DEAR SEAN: I will babysit your dog (Ellie Mae) if you ever need. I would do it for free. I’m ten and mature.


I’ve worked in a hotel, cleaning rooms off and on since the eighties. I’m approaching sixty-four. I’ve been working all my life for my kids…

My kids are grown and finished with college, but I didn’t know what to do with myself when they left, so I still work even though I don’t have to.

I keep working so I can encourage young people that they can make it through the same crap I went through.


My son died six years ago… In the middle of my grief I started volunteering at a place that delivers groceries to local families who are low-income.

I don’t know why I’m writing you, but I want parents to know that there’s life after your child dies.


I work in a grocery store. A woman came through my line and told me about your website. I wrote your name on receipt paper. When I emptied my pockets that evening, I saw the receipt, and figured it couldn’t hurt to check out your website.

I got inspired to write a poem about my late big brother. He passed on Christmas of 2017.

“…My brother.
You are gone, but you are not far away.
At the end of each day,
You are my last thought.
You are on the other side of my fear,
I have nothing to fear…”


I will babysit your dog (Ellie Mae) if you ever need. I would do it for free. I’m ten and mature.


I’m getting my GED this year. Dude, I’m almost forty, it’s harder than I thought.

Someday I really want to go to college, but I look at all the work ahead of me and don’t know if I have what it takes.

I’m not a kid anymore, I hope this isn’t a dumb dream…


I have cancer. That’s the first time I’ve ever written that. I’m scared.


Our dog had puppies last night! I was all pumped, and I couldn’t fall asleep, I stayed up and sat with my mom and my dog all night!


My dad was an alcoholic preacher… A lot of people ended up hating him because of his addiction. I totally get it because my dad was hell to be around sometimes.

…But he got sober in the end. I wish I could write about all the addicts he helped in such a short period. There were dozens of them. They trusted him because he WAS them. I miss him.


War Damn Eagle.


You seem like a guy who would appreciate this. My son attended the University of Alabama long ago. One day he told me he was going to marry this girl…

Her name sounded super familiar so I started digging around and come to find out, she is the daughter of my old college sweetheart. Weird story, I know.

They’re still married, by the way.


My dad is helping me raise my son ever since my husband bailed on us… I didn’t think we’d survive after my husband left me for his best friend’s wife.

…So the thing is, my dad actually raised me and my brother as a single parent, and he understands what it’s like to be on your own.

…And I needed to tell someone what a great man he is, and I’m proud to be his daughter.


Thank you. I used to feel alone, you see. And I’ve felt this way for most of my life.

I don’t anymore.

Your stories have changed me.

Sean Dietrich


  1. Sandi in FL - March 5, 2018 7:32 am

    Sean, I have no doubt that your fan club of readers numbers in the thousands. You are loved by so many people. Your life counts. You are worthy, valued and important. Every city needs a Sean Dietrich.

  2. Susan Hammett Poole - March 5, 2018 10:42 am

    Ditto what Sandi says in her comment above ♡

  3. Judy G - March 5, 2018 11:03 am

    Seah, you matter.

  4. Wendy Franks - March 5, 2018 11:44 am

    Darling Sean, you mattrer more joy for thousands you’ll never know! You light up my life in ways you’ll never know just showing the good that remains in so many people. Yes, I like to keep up with what’s going on in the world of politics but your columns keep me out of the doldrums & I cannot love you more for that. Keep writing about the good in humankind! We love you for it.

  5. Brenda Schiesser - March 5, 2018 11:47 am

    Hi Sean. I have a folder on my laptop just to save your post in. I think you matter a great deal to many.

  6. Pam - March 5, 2018 12:14 pm

    I want to tell the 40 year old to GO FOR COLLEGE- it will be hard but worth every second. Getting that degree will change you for the good, personal experience.

    Getting my next degree beginning at 59.

  7. janiesjottings - March 5, 2018 12:18 pm

    I wrote you once and your answer meant so much to me. Thank you! Your stories have become a much treasured part of mine and my husband’s day. Every morning he says, “What’s old Sean got to say today?” Then I grab my iPad and discover another heartwarming story that never fails to pull at our heartstrings. We love your work more than we can possibly express. I marvel at your ability to connect with people in such a deep way because I am not that way. I am trying to really see and hear strangers and talk with them now. I recently turned 63 and you are directly responsible for a new attitude that is changing my life. Thank you!!!

  8. CaroG87 - March 5, 2018 12:35 pm

    You are not alone. So not alone.

  9. Sue Cronkite - March 5, 2018 12:53 pm

    You are a blessing. Have a blessed day.

  10. Jo Ann - March 5, 2018 1:01 pm

    You touch so many lives every day, Sean. You’re not alone & neither are we. Thank you.

  11. Melissa - March 5, 2018 1:12 pm

    Thank you!!! You do t know what your writings mean to so many. Btw, tell the one to go for college. I got my bachelors in my 40s and I’m creeping up on 50s and heading for a masters. It’s totally worth it and so are they. Much love to you and yours.

  12. Patricia Schmaltz - March 5, 2018 1:34 pm

    Love you too! Sending hugs.

  13. Sandra Smith - March 5, 2018 1:42 pm

    Dear Sean,
    I wake up everyday, looking forward to coffee with Sean. I save every post, and re- read them with my morning cup. No better way to start my day !
    Thank you x infinity !

  14. Marty from Alabama - March 5, 2018 2:09 pm

    Just look at all the people you have inspired and you have never met them – yet.

