I’m Proud of You

I’m going to say this now: I’m proud of you. That’s it. You can stop reading here if you want. I know you’re busy. So take the kids to karate class, scrub your bathroom mirror, schedule a dentist appointment, wash your dog, live your life. Just know that I’m proud of you.

The thing is, I don’t think we tell each other how special we are. I don’t think people get enough handshakes, back-pats, or five-dollar beer pitchers.

So I’m proud of you. For not giving up. For eating breakfast. I’m proud of you for remembering to breathe. Really.

I’m also proud of Billy. He emailed me. He’s forty-nine. He’s been working in construction all his life, and he couldn’t read until three years ago.

His friend gave him reading lessons every morning on the ride to work. And on weekends. They practiced on lunch breaks.

Billy started with elementary school books. This year he read the Complete Collection of Sherlock Holmes Stories.

He reads aloud sometimes, during lunch break to the fellas. He said he’s been practiced reading the same stories so many times, he’s almost memorized them.

I’m proud of Leona, who had the courage to check into addiction rehab last week. She’s a young woman, and she needs someone to be proud of her. So I guess I’ll have to do.

I’m proud of her aunt, too—who is helping to raise Leona’s daughter with Down’s syndrome.

And Michael, who just asked Jessica to marry him yesterday—on Christmas morning. He squatted down onto one knee in front of seventeen family members, one woman, and her three children.

He gave Jessica and each of her children a ring.

He said, “Will you be my everything, forever and always?”

Jessica’s oldest—Brooke, age 11—got so excited she blurted an answer before anyone else.

“YESYESYESYES!” Brooke said.

I’m proud of Boyd, who got his first job as an electrician. And Lawrence, for rescuing kittens he found on his hunting property.

I’m extra proud of Sylvia—who walked for the first time after her car accident. Physical therapists have been helping her ever since doctors amputated Sylvia’s left leg.

Last week, she was fitted with her first prosthetic.

Sylvia’s mother tells me, “I’m so proud of my daughter, she won’t quit fighting…”

If you’re still reading, I’m still proud of you. For the little and the big. For making toast without burning the house down. For telling your boss you won’t work weekends. For forgiving someone who hurt you.

You’re something else. You just forget sometimes. Maybe you’ve lost your mother, your father, son, daughter, grandparents, dog, cat, iguana, skateboard. Maybe you’ve lost yourself.

Or maybe it’s been awhile since anyone kissed your forehead and reminded you of how incredible you are.

Well, I can’t rewind a wristwatch, and I can’t make magic. I wish I could, but I can’t do anything. Sometimes, I’m not even sure I can spel my wurds rite.

But I can be proud of you, whether you feel it or not. And I am. Whoever you are. Wherever you are. Whatever you face. You beat all. And I want you to know it.

That’s it. Have a nice day, and be nice to people.

You can start with yourself.


  1. Cynthia Saunders - December 27, 2019 6:50 am

    God’s timing is perfect. This is just what I needed to read at this very moment. Thanks Sean! And…I am proud of you too! How is that folding chair working out? Love that you are blazing your path and shining bright! Keep it up! You do make a difference.
    Warmest regards!

  2. grantburris - December 27, 2019 6:58 am

    Thanks, Sean. I think you’re nice too. I enjoyed the story.

  3. Tawanah Fagan Bagwell - December 27, 2019 7:46 am

    I always feel better after reading your story. Thank you!

  4. LBJ - December 27, 2019 10:52 am

    I taught SpEd/ kindergarten for 26 years. When my students were learning to read or any academic subject, I would tell them to kiss their brains for working so hard. When they showed kindness or empathy to another student or staff member, I would tell them to kiss their heart.
    Some days we had a whole lot of kissing going on.
    Sean, YOU get to kiss your heart for your kind words AND kiss your brain for saying them!

  5. Melanie - December 27, 2019 11:38 am

    Thank you Sean ❤️

  6. Nancy Brown - December 27, 2019 11:54 am

    Another reflective and positive column. There is much to be celebrated in looking for the good in us all. You do that extremely well and then share it with the rest of us.

