Our House

I am sitting in our empty house. The movers have taken all our belongings and left us with a few chairs and a card table. I am remembering the first time my wife and I sat in this empty den, the day before we moved in.

We were young. Our new house was empty. We had both just gotten off work. She wore her teacher’s clothes. I wore a fast-food uniform. We were sitting cross-legged on the bare floor.

I was eating moo shu pork. She ordered the garlic broccoli, but she was stealing my pork one bite at a time. This was beginning to offend me.

“Can you believe this house is ours?” said my wife, stabbing her chopsticks into my container.

“No,” I said. “I can’t.”

“This is our house. OUR house.”

“It’s a great house.”

Until now we had been living in a 700-square-foot apartment with a window unit AC that only worked during leap years. Our downstairs neighbors’ dogs had given the entire building a flea infestation.

Our new house was remote. The property wasn’t located on the edge of the world, but you could see it from there.

Thousands of acres of longleafs surrounded us. Cell reception was a myth. Nobody owned GPSs back then. There were no streetlights, no markers on the dirt roads. Even with competent directions, most of our friends got lost looking for our house and ended up sleeping in their cars.

In recent decades, county fugitives have taken their chances in these woods. The escapees never make it against the elements. They always stagger out of the wilderness with copperheads and bobcats attached to their limbs, muttering, “I can’t do this anymore, take me to prison.”

My wife stole five more bites of my moo shu pork when I wasn’t looking.

“You think we’ll grow old in this house?” said my young wife. “You think this will be the place where we become old folks?”

“Maybe,” I said.

“Do you ever wonder what we’ll look like when we’re old?”

This was a sobering thought. All the men in my family develop chronic turkey waddles.

“I don’t know,” I said. “I just hope you won’t be repulsed by me when I’m old.”

“Why would you say that?”

“Because my grandfather looked like a cue ball with false teeth.”

“What about me?” she said. “Will you still love me when I’m old and ugly?”

“You could never be old and ugly.”

She stole more moo shu pork without remorse.

“What about,” she said with a mouthful, “when one of us needs the other for a caregiver? Will you take care of me when I’m not able?”


“Would you change my diaper, bathe me, carry me back and forth, and wipe my you-know-what? Would you brush my hair, brush my teeth, feed me, read to me?”


“Will you love me,” she said, “even when I can’t love you back because I’m senile, and not in my right mind? Even when I am miles away from you in my brain?”

I nodded.

She scooted closer. “Would you love me if I were disfigured?”


“Would you love me if I were a vegetable?”


“Would you love me if I developed a mental illness?”


“Would you love even after I was dead and gone, and you couldn’t see me anymore?”

“Jamie,” I said, “I will love you all my life. I will love you while living in this house; I would love you while living in a refrigerator carton. I will love you in perfect health, in fatal illness, and even when we lose the SEC championship.

“And long after I am dead, when my remains have become soil pH, and my body has been digested into the earth, I will continue to love you. Because it is not my body that loves you, but my soul. And a soul never dies.

“My soul will love you for eternity. For ten eternities. For ten times ten thousand infinities. I will love you far beyond the expiration of the cosmos, long after the sun burns out, long after the stars have ceased to shine, and time is no more.

“I believe that you and I are not two, but one. I believe that, long before God poured the foundations of the world, he took one soul and cut it in half, then he sent both pieces to earth to find each other again.

“And now that I have found you, I feel united, not only with you, but with myself, and with the force that created the heavens and the earth. That is how much I love you.”

She leaned onto my shoulder. “Would you still love me if I ate all the moo shu pork?”

“I take it all back,” I said.


  1. Susan Poole - February 27, 2022 6:40 am

    Somehow I just KNEW that moo shu pork was gonna be a deal-breaker!

  2. Naomi Smith - February 27, 2022 7:07 am

    Isn’t life funny, we can handle all of the ‘what if scenarios’ that happen in life, but those little bitty irritating characteristics can sometimes just about eat our lunch! We are hanging in here now for close to 54 years, but he will often burst into an ear piercing whistle for 5 or 6 notes and I just grit my teeth! Of course I’m sure that nothing I do sets him on edge.

