Sleepless in Fort Worth


I’m scared with the pandemic because I just thought the virus was about to be getting over and now I don’t know if it is. My mom said I can write to you.

Thank you for your time,


For me to effectively reply to your letter, we must first travel into the future. You and me. So let’s step into my time machine, shall we? Don’t worry, I’ll make sure you’re back in time for Mom’s meatloaf tonight.

Man, I love meatloaf.

Watch your step. Hands inside the vehicle. No flash photography. Seatbelts, please—click it or ticket, sister.

I am going to set my time-travel dial for, oh, let’s say 65 years into the future. An era when cars fly and everyone wears ridiculous hairstyles. Such as, for example, the mullet. Which is making a comeback. Yesterday, I saw a kid sporting a mullet-cut like I haven’t seen since Night Ranger was still on tour.

Ready? Here we go.

T minus ten, nine, eight…



Okay. I apologize. Those were lame time-travel special effects, nothing like the movies. Sadly, this column doesn’t have the budget for special effects because this column still has a mortgage to pay.

Anyway, here we are in the future. Let’s take a look around. Pretty wild isn’t it? This future world? Look at all the odd fashions and bizarre packaged foods. Hey, is that Mick Jagger?

Never mind. Because listen up, I want to ask you an important question: what is the first thing you notice about the future?

Yep. That’s right. There is one.

Also, Fort Worth, Texas, is still here. Your hometown did not explode, the solar system still works, and the human race is still alive and battling high cholesterol.

Good. Now what else do you notice?

Correct again. Starbucks now charges $2,183.99 for a small coffee. Nothing new there.

Okay, now let’s go take a tour of your future house so we can get a feel for what’s going on in your future personal life. Right this way, please.

Hey, nice pad you’ve got. Tall ceilings, big windows, cushy furniture, and check out that monster flatscreen TV.

It’s hard to believe that when I was a kid our TV only received three channels. It’s even harder to believe that my old man watched the ‘86 World Series by wrapping our antenna in aluminum foil and standing on a stepladder.

Hey, look. It’s Future You!

There you are, taking a nap in your La-Z-Boy, 65 years in the future. You must be, what, 74 years old? Wow, you look pretty good. Is that a grandbaby sleeping on your chest?

Well, this is all great news because apparently not only is the world still here, but so are you. And bonus, you’re a grandmother.

Fist bump.

Also, you look superb for your age. I guess you can chalk this up to all the nutritional and medical advances society has made within the last century.

Believe me, medically speaking, this is a very different world from the one I grew up in. When I got my tonsils taken out, for example, my doctor performed the whole tonsillectomy procedure without once dropping his cigarette. That’s how far we’ve come.

Furthermore, it’s hard to believe that once upon a time people in their mid-70s were considered ancient. Folks just aged faster in the olden days.

If you don’t believe me, just watch reruns of “Matlock.” Andy Griffith was only 59 when he premiered as the elderly Ben Matlock. Which seems even more astounding when you consider that Brad Pitt is 57.

Anyway, seeing your own future is pretty cool, isn’t it? You know why? Because knowing what the future holds removes all uncertainty, and one of the scariest things on planet Earth is uncertainty. The future freaks us out because it’s unknown.

I once had a college professor who talked about the fear of uncertainty. He used to ask his class to name the scariest noise in the world. Students would call out answers like: a tortured scream, the roar of an animal, the discharge of a weapon.

The professor would smile and say, nope. The most frightening sound is when you are in a house all alone at night, completely alone, and you hear a toilet flush down the hall. That’s uncertainty. And it’s terrifying.

So I don’t blame you for being worried about the pandemic’s ups and downs. Join the crowd. Obviously I don’t know what will happen in the future—I have no time machine.

But there is one thing I am absolutely certain about. And if I were a betting man I would stake everything I own on what I’m about to tell you.

I am certain—deeply certain—that no matter what happens in this world, no matter how unpredictable your life gets, no matter how bleak the distant future appears, you are going to be okay, kiddo. And so am I.

Now go eat your meatloaf.


  1. oldlibrariansshelf - August 10, 2021 9:19 am

    You are SUCH a good man, Charlie Brown!

  2. Christine Erdmann - August 10, 2021 10:24 am

    As always, Crowell done, Sean. But that toilet down the hall thing was pretty creepy.

  3. chrisine Erdmann - August 10, 2021 10:27 am

    Will there still be creepy varmints who type comments instead of what you typed?? Crowell?? Who’Crowell?? That was supposed to simply be Well done. Sorry.

  4. Karen Snyder - August 10, 2021 11:22 am

    Heck, I am 78 years old, and sometimes even I need a bit of reassurance, someone to remind me about that thing called perspective. Thanks for the unfailing kindness you share, not only to that 9-year old, but to all of us, day in and day out.❤️ Prayers continue for you and yours.

  5. Nancy M Collier - August 10, 2021 11:39 am

    Love, Love, Love this post. Tomorrow is the first day back for my fourth-grade students. You’ve given me something wonderful to share with them. God bless!

  6. Suzi - August 10, 2021 11:40 am

    My day just got a little better, thanks for that simple reminder!

