Yesterday, I was digging through boxes in the garage. The boxes were covered in dust. I found things I didn’t even know I owned. A fondue pot, for instance. Brand new. Just what every man of the modern age needs.

I found our wedding photos, too. I had to sit down to look at those.

In one photo, I’m cutting a cake while the woman on my arm is laughing, holding her belly. Young Me is watching her.

I remember exactly what I was thinking. I was thinking the same thing I’m thinking now:

“I like making this woman laugh.”

Easier said than done. She doesn’t know how to fake laugh. It’s not in her. In fact, she doesn’t laugh unless something is worth dying over.

And if you’re lucky enough to see her get tickled—big “if”—the first thing she’ll do is hold her stomach. And IF you can get this woman to clutch her stomach, your life has been worth it.

I also found a certificate in one of the boxes. The thing was covered in plastic, with my name written on it. My college degree.

I was a grown man when I went to college. It took me eleven years to finish. The only reason I completed was because this woman believed I could.

Sometimes I can’t tell if I’m her sidekick or if she is mine.

Either way, she is a woman who does too much. She works too hard, she loves harder. She has quirks, too. And nobody knows them like me.

For example: she cannot fall asleep without an assortment of machinery.

In her arsenal is a foam wedge (for her lower back); a heating pad (for her cold nature); a mouthguard (she grinds her teeth at night); a sound machine (apparently I snore); earplugs (apparently I am not an amatuer snorer); an eye mask (to shield her face from my professional snoring); and a woven synthetic blanket (for suffocating husbands who sleep with their mouths open).

More about her: she writes thank-you notes religiously. She likes her coffee fixed pretty—sugar and two quarts of cream. She is a scorpio—this means she suffers from clinical road rage.

We do not have children. Her maternal love must go somewhere. So, she is a proud aunt. She holds her niece like she’s holding a stack of cash. She loves animals. She speaks Dog. She also speaks Feral Cat. We spend a lot of money on bags of dry food for strays.

She will risk her life to save a turtle.

She is a certified math teacher, but she doesn’t teach anymore. This woman pulled me through high-school equivalency classes and turned a red headed dropout into an educated dummy.

Then, she helped me through college. And on the day I once told her, “I don’t know if I have what it takes to finish school,” she gave me a four-hour pep-talk.

She is a chef. Sixteen ounces of her homemade pimento cheese is worth driving sixteen hundred miles. Her chicken salad should be on the Pope’s bucket list.

And Lord God Almighty, her biscuits.

Her granny died before imparting the sacred biscuit recipe, but somehow my wife figured it out.

Last night, I showed my wife old photographs, and a certificate with my name on it. I told her what I just told you. I thanked her for all she’s done for me. For making an orphan feel like somebody, for once in his life.

“You give me too much credit,” she said.

She’ll never know just how much credit she deserves until we reach the Other Side.

Until that day, I want to be the one who makes her hold her stomach.


  1. Patty - January 16, 2023 6:50 am

    How sweet. I’m glad to see you’re thankful for your wife and have the wisdom to tell her!! Beautiful!

  2. Leslie in NC - January 16, 2023 7:06 am

    Ŵhat a lovely testament about your sweet Jamie. The love y’all have for each other (and your fur baɓies) is amazing and the kind of love many, including myself, only dream about. I wish I could make biscuits like Jamie!

  3. Melanie - January 16, 2023 7:18 am

    Sean will you write a book for men to teach them how to treat a woman, please? Thank you.

  4. Steve Winfield(lifer) - January 16, 2023 7:28 am

    If you weren’t the one that did you’d still be riding solo.
    I’ve never met a more perfect pair.
    You’re both the cat’s.

  5. Mary Hoffert - January 16, 2023 8:11 am

    The Best of the year..God Bless Both of You.

  6. oldlibrariansshelf - January 16, 2023 8:12 am

    Any person who loves animals has much love to share. You and Jamie are just two peas in a pod!

  7. Estelle in Tennessee - January 16, 2023 8:51 am

    You’re a lucky man. You married a woman who believes in you. And she helped you believe in yourself. Count your blessings. Well you just did.