  7. Meredith Smith - December 27, 2019 12:13 pm

    Sean this is just another example of the goodness in that big ole heart of yours. Your momma raised you right.
    Thank you for loving us, for being proud of us for remembering us. We wait with baited breath every morning to read your columns and there you go again – surprising us by writing so selflessly about us.
    Well, this reader is proud of YOU Mr. Sean, for everything you have overcome in life yet you continue to have the brightest and sweetest disposition known to man. ❤️❤️

  8. Terri - December 27, 2019 12:24 pm

    Love you much Sean ❤️

  9. Cynthia Harmon - December 27, 2019 12:40 pm

    My daughter Megan also lost her left leg, 10 1/2 yrs ago. She’s. A great fighter too and has done many amazing things. But what I want to tell about is this winter she’s teaching amputees to snowboard at the National Ability Center in Park City, Utah. That’s where she went the winter after her accident and it renewed her confidence and motivation to finish school. This year she’s taking off from work as an engineer to do some things that are important to her. I’m so very proud!

  10. Helen Lowery Ramsey Carlsten - December 27, 2019 12:42 pm

    Thanks for your blog. They are greattt…

  11. Hope Thamert - December 27, 2019 1:14 pm

    Thank you Sean

  12. Lita - December 27, 2019 1:31 pm

    Incredibly proud of you, Sean. Love to you and yours from me and mine x

  13. Carol - December 27, 2019 1:36 pm

    I wish I could give you that kiss on the forehead too!! It’s been a long time since I’ve had one.
    And I’m proud of my children and grandchildren, all of them good people. My son is a policeman, please keep him in your prayers 🙏
    Until we meet Sean , remember how proud I am of you. Gosh your just the Best of everything!!
    I’m so lucky to have a Friend like you ❤️
    Love ya !

  14. Tammy S - December 27, 2019 1:41 pm

    I am co-director of an integrated (children with developmental challenges/children of typical development) preschool and I just love this idea. Kiss your brain/kiss your heart!! ❤️🥰

    Thanks for sharing! And thanks for being a teacher. You guys are all the best!

    And thank you, Sean. As always, so encouraging and so real!! Thanks for loving us all just as we are. And thanks for writing. So very proud of you and thankful I stumbled across one of your writings.

  15. Branton Riley - December 27, 2019 1:45 pm

    I loved this post! You seem to understand what courage looks like in the real world.

  16. Sharon Brock - December 27, 2019 1:47 pm

    We are proud of you Sean. For pulling yourself up by your bootstraps and never letting go of your dream. And myself as a single mother is particularly proud of single mothers everywhere including your Mom, my grandmother, and two of my sisters. Strength, courage, and grit.

  17. Jess - December 27, 2019 2:01 pm

    Sean, you beat all. Your words can make a lot of people proud of themselves for accomplishing many different things in life. You’re a very gifted writer and I’m sure all of your followers/fans, including me, are proud of you for all the good that you do in our world. I hope you’e going to have an exceptional Happy New Year in 2020. Keep writing, friend.

  18. Susan Hatfield - December 27, 2019 2:02 pm

    I’m proud of you too!!!!

  19. Bobbie - December 27, 2019 2:05 pm

    The tears are still flowing. I can’t remember when anyone said this to me. So thank you. I’m sooo proud of you❤️‼️ God bless you.

  20. Kathy Daum - December 27, 2019 2:09 pm

    Thank you. Some things others don’t see because I don’t do them to be seen. So your proudness covers them. I’m glad you’re here.

  21. Mary Bales - December 27, 2019 2:18 pm

    I’ve been reading your work for about six months now, and have often wanted to comment. Then I stop with a loss of words. Your heart and love shows in everything you write. Your column makes every day better for me!

  22. Martha - December 27, 2019 2:23 pm

    This is just the tonic I needed on this rather gray day! Thank you. My dad used to always tell us that he was “proud” of us for anything we attempted to do: in school, in sports, at work. Even if we hadn’t done that well. “I’m proud of you for trying!”, he’d say. Thanks for the ” dose” of my dad who passed away 27 years ago. Love to you, Sean, and “I’m proud of you!”

  23. emjaytexas - December 27, 2019 2:27 pm


  24. Brenda - December 27, 2019 2:35 pm

    I believe you, and I want you to believe me,I am so proud of you. I am mad at myself because I haven’t already told you.