  7. Steve Leachman - August 10, 2021 12:13 pm

    It’s almost criminal what the so called scientists and TV talking heads are doing scaring everyone. Kids think they have no tomorrow because of climactic changes, COVID, you name it. None of what they’re told to be frightened of will happen. It’s all bunk. If you don’t believe me Google search newspaper articles from 100, 50, 25 years ago. Nothing changes for the MSM. Scare the crap out of people to sell papers and TV news shows.

  8. Barbara Shields - August 10, 2021 12:21 pm

    I am about 15 miles from FW. As long as the fave Joe T Garcias is still around, I am good. I saw Mick Jagger in F W in 65. The doc who delivered my baby in 72 had the cig too! You are alright, Sean…making the world a better place in your special way. I look forward to your missives each day. Thank you.

  9. Dee Jordan - August 10, 2021 12:22 pm

    This is one of my favorites. I love your voice as a writer!!! Very soothing to the soul to read your work.

  10. Paul McCutchen - August 10, 2021 12:26 pm

    I just hope meatloaf is not made with plants…

  11. Bob - August 10, 2021 12:30 pm

    I sure wish I could be as upbeat about the future. History has a cyclic and repetitive nature. If the country continues on the present course I believe we are all in “serious” trouble. And, if the toilet down the hall flushes in the middle of the night and I am all alone, my Doberman must be outside and I will have to reach for that double barrel ole grand pappy gave me. I do get the point.

  12. Lavonne Blake - August 10, 2021 12:53 pm

    Wish I were as optimistic, so hope you are correct!

  13. Molly - August 10, 2021 1:05 pm

    We all need to be reminded that there will be a future! Thank you 😊

  14. Dee Jordan - August 10, 2021 1:16 pm

    I am an optimist too. I feel that after millions of years of life, mass extinctions and life returning and flourishing with so much diversity (including mankind), there is always hope! Just use common horse sense in being careful, but go about your business of enjoying each day you have allotted to your life. I’m 72, and even in the home stretch, I’m quite optimistic!

  15. Cathy - August 10, 2021 1:33 pm

    The benefits of optimism are better than any pills. Thanks you for a dose of your medicine this morning. Tough times don’t last, tough people do. I have faith that better times are ahead of us and we will look back and say, you know, we made it through that terrible. Just like the folks who lived through the Great Depression. Thank you for your medicine

  16. Robyn - August 10, 2021 1:36 pm

    I ❤️You Sean!!! Keep on writing!!!

  17. Suellen - August 10, 2021 2:58 pm

    I wish I could post a video here that I saw last night of like a 9 or 10 year old kid really preaching it for 12 minutes straight and he kept returning to the theme TRUST JESUS. He was better at quoting scripture than I am. Someone is raising him right. He said what we are seeing is the Bible playing out so what do we have to be afraid of? Trust Jesus. I loved how he kept saying “Are you hearing me? Trust Jesus.” On a side note the doctor who delivered my middle child ran into the room as the nurses were trying to put on his garb he was sitting between my legs trying to finish his ham sandwich.

  18. Christina - August 10, 2021 3:00 pm

    That was fun ride! Thanks Sean

  19. Rhonda - August 10, 2021 3:20 pm

    Praise God for sanity.
    God will reckon with those who have used a virus as a tool of evil.
    God uses everything for good.Even this

  20. Linda Moon - August 10, 2021 4:49 pm

    Fort Worth holds lots of memories for Teen-Age-Me, but I lost the last love-letter written to me from a Fort Worth boyfriend. I made it to the future without him and his letter all these years later…and I’m okay. There is always a future, even if it’s just the one-billionth nano-second of time it takes to type the period at the end of my sentence here. And this closing word will take approximately three seconds to type: LOVE. Love makes it all okay.

  21. Tim - August 10, 2021 5:15 pm

    A meme I recently saw that is sooo true. A reporter interviewing a few Amish.
    Reporter: with the pandemic decimating communities all over, why does your Amish community seem immune?
    Amish: because we don’t have TV.

    • Cindy Foster - August 10, 2021 8:05 pm

      Me either!!📺 And I’m not Amish (but I love them)!

  22. Rebecca Souders - August 10, 2021 7:21 pm

    Another good one, Sean. Thanks.

  23. Peggy ALEXANDER - August 10, 2021 7:25 pm

    Now I agree with you Tim. Have FAITH in GOD. EVERY THING IS IN HIS HANDS ANYWAY.

  24. Connie Cagle - August 10, 2021 8:34 pm

    Thank you, God, for sending Sean and inspiring him to write. So glad you touch us through him.

  25. Ann - August 10, 2021 9:21 pm

    Well done!👏🏻👏🏻….everything is gonna be all right…

  26. Patricia Gibson - August 10, 2021 10:12 pm

    Well said🙏❤️

  27. CHARALEEN WRIGHT - August 10, 2021 10:41 pm

  28. MAM - August 10, 2021 10:54 pm

    The future is playing out as we type, and it becomes the present. Thanks for the optimism, Sean!

  29. Diann - August 13, 2021 2:41 pm

    I absolutely love how you relate to children. As a pediatric nurse and child advocate, one of the most important messages we as adults need to convey is that they will be “ok”. When children feel secure and loved they can accomplish anything. The Bible tells us that God stoops down to make us great (significant). What a beautiful example of fatherly love and compassion. Thank you for following that example by stooping down to make our children significant.


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