  8. Tom Reiser - January 16, 2023 9:36 am

    I know a woman just like yours! She makes life complete without even once needing an acknowledgement. I love her as you love yours. Congratulations!!

  9. Tim - January 16, 2023 9:47 am

    Credits & Debits
    Credit Cards & Debit Cards
    Peas in a Pod
    One a bit more Odd.

    Balance(d) Sheets
    Morning Laundry

    Meant to exist

    While she also Gets-you.


    You could buy her a debit card at Publix (as a gift) to credit her, but that’s just me.

    I don’t know what else “to-get-her”

    seems like you already get each other.

    Just a thought, on occasion, you might just want to sleep in the guest room (or on the couch) to allow her a good night sleep.

    Cheaper that way.

    Valentine’s day coming up.

  10. Rebecca McArthur Lee - January 16, 2023 9:48 am

    Jamie is your most prized jewel and heroine…as it should be. Keep making her laugh because you two are beautiful tother!

  11. Denise - January 16, 2023 10:44 am

    Love this. Just read “Will the Circle be Unbroken” so decided to sign up for your posts. Happy I did. Your writing is pure and true. The only kind I read.

  12. chrisineedstoshare - January 16, 2023 10:44 am

    PEFECT… this story, that woman, your love for her, her love for you, and the love that holds you both tightly wound together. 💚💙

  13. Ann T - January 16, 2023 11:33 am

    Fortunate to have love and laughter. Enjoy it in the here and now.

  14. Renee Welton - January 16, 2023 11:43 am


  15. lesliehanson411hotmailcom - January 16, 2023 11:52 am

    Lucky Jaimie and even more lucky are you! May God bless you both and may you never forget what you mean to each other!

  16. Nancy Davison - January 16, 2023 11:53 am


  17. Johnny - January 16, 2023 11:58 am

    I like this

  18. Jean Sherrill - January 16, 2023 12:02 pm

    You are a lucky man Sean. Maybe Jamie is lucky too.

  19. Marty - January 16, 2023 12:05 pm

    Behind every man is a fantastic woman! She’s a keeper!

  20. James Lanier - January 16, 2023 12:06 pm

    What! No classified documents?

  21. Anne Arthur - January 16, 2023 12:11 pm

    That’s what God meant when He said, “Love each other.”

  22. Dolores - January 16, 2023 12:23 pm

    Yesterday I said food is a love language. Well a sense of humor is too. It’s often the thing that bonds friendships even at a young age. A sense of humor comes in many forms. I did a search and the first article says there are 25. Wow.

    Growing up dreadfully poor and in great dysfunction it was an absolute necessity. Because it’s a safety valve. ‘God grant me the wisdom to change the the things I can and make a joke about the things I can’t’ is a prayer that will serve you well. As an adult it comes in handy when observing worldly affairs.

    Once upon a time you could joke about just about anything or anyone – just not mean spirited. Today many take themselves far too seriously. It’s killed comedy or at least clipped its wings. Dry Bar comedy has some great comedians and the routines are not filled with curse words. I highly recommend watching if you’re experiencing stress or worry. Instant relief.

    The ability to laugh at yourself in some strange way denotes a sense of class. Folks are instantly at ease around you. Lots of famous people throughout history had the quality. I’m currently reading a book about Lincoln: his empathy and humor were both stellar traits.

    The funniest people I’ve been privileged to know have had the same background, or worse, as me. Laughter bonds, it disarms: if we can laugh despite all the hurt we’re on our way to healing.

  23. Belinda - January 16, 2023 12:35 pm

    Ohhhhhh my. To be loved this much is a glorious thing. Ohhhh but we are!!! God loves us this much and more.
    But an earthly love of this kind is such a treasure. I am grateful you both found each other. Cuz you see, I too, benefit from your love. I get to read stories like this. You share love with the world so the world is a better place also ……….love is Grand!!!!!!!!

  24. Denise Walker - January 16, 2023 12:41 pm

    what a beautiful tribute! You’re a lucky man. and I’ll bet she thinks she’s a lucky girl, too. God bless you both.

