Houston. The boy was at a park. A sophomore. He was doing his homework, watching his 5-year-old little sister play on the monkey bars.

She yelled at her brother, “Hey! Look at me!”

She fell from the bars onto her head. Blood was everywhere She was unconscious. The young man panicked.

You’re supposed to be a dutiful big brother. You’re supposed to know what to do. But sometimes you panic.

A man in a janitor uniform came from out of nowhere. He saw the child on the ground. He saw the blood.

The custodian spoke limited English. He scooped up the girl in his arms.

“Don’t worry, leetle girl, it’s gonna be okay.”

Don’t worry? Who was this guy?

Well, whoever he was, he wandered into traffic, flagging for cars to pull over.

None did.

He tells the sophomore kid that he is a runner. A competitive runner. He runs every day. His father was a runner. His brothers are competitive runners. He has completed multiple marathons. A few ultras.

So takes the girl in his grasp. He runs to the local hospital. With a 40-pound kid in his arms.

When he arrived in the ER, the nurses asked whether he was all right. He was covered in perspiration. Breathing heavily. All he could say was “Help this leetle girl, help this leetle girl.”

They did.

Birmingham. It was raining, and the college girl was stuck in traffic. She had to go to the bathroom, badly. And Highway 280 traffic is not accommodating bladders that are about to redline. It was a jam. Miles of bumpers. Standstill gridlock.

So the woman pulled off at the gas station. She jogged inside, clutching her urethral region.

There was an old man seated out front, he was asking for change. She avoided him on the way in, but couldn’t avoid him on the way out.

He hit her up for cash.

She had no cash. This young woman is a member of the modern generation, they don’t do cash. They carry plastic.

She searched through her purse. All she had was a $100 gift card given to her by her mother for college necessities. She handed him the card and said “Here.”

He tells her thank you. “I haven’t eaten today,” he says. “I was just praying for food when you walked up.” Then he makes the Star Trek sign for “Live long and prosper.”

She sort of looked at him as though he were one taco short of a fiesta. And she bid him goodbye.

Two days later, she pulled into the gas station to fill up her car. She went inside to pay, and the cashier said she had something for her. It was the gift card.

The young woman was confused.

“What’s this for?”

The cashier told her the old man used it to buy himself supper. And supper only. Then he brought the card back. He told the cashier to give the card back to the college girl.

Somewhere outside Atlanta. There was a man walking his two daughters around the neighborhood. This is how he gets their energy out.

He was a widower. His wife had just passed two weeks earlier. That’s when he started taking his girls for walks. Otherwise, they would have driven him nuts.

Kids have too much energy. They had to get it out somehow.

On the walk, he found a cat with a broken leg. The cat was pale white, with green eyes.

Anyone with kids knows what happens when they happen upon a stray.

His children screamed. “We’ll take care of it! We will feed it! We will love it!”

Dad agreed and brought the cat home. They called the cat Vanilla Wafer. Vanilla slept beside dad until his leg got better. But the leg never fully healed. Thus, Vanilla always walked with great difficulty.

And so it was, Dad was never seen without Vanilla. The cat was either in his arms or on his shoulders, or sometimes in a baby carrier, strapped to Dad’s chest.

That was 18 years ago. Last week, the cat went to the eternal litter box in the sky.

“Vanilla brought me back to laugh again,” said Dad. “That cat was my angel. He helped me learn how to feel something again after my wife died.”

I know you feel helpless right now. Whoever you are. Maybe it’s something you’re going through. Maybe you’re just sad. Maybe you are watching television too much. Maybe sometimes you actually believe this world is going to hell in a proverbial hand basket.


Have courage, leetle girl. It’s going to be okay.


  1. Teri Lynn B. - August 13, 2022 6:56 am

    It is 2:52 in the morning somewhere in rural Virginia. After almost 11 years together and irreconcilable differences and mutual exhaustion, I told my husband late yesterday afternoon that I wanted a divorce. I went to bed maybe an hour ago, and my brain just wouldn’t shut off, so I got up and made a cup of coffee and started reading my emails. When I got to the end of this story, I burst into surprised tears and I told God, “Thank You, Father: I know that’s from You”. He truly does work in mysterious ways. Thank you for being his messenger, Sean.

  2. PMc - August 13, 2022 7:12 am

    Thank You Sean. Your words are a Blessing.
    Peace and Love from Birmingham

  3. Ed (Bear) - August 13, 2022 7:37 am

    Beautiful! Good news is great medicine.

  4. Becky E. Atkins - August 13, 2022 7:42 am

    I am crying. Not unusual reading his stories. I can see any character this man ‘speaks’ to us about. Such a gift SEAN DIETRICH has for writing and always feel like I know this person-whoever he is writing about. Such a gift!

  5. Steve Winfield (lifer) - August 13, 2022 8:20 am

    When you title your post “Good”, which you often do, I get a bit excited because I know it’s gonna be special & good. Great even.

