukewarm coffee because I’m enthralled with your stories. Thank you for sharing .

    Reply
  15. Patricia A Schmaltz - August 21, 2018 1:24 pm

    Sean, I see you and all those cool people too. The neat thing is most of us have no time to explore those amazing people, but you do. So you’re like our scout doing recon. You go out, meet them and then relay the charm and talent and heart. Great stuff! Thank you.

    Reply
  16. Joy - August 21, 2018 1:31 pm

    Once again you have touched me…your inspiring stories about every day people is just what this world needs more of….the news is always bad on TV or radio, but every morning I get to read stories of real people, with real issues who are making a difference and living life as it should be!

    Love you Sean….keep the stories coming…they are “GOOD’!!!

    Reply
  17. MermaidGrammy - August 21, 2018 1:48 pm

    I’m not sure if you’re a prophet or a seer, but I can no longer start my day without you. I close at night with devotions, the Upper Room and the Bible. What a grand way to bookend my day. Thank you!!

    Reply
  18. Carol - August 21, 2018 1:52 pm

    I asked for help. I have COPD Sean and I can’t get out of this house in this hot SGa. Weather. Got 2 fur babies I won’t leave to go to the beach on the weekend with my children.
    What do I do!
    Talk to me. !! Please I’m 76 but my mind says 56 but I can’t move myself to do anything but sit , and gain weight and go to a Dr. once or twice a month!
    Talk to me Sean!! PLEASE!
    Love ya!

    Reply
    • Bob Hubbard - August 22, 2018 2:15 am

      Carol, they kicked me out of Alabama in 1949, so I came to Georgia. Raised the iq of both states by 40 points, Get off your butt, get busy. I’m 81 and I know well the feeling of “I can’t”, but I am NEVER GOING TO GIVE UP. When the grim reaper comes for me, he better bring a lunch, because I’m going to be an all day job.

      Bob

      Reply
      • theholtgirls - August 22, 2018 3:12 am

        Bob, Your message is amazing! Thank you for your wisdom and sense of humor. I appreciate you! “…an all day job.” – I’ve never heard this before, but I suspect I will be using it now! 🙂

        Reply
  19. Haskel JP - August 21, 2018 2:42 pm

    Gotta love a senior who tickles the ivories and sips single malt Scotch which is an acquired taste and a good one is truly delicious.

    Reply
  20. Gwen M Lancaster - August 21, 2018 3:03 pm

    Sean, Thank you for your holding up a mirror to Southern life and its people. You do so with respect and love, which warms the hearts of those of us who are Southern-born and raised. Your glimpses of life give us a warm fuzzy feeling in the heart. Bless your heart!

    Reply
    • Kay Judice - August 22, 2018 12:17 am

      Amen!

      Reply
  21. Debbie - August 21, 2018 3:09 pm

    Oh Sean thank you so much for loving and caring for all of us out here in the world! You give so much love and encouragement to so many!!! I needed this today and you gave it to me !!!

    Reply
  22. Sondra - August 21, 2018 3:09 pm

    You inspire me everyday. Thank you for caring about all of us!!

    Reply
  23. Lynn Fletcher Shurden - August 21, 2018 3:54 pm

    I learned to play the piano when I was 9. Sixty-two years later I can say it was well worth the 50 cents a lesson my parents paid at that time. Playing the piano has been my therapy for 61 years – a heck of lot cheaper than paying a therapist. I hope I’ve. Fought pleasure to a few. I know the folks at Indywood appreciate my visit to play each week.

    Reply
  24. Susan Swiderski - August 21, 2018 4:08 pm

    I don’t know if you see or know us, or know me, but we know you. Your kind heart and loving soul are evident in every word your write. And you give us hope.

    Reply
  25. Edna B. - August 21, 2018 4:39 pm

    I love how you see the beauty in everyone you meet, and then share it with us. I get to see so much through your eyes, and I’m thankful for that. Sean, you have an awesome day. Hugs, Edna B.

    Reply
  26. SW - August 21, 2018 5:07 pm

    I am, at once, inspired, humbled, and humiliated…the later because, I sleep a lot! 😢

    Reply
  27. Shelton Armour - August 21, 2018 5:37 pm

    Great stories. I am also humbled and a bit inspired…now I really can’t wait for the gym I joined to open. “Bravo!” to all who take action when it seems so unlikely…your brain overcomes your body.

    Reply
  28. Pat - August 21, 2018 10:32 pm

    I have a friend with only one hand and there is only one thing he can’t do, as his wife says, he can’t put a cuff link on his left shirt sleeve. And I’m with you on the Scotch thingy!

    Reply
  29. Kay Judice - August 22, 2018 12:17 am

    I love “I’m rooting for you to win.” I’ll borrow it if that is okay and make it my class motto! Merci Beaucoup!

    Reply
  30. Bob Hubbard - August 22, 2018 2:10 am

    Here I am at 81 years old, and just starting another business. And, in the South, most real dudes drink bourbon with a splash of water. My pancreas made me stop that last year. You tell Luke to come see me if he is ever able to get over to the center of God’s country…..

    Bob, the elder

    Reply
  31. Roz Stringer - August 22, 2018 11:04 am

    Good read this morning. Thanks!

    Reply
  32. Sylvia Holt - August 23, 2018 4:03 pm

    Thank you my dear. We old folks need more people to care what we accomplish in our lives.

    Reply
  33. Kelly Joe Ray - August 30, 2018 8:17 pm

    GOOD…That’s all I have to say about these stories…GOOD…

    Reply

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