  25. Marilyn - December 27, 2019 2:50 pm

    You did my heart good this morning. It’s great to start my day with coffee and your blog, Sean. It’s called positive reinforcement and we need big doses of it, which we are not getting like we should. Thank you, and I am proud of you!

  26. Clonnie Kujawa - December 27, 2019 3:04 pm

    Thanks Sean, I needed this very thing this morning. I told my friend Linda about you. She is the primary caregiver for her husband who suffered a stroke. I know she could use hearing she is someone to be proud of. I sure hope she read your letter this morning. Thanks and I am so proud of you!

  27. Marge - December 27, 2019 3:06 pm

    You’ve done it again, Sean! What a special, special man you are…I read your postings every morning after getting up and they pave the way for a brighter, more love filled day each and every time. I haven’t had anyone tell me they are proud of me since my husband died 3 years ago…thanks for helping me remember his sweet words and his sweet kiss on my forehead. I wish you a year filled with love, laughter, chili cheese Fritoes, good BBQ and the love of your sweet Jamie, and your pups…. And all of us out here that are blessed to have found you and made your acquaintance!!!

  28. Shelton A. - December 27, 2019 3:55 pm

    Thank you, Sean, for your daily inspirations. Thanks for sticking with school, I’m proud of you. For marrying your soulmate and having the courage to ask, I’m proud of you. For loving, and living with, your hat eating dogs, I am proud of you. God bless you all.

  29. Judith A Mercer - December 27, 2019 4:02 pm

    …and I am proud of you! To have faced so much at such an early age, to survive with your heart intact and to care so much about others. To master the art of writing and your ability to make us see the good in others…

  30. Diana - December 27, 2019 4:16 pm

    Thanks so very much, Sean. I really needed to hear that today.

  31. Linda Moon - December 27, 2019 5:09 pm

    I almost stopped reading at “I’m proud of you”, mainly because I’ve aged out of any particular need to hear those words. Sometimes just being not dead is more than enough for me. Long ago I was lucky to have lots of Aunts, Mama & Daddy, and some teachers who made me feel proud. I hope I’ve measured up to their pride. Billy and all those other people you introduced to us, my own Holly, and me-“UMA”- give me reasons to be nice today. So do you, Sean… and Jamie, Thelma Lou, and Otis too!!

  32. Ala Red Clay Girl - December 27, 2019 6:29 pm

    Aww, thanks, Sean! I am so very proud of you, too. I wish everyone could read this and feel better about themselves. Then maybe we would show more love and kindness to all that we meet. Now wouldn’t that be a wonderful world?

  33. Edna Barron - December 27, 2019 7:29 pm

    What a lovely message for everyone. Thank you. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

  34. Rebecca Souders - December 27, 2019 8:12 pm

    Thanks, Sean. Once again your words lift me up.
    As I was leaving my son’s house on Christmas Day to journey homeward, I said to him, “I’m so proud of you, son” — to which he replied, “You did a good job, Mom.” And my answer was “I didn’t do it alone.” And then, all the way home I pondered why I had been so melancholy all day and landed on this answer: my husband, his father, was no longer with us to celebrate that day and the fine men our sons have become. So I now get to carry all the pride. Gladly.

  35. Ginger Clifton - December 27, 2019 9:36 pm

    As Andy said, “You beat everything, you know!”

  36. Martha Young - December 27, 2019 10:32 pm

    I am proud of you along with hundreds of other people that read your daily commentary and find something in them that touches the deepest part of their heart and makes the day so much brighter and I’ll bet your English teacher would just scribble red marks all over this sentence but I’m saying it anyway !

  37. Abele Livy - December 28, 2019 3:24 am

    Just Perfect…thank you!!!

  38. Carolyn Cantrell - December 28, 2019 5:52 am

    Bless you, Sean, for blessing me today.

  39. Ann Pincelli - December 29, 2019 3:12 am

    What a fabulous column! We all needed to hear your uplifting words. Thank you. We’re proud of you, too.

  40. Mary Hicks - February 4, 2020 6:43 pm

    On January 29, 2020 we have seen and felt 17 years go by since our only son was called home to Heaven. Then on February 2, 2020 we wished our only son a happy 50th birthday in Heaven. We look forward to that great reunion day! So thanks, Sean, for sharing such words that help us get through another day. You are appreciated and loved. God bless you and Jamie.


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