  6. Ed (Bear) - August 13, 2022 8:24 am

    I’m going out on a cheesy limb… my wife says posting links in Sean’s comments to my website looks cheesy. Well, it is cheesy. But there’s more behind it than simply cheesily tapping into Sean’s readership. I want to help others like he does. Maybe not as good as him, but I want folks to feel good too. Life is too short to feel bad all the time and if we only watch the tv news, dwell on our past mistakes, or current difficulties, it just makes us feel bad. Sean does a beautiful job of helping us feel good. Every day with this blog and also in his books. I hope my website somewhat follows in his footsteps. https://www.eds-art.net/

    Thanks Sean, for letting me be cheesy!

    • Joy jacobs - August 13, 2022 10:59 am

      Loved your website Ed. Some people never get into retirement… my hubby for one.

      • Ed - August 13, 2022 12:04 pm

        Hi Joy, I love you too. If your hubby is not into retirement because he would rather keep working, that’s pretty typical of some folks. They just love working. But if he’s passed on then I’m very sorry for your loss.

    • TerryBear - August 13, 2022 6:02 pm

      I loved your website and will go back to read more! Now I can read posts from both Sean and you in the mornings. With all the bad news these days, it certainly is nice to start the day with something positive. Thanks again, Ed Bear 🙂 !

      • Ed (Bear) - August 13, 2022 8:36 pm

        Thank you TerryBear! For the gracious encouragement! Very nice to hear from you!

    • Susie - August 13, 2022 11:56 pm

      Good for you, Ed! Your helping people will help you in turn. Good therapy for you! 👍

      • Ed - August 14, 2022 8:37 am

        Thanks Susie! Yes it’s good therapy for me! Like talking to a stranger and winding up with a new friend!

  7. ALLEN - August 13, 2022 9:04 am

    Thank you

  8. oldlibrariansshelf - August 13, 2022 10:02 am

    Tears which flow from the eyes of an old woman with Sjogren:s syndrome are a GOOD start to her day! Bless you, Saint Sean.

  9. Debbie Butcher - August 13, 2022 10:42 am

    I look for your posts as I drink my morning coffee every day. Keep them coming please.

  10. Joy Jacobs - August 13, 2022 10:50 am


  11. Paul Mccutchen - August 13, 2022 11:51 am

    Thanks for the morning lift Sean

  12. Suzanne Jackson - August 13, 2022 12:05 pm

    Thank you! I needed that message!

  13. Jackye Thompson - August 13, 2022 12:17 pm

    Thank you loved your story today. Jackye

  14. Melissa Armstrong - August 13, 2022 12:29 pm

    I needed to hear that today Sean. Isn’t it just like God to tend to us in our need? My dog Stella died last week. Cooper, her brother who is almost blind has been so sad and fearful. She ran this home like a fine toothed comb and she ran him. I have resorted to hand feeding him and carrying him outside for his business and anywhere else he wants to go. They were13 years old and have comforted us through many losses. My heart is broken over Stella and I have cried a river. I miss her and I know Cooper does too. It’s going to be ok.

  15. Jan - August 13, 2022 12:50 pm

    So very good. You are so gifted in many ways even beyond your writing.❤️

  16. Sharon Thomsen - August 13, 2022 1:03 pm

    Wow- beautiful stories at the perfect time. Thank you Sean for continuing to write!

  17. Rebecca Kaufman. - August 13, 2022 1:20 pm

    thank you

  18. Janellen (Jane) Sparacio - August 13, 2022 1:20 pm

    “ I know, I know leetle girl, everything is going to be ok.” I usually get my written message from the Bible, “”For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord.” Jeremiah 29:13. For the past twenty years whenever I was in serious trouble this quote would come to me. A separation, breast cancer, surgery, treatments, a relocation, and nine months ago, cancer again. More surgery, 25 radiation treatments, a heart attack and three weeks ago Covid. I received Jeremiah’s message from perfect strangers, on billboards, a coffee cup etc, and a message on my computer.. always perfect timing. As I went in for my first radiation treatment for this last cancer I still had not received my message, and it scared me. When the nurse came for me I returned the magazine I was looking at to a table across the room… and there it was a simple card laying on the table. “For I know the plans I have for you.” Etc. I knew I had nothing to worry about, I may suffer physically but I would be fine, and I am. Reading your last paragraph today you addressed all three issues I am going through now. I needed this jump start Sean, This “leetle girl” is going to be just fine as long as I do my part. God bless you Sean, and if you ever come to Gulf Shores Al. Please, please let me know so I can come and meet you. I am 81 yrs. young, full of life, and you have my permission to use this note in your column if you ever feel it would help other’s. “He” is so good to me. Hugs

    • Chasity Davis Ritter - August 14, 2022 1:15 am

      Bless you Jane.

  19. Melanie - August 13, 2022 1:21 pm

    For 💖🎀Miss Dixie 🎀💖 who went to the Rainbow 🌈 Bridge on August 10, 2022. It’s gonna be alright girl.

  20. David Britnell - August 13, 2022 1:34 pm

    This old guy looks forward to your posts everyday and every day I get a little weepy eyed. You have made me believe in present day angels and I think you must be one of them! Thank you Sean!

  21. Donna McChristian - August 13, 2022 1:36 pm

    Daaang! Got me again. Lucky for me it’s Saturday and I hadn’t applied make up yet.