  3. Shirlea - February 27, 2022 9:24 am

    Somewhere midway into this message, I heard “I love you enough to leave the bay and move to Birmingham with you!” You are a good man and a great writer! It was a wonderful day in Fairhope when I had the privilege of meeting you and your beautiful Jamie. 💕

  4. Joy Jacobs - February 27, 2022 11:24 am

    After 50 years of marriage I know that loving someone is a choice. It’s not always easy but it’s worth persevering.

  5. Ron Mahn - February 27, 2022 12:47 pm

    Deep wisdom lies within this one …

  6. Connie - February 27, 2022 1:08 pm

    I love how you love Jamie. You give me hope for the universe. God be with you both on this next step of your journey. I wish you all the happiness you can imagine in your new home. Welcome to Alabama.

  7. Vanessa - February 27, 2022 1:20 pm

    Sean — whenever I think you just cannot get any better as a writer, your surprise me again. What a beautiful expression of love for your wife!! I’ve read it over and over again. And I’ll continue to. You mix your sharp humor with poetic genius. Thank you, once again, for starting my day off right!

  8. Susan W Fitch - February 27, 2022 1:31 pm

    This is so sweet, I’ve been married for 52 years and sometimes it’s hard because we both have our own agendas! But, God is faithful and we’re very thankful to love each other! Sean, happy moving to B’ham!

  9. beachdreamer - February 27, 2022 1:32 pm

    What a beautiful thought…God divided two souls, put them on earth to find each other again. And you did! Always learn from your writing, your compassion, your simplistic yet deep feelings for those you love. We need more Seans in our world! God bless you as you and Jamie continue to find your way together. ❤️

  10. Gail Bohman - February 27, 2022 1:44 pm

    You always make me cry and laugh, often simultaneously. Thank you!

  11. Donna Toews - February 27, 2022 1:59 pm

    This is good.
    I lost my husband of 43 years a year ago and my soul “has been cut in half”. I grieve deeply because grief is Love with nowhere to go.
    Keep loving….the soul never dies.

    • Gayle - February 28, 2022 10:17 pm

      Your comment by roughy tears to my eyes your definition of grief is right on I lost my husband recently and it hurts so darn bad God bless you

  12. Paul McCutchen - February 27, 2022 2:03 pm

    She probably realized at that moment you were going to be a great writer…

    • Susie - February 27, 2022 5:25 pm

      Good one, Paul. Jamie thought “I’m stricken with guy!” 😂

  13. Marianna M Parker - February 27, 2022 2:10 pm

    You make me cry and then make me laugh the next moment!

  14. Trudy - February 27, 2022 2:16 pm

    Sean, that was beautiful. You are such a romantic. I love how you love Jamie.

  15. Ruth Mitchell - February 27, 2022 2:24 pm

    I especially like your explanation about the one soul being split into until each part finds the other. God’s plan rules every time!

  16. Joan Aston - February 27, 2022 2:41 pm

    One of my favorite columns. Love eternal.

  17. Stacey Wallace - February 27, 2022 2:46 pm

    Thanks for making my husband and me laugh, Sean. When y’all are settled in Birmingham, please speak in a lot of places in Alabama so that we can come and see you.

  18. Marcia MacLean - February 27, 2022 2:46 pm

    You’re going to be okay because your priorities are in order. I wish you the best in Birmingham. It’s not good bye because I may see you more often now that you’re not a local 😉. Can’t wait to see you perform in Panama City on March 31st. eventbrite.com/e/an-evening-with-sean-dietrich-tickets-227287572247?aff=ebdssbdestsearch

  19. V Sully - February 27, 2022 3:01 pm

    Welcome to the ‘Ham!

  20. Gayle Wilson - February 27, 2022 3:19 pm

    Beautiful story

  21. Jane - February 27, 2022 3:46 pm

    After 54 years..we agree. Not always easy. Not always smooth sailing. But to us I do means…I do. Thick or thin. For richer or poorer. May you have more years together.

  22. Chasity Davis Ritter - February 27, 2022 4:33 pm

    A house is just some walls. A home is where your soul lives and that being said and after everything you wrote i again say that where ever you and Jamie are together will be home.

