Important Folks

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

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, saying 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 Old Man Upstairs made this whole world in six days. On Saturday, he took a smoke break and looked over his artwork.

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

“It is good,” he probably said.

I’m writing this on a Saturday 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 for the hell of it. 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 dog if the Old Man Upstairs wasn’t right when he said it.

It is good.

So very good.


  1. Victoria Stennett - October 22, 2017 12:39 pm

    My dog Sunny and I are headed out for a walk.

  2. Janet Mary Lee - October 22, 2017 12:52 pm

    Pretty sure God is looking down and is saying, “That Sean, I made him pretty good.” He really loves what you do for his people!

  3. teachenglish67 - October 22, 2017 1:34 pm

    It’s the little things which people whom God chose to notice and bring to another’s attention of their importance. You’ve been chosen, Sean, and you show the others. smiles and blessings because you bring them to others.

  4. Mary Ellen Hall - October 22, 2017 1:38 pm

    THANKS FOR this, Sean!!

  5. Joan Dake - October 22, 2017 1:49 pm

    I really like Janet Mary Lee’s reply–perfect! And yes sir, He said it was good…like my son, Sean! Love ya. Jo

  6. Jack Quanstrum - October 22, 2017 2:07 pm

    So true! It is good! Enough said by me. You said it all. Thank you for the Picture you wrote of the Power of good. Shalom!

  7. Catherine - October 22, 2017 4:18 pm

    Beautiful, simply beautiful.

  8. Linda Chipman - October 22, 2017 5:31 pm

    And you are so good!

  9. Teri - October 22, 2017 5:50 pm

    A nice post, but not thinking He’s an Old Man- He is not Old, He is Eternal. Thanks

    • Kerri Donica - November 24, 2017 10:10 pm

      “Old Man” as used here is colloquial for Father

  10. Roxanne - October 22, 2017 6:09 pm

    It is very good…the ability to walk and talk and breathe—to write and to read.

  11. Pamela McEachern - October 22, 2017 6:09 pm

    Thank you Sean, I believe that too. God Bless
    Peace and )ove from Birmingham

  12. Marty from Alabama - October 22, 2017 7:16 pm

    Yes Sean, He is good all the time. Even to red headed country singer that can out-write anyone I know.

  13. Jody - October 22, 2017 8:28 pm


  14. Sue Cronkite - October 22, 2017 9:37 pm

    He made you. And you are a jewel. Keep writing.

  15. Nannette - October 22, 2017 9:59 pm

    Thanks to my sister, thanks to Sean but the biggest thanks to GOD. I forget sometimes he is there.

  16. Elaine Karrh - October 22, 2017 10:09 pm

    Your words slay me.Every time.

  17. Sam Hunneman - October 22, 2017 10:19 pm

    what a lovely blessing-counting session y’got here, Sean. I’ve been meaning to ask… the drawings that accompany your blogs. Yours? Some truly lovely lines there, too.

  18. Philip - October 23, 2017 1:26 am

    “More kindness, dear Lord of the renewing green. That is where it all has to start: With the simplest things. More kindness will do nothing less than save every sleeping one and night walking one of us…” – James Dickey from ‘ The Strength of Fields’. Same tone of heart. Thank you.

  19. Patricia Schmaltz - October 23, 2017 2:12 am

    You don’t even have to open your eyes fully.. just squint and you see Angels on Earth all the time. Funny though.. most don’t realize they ARE Angels! You are too Sean!! I look forward to your thoughts. HUGS!

  20. Sharon Dodd - October 23, 2017 3:07 am

    Yes, Sean, it is good. I love your writing, keep it up.

  21. Kim O Washington - October 24, 2017 1:09 am

    Yes it is.

  22. anne trawick - October 24, 2017 7:53 am

    God was the master of understatement; it is wonderful.

  23. Maxine Cockerill - October 24, 2017 12:32 pm

    Sean, you have your place right up there with the best of the Important Folks because you keep us humbly reminded that there is so much good in this world that so often gets overlooked. Thank you for all the ‘good writings’. You are loved!

  24. Sandi Darden - October 24, 2017 8:55 pm

    I love your writing and you never fail to touch my heart. It’s your heart I love — you see the good in people, you find pleasure in the simple things in life, and you have a God-given talent to express it. I look forward each day to your post because you always make me smile or laugh or cry, and start my day off on a positive note. Today I was offended and disappointed because you talked about my best friend in such a disrespectful and flippant way! My Father God is not the “Old Man Upstairs” and He does not take smoke breaks!! I found no humor in that!! He deserves honor, glory, praise, thanksgiving, and highest esteem. Please don’t do that again. Thank you.

    • Southport Dave - November 24, 2017 1:57 pm

      That is his humorous take on the Lord. If we have a sense of humor, he must too. Since we were made in his image. So don’t fly so close to the line that you take humor as flippant and disrespectful. Sean shows God in his writing every day. What did yours show??

  25. Susie Cribbs - November 24, 2017 9:16 am

    your stories are awesome! love the honesty in them!

  26. Gus - November 24, 2017 5:50 pm

    Funny how you included coon hounds. I would have done that too. The one I had in my life for 20 years was straight from God. His name was Jack Stagner. RIP friend.


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