  22. Sean of the South: Good | The Trussville Tribune - August 13, 2022 1:39 pm

    […] By Sean Dietrich, Sean of the South […]

  23. Anne Arthur - August 13, 2022 1:47 pm

    Thanks. That were the words I needed to hear today.

  24. ELIZABETH WENNER - August 13, 2022 1:49 pm

    I am an optimist and empath who is struggling lately with how angry everyone is. It lifted my mood to read your writing today. I am going to chat with uplifting friends on Zoom this morning and then go to the barn to ride my horse. When the world is too much, I have to remember how much I have to be grateful about in my life.

  25. Jocelyn - August 13, 2022 3:12 pm

    I always need to hear it going to be OK. Thanks for reminding me often.

  26. Jay skinner - August 13, 2022 3:18 pm

    Thank you Sean

  27. Ken Nelson - August 13, 2022 4:13 pm

    Thank you Sean. Now I know “it’ll be ok.’

  28. tammymoody - August 13, 2022 4:17 pm

    Thanks for letting Jesus use you Sean!

  29. Susie Murphy - August 13, 2022 5:20 pm

    Thanks….a bunch. I needed this today.

  30. Cindy McGaughey Moon - August 13, 2022 5:39 pm

    I needed this one.

  31. Judy - August 13, 2022 6:38 pm

    You always make my day!!

  32. Cathy W Moss - August 13, 2022 6:46 pm

    I am with Ed all the way. I love cheese and heaven knows that we all need to be lifted up like never before. Bring on the cheese❤️👏

  33. Martha - August 13, 2022 6:54 pm

    Thank you! I needed to read this today!

  34. Linda - August 13, 2022 6:54 pm

    I read your columns daily and ask my husband if he wants me to forward them to him. He often says, “Read it to me because I like hearing your read. ” I read this one to him, and he said, “I needed that.” Two weeks ago, my hard-to-sit-still hubby had a heart cath to find that a stent had failed a second time in the same artery. Six days later, he wound up in ER bleeding profusely from a vessel in the small intestine. Wonderful doctors and nurses saved his life, and he is home again recuperating–and feeling a bit sorry for himself. He needed this!

  35. MAM - August 13, 2022 6:57 pm

    Thank you, Sean, for sharing your God-given taken to comfort so many of your fellow humans. We must always remember that God is in control, and everything that happens is for a reason determined by Him.

  36. MAM - August 13, 2022 6:58 pm

    Thank you, Sean, for sharing your God-given taken to comfort so many of your fellow humans. We must always remember that God is in control, and everything that happens is for a reason determined by Him. I hope this isn’t a repeat, because the first comment didn’t show up.

  37. Beverly - August 13, 2022 7:16 pm

    Beautiful reminders of how we need to be thankful every day!

  38. Mary Lynn Faress - August 13, 2022 7:34 pm

    I needed that today. Just completed my second round of chemo . I know I’ll be ok. Am not letto at 85. But my spirit remains that of kid.

  39. Muddah - August 13, 2022 7:42 pm

    Your posts with the goodness of humans are my favorite. I catch myself smiling as I read all the wonderful examples of how amazing we humans can be.Thank you for the happiness you give to my heart.

  40. 1018le - August 13, 2022 7:44 pm

    Your awesome stories make me grateful for what I have and want to share with others. Thanks for sharing on this message!

  41. Doris Hart - August 13, 2022 7:52 pm

    I needed this today, Sean Dietrich. From Bainbridge GA

  42. patriciacomery - August 13, 2022 8:38 pm

    I am so glad that I signed up to receive your emails…🥲🥲🥲🥰🥰🥰

  43. Linda Moon - August 13, 2022 8:42 pm

    This might appear as a duplicate post because of some server-thing. That’s not good, and as my youngest grandson used to say when things didn’t go his way, “That wasn’t no good at all!” But these stories of good in spite of my internet disdain make ME feel good!

  44. Steve McCaleb - August 13, 2022 9:10 pm

    I love your bright outlook and unwavering positivity. Lord knows we could more of it as we try to find our way thru the dark times we live in. I’m not sure that I completely agree that “ everything’s going to be okay”. I pray that it be so. But The Man promised us a safe landing…..but he didn’t say a word about a smooth ride.

  45. Rose - August 13, 2022 9:17 pm

    Our world is overflowing with goodness and beauty, love and light. Sometimes the hard parts take over for a bit, but we can always trust that goodness and love are still all around us and ready for when we can be filled with them again. Beings around us (two-legged, four-legged and more) all help to remind us: It’s a wonderful world.

  46. Rebecca Souders - August 13, 2022 10:08 pm

    Thanks again, Sean Dietrich. You spread good feelings!

  47. Lisa - August 14, 2022 12:43 am

    Thank you. You always get it right

  48. Chasity Davis Ritter - August 14, 2022 1:10 am

    Thank you. Just what I needed to hear today (and everyday).

  49. Richard Baker - August 14, 2022 3:43 am

    Well done, Sean

  50. CHARALEEN WRIGHT - August 15, 2022 6:15 pm



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