  25. Beth McLaughlin - January 16, 2023 12:47 pm

    Loved this column! She sounds lovely! Do you think she would share her recipe for pimento cheese and chicken salad? I understand if that’s a closely guarded secret, but thought I would ask.

  26. Barbara Zuleski - January 16, 2023 12:55 pm

    As God Planned it and you both listened with your hearts

  27. Regena - January 16, 2023 1:00 pm

    Simply beautiful tribute….

  28. Rhonda - January 16, 2023 1:05 pm

    You have made us all love Jamie. We want to be her. I want to eat something she fixed. I believe a glass of water would taste better if she poured it. I fell in love with her when she was taking care of her mother. Your words have made us all feel like we know her too. Although we know we don’t. And God Bless you for realizing what you have. Its more rare than you think. God has more than replenished what was taken from you. It soothes the soul to hear. Thanks for sharing. I read you like I read Lewis and Bragg and the few who know how to tell a story. Writers are a dime a dozen. Story tellers are a gift.

  29. Susan Kennedy - January 16, 2023 1:08 pm

    Thanks to you we ALL love Jamie. She is the best and so are you!

  30. Linda Lewis - January 16, 2023 1:19 pm

    This is such a wonderful tribute. Your love and appreciation for your wife, Jamie, are evident.

  31. Pam Williams - January 16, 2023 1:23 pm


  32. Delanie trusty - January 16, 2023 1:25 pm

    Love your writing so much

  33. Lisa Fox - January 16, 2023 1:30 pm

    How do you not cry when love flows from the ink that this is written on? Xo

  34. David - January 16, 2023 1:38 pm

    Jaime must be an extraordinary lady! God bless both of you!!

  35. Ernie in River City (travel version) - January 16, 2023 1:51 pm

    Not everyone is smart enough to know how God has blessed them by putting someone in their life to deliver His love. You are a smart man. I am also blessed to have a miracle in my life, but it took me longer to figure it out.

  36. Keloth Anne - January 16, 2023 2:06 pm

    What a wonderful wonderful tribute to your sweet wife—you two make an incredible team!! So thankful our paths crossed several years ago and hope before too long they will cross again!! Miss y’all ♥️♥️

  37. Cynthia Garner - January 16, 2023 2:08 pm

    Quite a testament to her push and your movement. Sweet story about people’s ability to do more than they think they can,

  38. R - January 16, 2023 2:16 pm


  39. Bonnie Danard - January 16, 2023 2:18 pm

    Ah. True love. Thank you. I don’t trip over it much in either witnessing or knowing other couple’s relationships. My husband is old and very tired, it’s very hard now for him to share his love with me. It was a beautiful time reading your account. Helped me remember the good old days. Carry on loving!

  40. Michelynn Carellas - January 16, 2023 2:29 pm

    Beautiful. Just beautiful.

  41. donnablair - January 16, 2023 2:40 pm

    I love that you two appreciate each other, and tell it❤️

  42. Patricia Gibson - January 16, 2023 3:20 pm

    You guys are very blessed ❤️

  43. mccutchen52 - January 16, 2023 3:20 pm

    My wife gets me also

  44. YVETTE STAHL - January 16, 2023 3:24 pm

    She needs to send you for a sleep study you may need a matching CPAP machine.

  45. Stacey Wallace - January 16, 2023 3:31 pm

    Sean, for the thousandth time, thanks so much for making my husband’s and my mornings. I read your column aloud to my husband after breakfast. As retired school teachers, we love slow-paced mornings. Please tell Jamie that I also wear a mouth guard and ear plugs. However, I must admit that I snore like a buzz saw, too. Love to you, Jamie, Marigold, Otis Campbell, and Thelma Lou.

  46. Susan W Fitch - January 16, 2023 4:12 pm

    That’s what LOVE is!!!

  47. CECELIA LEBLANC - January 16, 2023 4:13 pm

    Please ask Jamie to allow you to publish her biscuit recipe. A great biscuit is a work of art!

