Good

To the thirty-four-year-old man with severe autism. I’ll call him Bill. Who was abandoned by his mother. The woman dropped him at an ER and said, “I don’t care what you do with him, he’s not coming back here.”

To the man whose son has cancer. Who sat with me in the public park while we watched his boy swing on monkey bars.

The man who said:

“My son’s cancer turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to us. Made me see how good people are.

“When you drive through your hometown and see banners with your son’s name on them, it changes you.”

To John—the man who adopted five dogs. Whose wife, Mindy, was taken too early. The same man who once encouraged me to keep writing at a time when I needed encouragement.

He probably doesn’t even remember that.

To Jennifer, who says most people call her, “Jellybean.”

Jellybean is epileptic. She walks to work since she can’t legally drive. She says that her past relationships haven’t lasted because of her condition.

Well, she is on top of the world this week. Her boyfriend is an EMT. He knows how to deal with seizures, and isn’t afraid to help her through them.

He asked Jellybean to marry him last Tuesday at his son’s middle-school band concert.

She said yes.

To the thirty-four-year-old man with severe autism. I’ll call him Bill. Who was abandoned by his mother. The woman dropped him at an ER and said, “I don’t care what you do with him, he’s not coming back here.”

And to the nurse who adopted Bill. Who didn’t just give him a room in her home, but signed papers to make him family.

He now refers to her as “Mom.”

And to my mother. The woman who worked harder than any female I’ve ever made eye-contact with. Who didn’t just raise me, but grew up beside me.

Who endured a husband’s suicide, financial ruin, double shifts, single-parenthood, and late bills. Who survived a disease that almost ruined her.

Who still goes for morning walks with her dog, Sunny, who still says thank-you prayers under her breath.

And to you, wherever you find yourself tonight. I wrote this for you. It’s not much, but it’s something.

They tell me the Man Upstairs made this whole world in six days. On Saturday, he took a coffee break and looked over his artwork.

Sprawling oceans, majestic Appalachians, Waffle Houses, and American Bloodhounds.

“It is good,” he probably said when he saw it.

I’m writing this on a Friday night. I’m on a porch in the woods. I’m thinking about this world, and about the fine people in it.

Nurses who raise abandoned men. Those who encourage writers, just because. People who fly banners in support of childhood cancer.

There is something in this night air that makes me feel something. It’s enough to make a man drunk if he breathes deep enough.

I’m breathing. And I’m thinking about the man whose boy had terminal cancer, and what he told me. If he said it once, he said it a hundred times.

“We’re so fortunate.”

His boy is alive and well today. So this is to him. And you. And everyone. I’m looking around at this dark earth, listening to crickets.

And I’ll be dogged if the Man Upstairs wasn’t right when he said it.

It is good.

So very good.

47 comments

  1. Tracy - October 27, 2018 6:12 am

    Amen. So very amen.

    Reply
  2. Kim Steele - October 27, 2018 6:41 am

    Very good

    Reply
  3. Becky - October 27, 2018 8:00 am

    It is 2:57 AM and I just Finished reading this. I needed It. Thank you. It is good. My brother took his own life a few months ago. He was 61. My daughter just got served divorce papers. She is 41. Has 3 wonderful boys. I cant Sleep. But it is still good. God is still good. And thank you again.

    Reply
  4. Nancy Rogers - October 27, 2018 9:55 am

    And the people said amen.

    Reply
  5. Diane - October 27, 2018 10:20 am

    Amen…

    Reply
  6. Margaret Peggy Barnes Jones - October 27, 2018 11:18 am

    Dear Sean,
    I love the way you write. I am a teacher of English to middles schoolers. The insistence for five sentence paragraphs in the blocky intro, three details ,and concluding sentence always stymied me. How restricting.

    Now, God has released me from that fine job, and I can pursue my talents in other ways. As you, I care to write as I feel the words flow.

    Your words in “Good” moved me this morning. When one door close, another open as so many people like to say and tell me.

    I am a witness to this miracle. The woman who divorced her second alcoholic husband. The kind, country story teller who is/was the step-father to my three children. I raised those kids by myself with lots of their alocoholic father’s money. That man is a better father today than he was when they were little. Thank you, God.

    My racing buddy passed on October 3rd. Rest In Peace Bobby Jones. Number 3 Forever. The Father, the Son, and the Hooy lGhost.l. Bobby is in Heaven with all loved nes. Do dogs go to Heaven?

    My teaching contract was pulled from me this year due to God. I trust now. I am no loner depressed. I do worry and stress and allow anxiety to batter my soul. I am addicted to Xanax because a silly, selfish clinic said it was ok. I am admitting myself, if they”ll help me, to a psychiatric hospital in order to release the last milligram. I can not tolerate drugs anymore. Chemo and radiation have changed my physical self.

    It’s ok to be me. Think fast. Change the subject. Create. Laugh. Dance. Make music. I do not have to slow myself down for anyone.