  15. SuAnne Cobb - March 5, 2018 2:43 pm

    Sean—the first thing I do when I wake up is to read your column. It brings me such joy to read it. Keep writing as it is a gift to me & so many others.
    Peace & love,

  16. sandysewwhatever - March 5, 2018 3:01 pm

    Tell this story to the man who recently showed his perseverance by getting the GED.
    My grandma secretly got her college degree in her 50’s. (My aunt followed her to work out where she was going all the time after my grandpa went to work!) She hadn’t been able to finish when she was the right age because her mother got face cancer – so she left to care for her.
    After the college degree she got her Master’s in her 60’s. She went on to teach and even when she was nearing her 80’s she was doing supply teaching!
    All this at a time when women of her era didn’t do those things. Part of her study for education included travelling round the world…like China. We would find out ‘after’ she got home from the journey. 😉
    You can do it!

  17. Jack Darnell - March 5, 2018 3:03 pm

    When the mature 10 year old ‘pet sits’ Ellie Mae, you better tip her/him good! I enjoyed this. NEAT!

    • Glenda H - March 5, 2018 11:30 pm

      Some awesome comments on this post, thinking you oughta have a potluck barn party and invite everyone, I’ll make the biscuits!

  18. Carol Houston Rothwell - March 5, 2018 3:09 pm

    Sean your never alone,you have a heart ,& head so full of people around you..Your bursting at the seams with life & people and stories in you.
    You’ll never know how many people you touch every day ,heal & save.
    We’re here every morning ,everyday. ,waiting to hear from you ..Hope you know it!!
    Love ya.?!

  19. Susan - March 5, 2018 3:10 pm

    To the person wanting to go to college, the time will pass anyway so you might as well go for it. Good luck.

  20. Nix LaVerdi - March 5, 2018 3:25 pm

    Thank you for living in this world. Your stories are the reason I open up my laptop each morning. I feel honored to be a part of them.


  21. Kathy - March 5, 2018 3:40 pm


  22. sam smith - March 5, 2018 4:37 pm

    …and your stories have changed me. made me a better person. thanks.

  23. Joan Raines - March 5, 2018 4:45 pm

    Love you, plain and simple. You gift me everytime I read your stories. I am 88 so no threat. lol

  24. Carolyn Huggins - March 5, 2018 4:45 pm

    Sean, I look forward to each and every one of your postings…you would not believe how many people I’ve told: “You just have to go read what this wonderful “down-to-earth” guy writes….and they come back and say that they love to read your stories, too. I wish I could have told that guy who wrote to you wishing he could go on to college, but felt it was just too much…that I taught kindergarten, directed an afternoon school program, kept up a big house/garden, was a mom, walked 4 miles every day without fail…and entered college at the age of 47. It took a little while, but at age 51 I graduated cum laude from The University of South Carolina. Anything is possible if you just believe and put forth the effort! Thank you for being you…and writing all the wonderful things that you do!

  25. Connie - March 5, 2018 5:16 pm

    And you change us with every line you write and every story you share. Thank you. I will see you Sunday in Greenville, AL.

  26. Kaye - March 5, 2018 7:00 pm


  27. Barbara Schweck - March 5, 2018 7:52 pm

    Sean, I have been so blessed by all of your writings-daily and books. I was doubly blessed to hear you in person AND to hear you sing!! I was tripley blessed to have met Jamie!! What a kind, caring person. Felt like I had known her all my life. My hope is to someday to meet Ellie Mae. So, if the 10 year old kid doesn’t work out, give me a call! Heck, I will pay you to let me watch her!

  28. Michael Hawke - March 6, 2018 3:22 am

    Thank you. Same here.

  29. Judi - March 6, 2018 3:56 am

    Sean, you must be one of the most special guys I know!

  30. Naomi Smith - March 6, 2018 5:43 pm

    To the Dude who is almost 40 and getting his GED. Way to Go!!!! I have a family. We had 2 children and 8 years later we adopted a special needs child. I was 36 at the time. When he started to kindergarten I decided right quick that he needed more help than I knew how to give him. SO, at just past 40 I started college. I graduated the year our daughter graduated high school. I got a job teaching special education but I needed a master’s degree so I went nights and summers to complete my masters. By the way it was a 2 hr drive one way. After working all day then driving to college class from7-10PM then drive home and be sure there were clothes ready and food I could throw into a crockpot for the next day, it was all rather daunting to this 40 something year old. However, I overcame and taught special education for 21 years before health issues caused me to retire. So Dude you can do it!!! Don’t let anyone deter you.

  31. thefabulousflamingo - March 8, 2018 2:12 pm


  32. Edna B. - March 14, 2018 11:44 pm

    Sean, I’ve been down that road of no self worth, no money and a family to raise. When the last kid was in high school I went to college and at almost 40, I got my masters degree. Life is not easy, but I wouldn’t change any of it. I’m now a great grandmother many times over. Somewhere along the way, I found out that I really was worth something. You are too my friend. Your stories are awesome and really do help a lot of folks. I look forward to visiting here every day. I’m still in the progress of catching up on your older posts. Thank you for being you.

  33. Barb - May 9, 2018 2:01 am

    Dear Sean,

    You’ve put words to feelings and shared them, digging deep, opening your heart to all of us. YOUR stories have changed me! They are heartwarming, genuine, inspiring, loving, funny, sad, real. You’re the real deal. I love how you see the best in people and share it with us, the readers. Thank you.

  34. Nell Thomas - May 22, 2019 9:42 am

    It”s 4: 40 am- been reading for one hour. My cat is meowing telling me he wants out! Let me go let him out and I will be back.


Leave a Comment