  23. CHARALEEN WRIGHT - February 27, 2022 4:36 pm

  24. Linda Moon - February 27, 2022 5:33 pm

    What you said in answer to Jamie’s questions about growing old with love were poetic, beautiful, alive with possibilities and hope. Until someone eats the pork. But don’t take it all back, Sean. She won’t eat your pork…she’s just testing you, like LIFE does. You both have passed lots of tests so far….so don’t fail now. And, keep remembering your very fine house and your youth spent there!

  25. Angel Bradford - February 27, 2022 5:42 pm

    “Love is the most beautiful sentiment the Lord has put into the soul of men and women.”
    –St. Gianna Molla

  26. Shelton A. - February 27, 2022 6:57 pm

    Thank you for sharing the great and beautiful memory. I pray you make many new and long-lasting happy, joyful memories in your new home. May it be full of love and peace. May your dogs continue to eat your hats and claim the house as their own. Safe travels to ‘Bama and watch out for the Auburn fans, Sean. May God’s love and peace be with you both.

  27. Heather Miller - February 27, 2022 7:01 pm

    I LOVE THIS!! Wonderful sentiments, put in perfect perspective.

  28. Karen - February 27, 2022 8:24 pm

    I wish everyone could find their soulmate. I have been married to mine for 50 years. Thank you for such a lovely statement about loving your soulmate.❤️

  29. AlaRedClayGirl - February 27, 2022 8:29 pm

    Beautiful! If only everyone loved their spouse like this.

  30. Tawanah Fagan Bagwell - February 27, 2022 9:16 pm

    You are a blessed family! Next time, even if she says she doesn’t want to eat the pork, order her some anyway!

  31. Ann in Mobile - February 27, 2022 9:20 pm

    Best. One. Ever.
    Keep on Loving.
    Stay Soulmates.
    Enjoy B’ham Life.

  32. Kathleen Mahoney - February 27, 2022 9:25 pm

    this is so beautiful!!

  33. Larry Wall - February 27, 2022 10:16 pm

    Sean – the moving experience must most definitely been a ‘moving experience’ for you since it has motivated you to produce back-to-back masterpieces. They were both howlingly funny in the way that only you can provide and then produce emotionally beautiful pictures that only true love can create. Me and my lady of 59 years have produced a few of those moments ourselves, great loves with many laughs mixed in. Ain’t love grand? ( 😉

  34. Susan - February 27, 2022 10:45 pm

    I, too, feel this way about someone. My soulmate. My everything. You nailed it.

  35. Anna Lisa - February 28, 2022 12:11 am

    That is some SER’us wedding ceremony (stuff) goin’ on right there! I’m going to make a note before you copyright it. Of course, all credit will be directed to your wife. I have enjoyed your columns immensely, since that one Mike Rowe turned us onto. I love a good cry now and then. So, thank you, I’ve learned through marriage that keeping one’s mouth shut is usually a good idea. But, yr killin’ me with the turkey “waddles”. However, NOT a deal breaker. I’m here for you if you ever need me. 🙂

  36. Teresa Blankenship - February 28, 2022 2:44 am

    Love is a beautiful thing ❤️Priceless

  37. Margaret - February 28, 2022 1:12 pm

    That was beautiful. You and Jamie are blessed to have each other. 51 years here, and yes you both will change, but it won’t matter! You will still love each other. ❤️

  38. Donna Melikian - February 28, 2022 4:42 pm

    Have you ever seen the Kevin Costner movie “ For love of the game”?

  39. Donna - February 28, 2022 4:50 pm

    Have you seen the Kevin Costner movie “For love of the game”?

  40. Barbara Gravlee - March 1, 2022 2:58 pm

    More beautiful words were never spoken🥰

  41. debora bettis - March 5, 2022 8:54 pm

    I love you, Sean. You make me leaky-eyed, every time I read your stories….or, you make me leaky-bladdered (is that even a word?). Because I sometimes laugh until you know what happens. But I don’t care, because we live in a world where we need more evidence of love and laughter. Thank You, sweetie.


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