    I feel abandoned by my family in certain ways. I know my siblings love me as I do them. They live across the great US of A. My children love me so much they think I’m crazy. The darn Xanax withdrawal makes me talk my head off and God is introducing me to wonderful people. Stranger danger according to my children.

    So, I’m driving to a psychiatric hospital today iwith hopes and prayers to get off the Evil drug. I want to be admitted so I don’t have to drive so far every day. So, I can be all done. My heart cannot handle the pain any longer. Coronary spasms. Ouch!

    You move me. Your words are set just so. Wonderfully.

    Thank you for sharing. I apologize for not proofing my writing. The tears are getting in the way.

    Peggy Jones

    Reply
    • Pamela McEachern - October 27, 2018 8:46 pm

      Peggy you are in my prayers and God will not let you down.

      Reply
      • Naomi - October 27, 2018 11:11 pm

        Pamela, where do you live? Are you related to the McEachern family in Powder Springs, GA. Our high school is named after them. They started Life of Georgia Insurance Company. They left the HS an endowment that made it able to build buildings and give teachers bonuses, unlike any public HS in Georgia.

        Reply
        • Debbie Shiflett - December 18, 2018 2:12 pm

          Naomi, where are you from? I graduated from McEachern High 1971. The campus looks a lot different now.

          Reply
          • Naomi Storey - December 18, 2018 8:57 pm

            Debbie, my husband and I still live on the farm in Powder Springs where he grew up. His father Carl Story was one of the first school bus drivers at McEachern. One of our pastors, Mark Isley road his school bus. We are in a second marriage (39 years next month) but all 3 of his boys went to McEachern–Steve, Bob & Ben.

  7. Naomi - October 27, 2018 11:19 am

    If anyone who reads this knows the lady who has epilepsy, my daughter-in-law recently had brain surgery to stop her epileptic seizures. There is a neurosurgeon at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, GA, who can do this kind of surgery. Evidently he is one of only a few neurosurgeons who can do this because he has a one-year waiting list. My daughter-in-law has had nocturnal epileptic seizures all of her life, but as she got older, they were so frequent she had to resign from her job as a pediatric nurse, a job that she loved. Since the surgery, she has not had any seizures and has been able to sleep through the night for the first time in her life. If anyone with epilepsy wants more information, you can send a reply. You must have health insurance or be a multi millionaire.

    Reply
    • Glenda - October 27, 2018 9:42 pm

      May God bless you as you move on with your life; believe in your heart, you are strong, you are beautiful, always remember “No One Can Take the Fire out of Your Soul, the Stars from Your Eyes, the Passion within Your Heart ~ these belong to YOU and no one can take them away.

      Reply
  8. Debbie - October 27, 2018 11:45 am

    Soooooooo good! Thanks!!!

    Reply
  9. Steve - October 27, 2018 12:10 pm

    I have experienced a portion of which you wrote Friday night in the last 8 days. Nurses, techs, docs, family, real friends. Man o man. There are a lot of truly good and kind folks. God is good.

    Reply
  10. Barbara - October 27, 2018 12:15 pm

    Thank you Sean for this message of Hope and Good in this messy world. I read your posts every morning and they give Love, Peace, and Hope. It is Good.
    Thank you. Barbara

    Reply
  11. Terri C Boykin - October 27, 2018 12:31 pm

    Love you much Sean.

    Reply
  12. Sandi Watkins - October 27, 2018 12:47 pm

    Love to start my day with your writing. Even when it makes me ugly cry. Thank you for reminding me to be thankful every day for all I have and all I don’t. Your admirer Sandi Watkins

    Reply
  13. Janie's Jottings - October 27, 2018 12:55 pm

    I read this to my husband as he was driving. We both started crying. Sean Dietrich, you have a GIFT. You put your readers right into your stories. I love that! This is one of the most touching things I’ve ever read. May God bless you and all the people you share with us.

    Reply
  14. Nancy - October 27, 2018 1:03 pm

    And when God created you He said, “He is very good and will touch many people with his words!” Thank you Father for Sean. Love you big, Sean!

    Reply
  15. Brenda - October 27, 2018 1:08 pm

    “….what a wonderful world.” Thank you, Sean, for such a lovely reminder this morning.

    Reply
  16. Gene Brannon - October 27, 2018 1:09 pm

    Gene Brannon from Hartford. I have the info on the Sister City (Litchfield, MN) Breakfast at Mom’s Kitchen on Tue. Nov 6 and Fri Nov 9. A fish fry at noon Wed at the Hughes Community Center. The Civic Club is hosting the visitors at Ketfhem’ss venue on Fri at noon. Pick out which you want to visit or come up and visit them all if you would like. We have a guest room you and your wife are welcome to use if you would like.My phone # 334-797-8191. Give me a call and let me know what you would like to do.