  48. Sue Corbin - January 16, 2023 4:18 pm

    I have never been loved like that! How very fortunate you two are to have this kind of relationship!!!

    Sue Corbin

  49. Helen - January 16, 2023 4:27 pm

    I totally understand this article. I am the YOU in this article, and I am so thankful for HIM, 49 years and counting…

  50. Martha - January 16, 2023 4:55 pm

    True love is a treasure. So happy for both of you that you are sharing life with your soulmates. ❤️❤️

  51. Julia - January 16, 2023 5:38 pm

    Thank you Sean. And Jamie too.

  52. Takrbc - January 16, 2023 5:39 pm

    A CPaP is totally worth it

  53. Helen De Prima - January 16, 2023 5:53 pm

    You’re both so lucky to appreciate each other, a too-rare balance.

  54. Dolores - January 16, 2023 6:26 pm

    When are you and Jaime writing a cookbook (if she’s willing to share recipes)? You could add your anecdotal stories. Some of the proceeds would go to your own favorite charity. The children in both your familles would treasure both the recipes and stories. Please consider it.

    PS Most good cooks don’t measure: I realize it’d be a pain to convert to exact measurements. Baking is usually the exception, it’s kinda ‘sciencey’.

  55. Tom Germscheid - January 16, 2023 6:45 pm

    I don’t know if you’ve heard this but I just heard on the NFL network that Jacksonville Jaguar quarterback Trevor Lawrence celebrated his big playoff win by going to Waffle House. Just thought that you would be happy to hear this.

  56. christine Wackrow - January 16, 2023 6:46 pm

    what a beautiful story, Sean. loved it

  57. pattymack43 - January 16, 2023 7:14 pm

    Today there were tears escaping my my eyes as I read about your faithful devotion to your Jaime. A true statement of LOVE. I’m betting she could write one to you, as well. I know that your readers would agree with her. blessing to you, Sean, and to your Jaime!

  58. muthahun - January 16, 2023 7:18 pm

    Gotta love a man who wears his heart on his sleeve. We mechanically enhanced sleepers salute you! “…not an amateur snorer.” Oh yeah!

  59. Margaret - January 16, 2023 8:38 pm

    I think you should fix her a fondue for Valentine’s Day. That is, if neither of you is lactose intolerant, just saying. Fondue pots and cheese are a terrible thing to waste. (Include some gruyere, but there are YouTubes that teach us how to cook anything.) Or melt some chocolate and a little cream, and dip some strawberries and angel food cake.

  60. Sheri K - January 16, 2023 10:52 pm

    That was amazingly beautiful!!!

  61. Holly - January 16, 2023 11:09 pm


  62. AlaRedClayGirl - January 17, 2023 12:08 am

    Now that’s how love should be!

  63. MAM - January 17, 2023 12:09 am

    Jamie, you are well loved by a man who tells stories extremely well. Thank you, Jamie, for your encouragement to make Sean into the man he is today. I suspect you love him as much as he loves you! Continue to be happy together. P.S. I’m sorry Sean snores, but I’m glad you have figured out how to live with it. (separate sleeping rooms work well, too)

  64. Amy - January 17, 2023 11:41 am

    Love this story! It makes my heart happy!

  65. Gail - January 17, 2023 8:21 pm


  66. Karen Snyder - January 17, 2023 10:14 pm

    You DO write the best love letters, Sean! 🧡

  67. Jane Cline - January 18, 2023 7:13 pm

    Two years ago, after 66 years of marriage, when planning my husbands funeral the minister asked me “what attracted you to your husband”? My immediate answer was “he made my laugh”.

  68. Jayne - January 18, 2023 8:35 pm

    I love your writing especially of your wife. A life time commitment is beautiful!! And old love is priceless! I love it that I know what he stays before he says it!

  69. denise - January 20, 2023 2:32 am

    Love that kind of love. Thank you for making me l augh, and cry at times.

  70. Diane Pearson - January 23, 2023 1:01 pm

    Previous! You are a very blessed man, your wife is truly a gift from God to you.


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