    Reply
  17. Carol - October 27, 2018 1:35 pm

    Please God heal these people of their cancers
    Two more in my family and friends are battling
    My son in law. Was told just a small prostrate removal.
    Now they say they see more. He is is backbone and like you Sean , the apple of his mother in laws eye!
    My friend Ramona has lost the side of her tongue and more is coming back, no didn’t smoke!
    Please remember them and pray for God’s mercy!
    Thank you for sharing everyday!
    I just needed to lean on your shoulder a few min!
    Love ya!

    Reply
  18. Carol - October 27, 2018 1:37 pm

    PS. Michael took their homes in Fla too at PCB
    GOD HAVE MERCY !

    Reply
  19. Shirley Brown - October 27, 2018 1:47 pm

    There are good people all around us but unfortunately we sometimes get distracted by the negatives in life. Thank you for reminding us that each day we should take the time to smell the roses around us and while we’re stopping for that, to stop and see the goodness and kindness in others.

    Reply
  20. Debbie Britt - October 27, 2018 1:57 pm

    What a blessing you are!! What a way with words!!

    Reply
  21. Dianne - October 27, 2018 2:17 pm

    Amen…………..Yes, Sean, it is very good!!

    Reply
  22. Fred - October 27, 2018 2:37 pm

    I enjoy reading your writings Sean but one correction. He is not the man upstairs. He is God, The Creator, The Almighty.

    Reply
    • Stuart - October 28, 2018 5:49 am

      Amen Fred. His name is above all others.
      If he were a man like us, we’d have no hope.

      Reply
    • Debbie Shiflett - December 18, 2018 2:22 pm

      Fred, lighten up, said with I smile and a bit of a hug.
      If you’ve read much of Sean’s writing, you know he knows, God, the Creator, the Almighty, the Prince of Peace, the Lily of the Valley. I could go on, but won’t.

      Reply
  23. Bonnie Oswald - October 27, 2018 3:07 pm

    He’s the Man Upstairs…….. like us, He’s been called worse! Thank you, great written pictures……

    Reply
  24. Phillip Saunders - October 27, 2018 3:34 pm

    Super duper, Sean! Great words. You need to sit and breathe in that fresh night air more often if it inspires you like it did last night. Yes, this old world that He made IS good. We just need to look around us and see it.

    Reply
  25. Debby Haddock - October 27, 2018 3:46 pm

    Indeed!

    Reply
  26. Shirley McGraw - October 27, 2018 3:48 pm

    Sean, you have an excellent writing skill to show others the good in this world! God bless you!!!!

    Reply
  27. Edna B. - October 27, 2018 3:50 pm

    The older I get, the more I realize just how good this life is. I have been very blessed and I’m ever so thankful. I’m thankful for someone like you too, Sean. You’re a ray of sunshine on this wet, gray morning. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

    Reply
  28. Minnie Bourque - October 27, 2018 5:06 pm

    Amen, Sean! The world is good…..we just have to look for it and it’s often right in front of us.

    Reply
    • Naomi - October 27, 2018 5:40 pm

      Minnie, I disagree with the statement that “The world is good”. although there are good people in the world. According to the Bible, the world will get worse; “There will be wars and rumors of wars” until the Lord returns. Turn on FOX News and see what happened in Pittsburg just this morning.

      Reply
  29. Pamela McEachern - October 27, 2018 6:16 pm

    I too believe the world is good, unfortunately there are some really bad people in it. I choose good and I always will, we are all in this together. I want to be the difference for anyone that needs me.

    Peace and Love from Birmingham

    Reply
    • Judy Kate - October 28, 2018 1:12 am

      ❤️

      Reply
  30. Rebya Falk - October 27, 2018 6:56 pm

    Sean, I so love your writing. May God bless you richly!

    Reply
  31. Christine Lance - October 27, 2018 10:03 pm

    I’m so thankful my friend invited me to hear you speak and told me of your blog. It feeds my soul everyday and has become even more pivotal in my life since Hurricane Michael destroyed our town. Thank you for what you do! We all need your words now more than ever.

    Reply
  32. Melanie - October 27, 2018 11:49 pm

    Thank you Sean. I needed this. ❤️

    Reply
  33. Jack Darnell - October 28, 2018 12:53 pm

    Well I’ll be dogged. I ain’t heard that in a few years but I know a bunch of good folks too. So yep, God is RIGHT!

    Reply
  34. Shelton Armour - October 28, 2018 4:58 pm

    Let’s hear it for those who lift others up; those who step up when needed because of a parent’s inability to cope; parents who stick with their kids through thick and thin; and for those who look past physical infirmities to see the beautiful person inside. I know a few good folks and am proud to know them.

    Reply
  35. KJ - October 30, 2018 3:14 am

    Amen to what Sean and Shelton said.

    Reply
  36. Sue Cronkite - November 6, 2018 10:47 pm

    Fantastic column!!!

    Reply
  37. Judith Pierce Croxton - December 18, 2018 12:24 pm

    I do so love the beautiful flow of your writing. Continue to allow me into your life music.

    Reply
  38. audrey vincent - April 28, 2019 2:14 am

    soooooo beauifully said

    Reply

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