By the time you read this, she’s already in Pigeon Forge, married, on a summer honeymoon. She’s been so excited about it she hasn’t been able to sleep.

She lives in a forty-foot single-wide trailer with her brother. She’s in her early thirties, but seems older.

And wiser.

It’s a nice place. Decorated. Frilly curtains. Laundry hangs in the backyard. Photographs on the coffee table. A few scented candles.

Her younger brother is making a sandwich in the kitchen. He’s skinny, tattoos cover his arms. He walks into the living room.

He hugs her before leaving and says, “Love you, Sissy, I’m working late tonight.”

To him, she is more mother than sister. She raised him. She did all things mothers do: diaper changing, wiping hindparts, and she’s washed enough laundry to populate the county landfill.

Her mother died when she was nine. She and her brother lived with their grandfather in this single-wide.

“I remember when I was thirteen,” she says. “I realized it was up to ME to be a mom.”

On the wall is a photograph of her grandfather. She’s in the photo, too. She is young, blonde. She stands behind the old man—arms wrapped around his neck.

“Cancer,” she tells me. “He was seventy.”

He was diagnosed when she was a sophomore. She cared for him during the last few years of his life.

On his final day, she drove him to the emergency room because he couldn’t catch his breath.

In a hospital bed, he told her, “I’m so sorry, baby. First your mama left you, now I’m leaving you.”

Those were his last lucid words.


I’m not here to write something that makes you feel sorry for her. She’s too exceptional of a person for pity. I’m writing about something else.

She met someone.

He is a fireman-paramedic. When they were first introduced, he asked her on a date. She refused.

“I’d never BEEN on a date,” she says. “I was so awkward and just so nervous that he would even ask me.”

He persisted. She gave in. He took her bowling. The thirty-two-year-old girl had never thrown a bowling ball before. They played billiards. She’d never done that either.

That night, she drank too much—it was her first time being drunk.

“He didn’t kiss me or nothing,” she said. “He carried me home, helped me onto the sofa.”

The next morning, he showed up on her porch with donuts, coffee, and jugs of Gatorade. He asked her on another date. Then another.

The rest is, more or less, history.

Anyway, by the time you read this, she’s already in Pigeon Forge, married, on a summer honeymoon. She’s been so excited about it she hasn’t been able to sleep.

There will be a lot of first times during the next few weeks for this kindhearted late bloomer. For instance, this is her first vacation. Her first time visiting Tennessee—or anywhere, for that matter.

This is the first time she’s left Alabama. The first time she’s been away from her brother.

Her husband is the first boy she ever kissed. And this is the first time she’s been happy.

She also tells me, “This is the first time in my life I feel like God actually notices me.”


Does he ever.


  1. Karen Greatrix - June 23, 2018 6:10 am

    Thank you for sharing the not so ordinary people of the world with us.

  2. Glenda H - June 23, 2018 8:23 am

    Oh boy, you did me in again! STOP IT, SEAN. Today I shared your post with my friend who has a red headed six year old. I do not know if he “got it” then I read him a post from a friend that featured an Og (Augustine) Mandino quote, another introduction. You are ranking up there with Zig Ziglar as an all time favorite of mine. You’re covered if you don’t know Og or Zig, Jaime will.

    • Judith Pierce Croxton - June 23, 2018 10:25 am

      I try to read your postings each morning. They make my day.

      I’m the early bird that makes the coffee, takes the puppy out, straightens things around the house and sees the sunrise.

      I have one special bird that flies into a tree close to my bedroom. He sings to me until he sees I’m moving. He likes being near our plate glass sliding doors…and then he’s gone.

      Thank you for every beautiful word you write.

  3. Sue Cronkite - June 23, 2018 12:21 pm


  4. Edna B. - June 23, 2018 12:53 pm

    Thanks for starting my day with a smile. I’m sure He notices everything. You have a wonderful day my friend, hugs, Edna B.

  5. Patsy - June 23, 2018 2:25 pm

    What a sweet, sweet story! Blessings on them! And, blessings to you for noticing the ordinary, which, in reality, is the extraordinary?

  6. Nancy Thomaston Rogers - June 23, 2018 3:16 pm

    How sweet. Good for her. You go Girl.

  7. Pat - June 23, 2018 4:42 pm


  8. Sandi in FL. - June 23, 2018 6:58 pm

    Sean, Sean, SEAN! So many of your delightful stories bring me to tears! It’s raining outside my home right now, and my eyes are ‘raining’ tears after reading this recent post of yours. Thank you for sharing about such happy endings for people who deserve it.

  9. Patricia Gibson - June 23, 2018 8:15 pm


  10. Jack Darnell - June 24, 2018 12:14 am

    I am definitely happy for this GIRL! I enjoy stories about late bloomers

  11. Steven P Bailey - June 24, 2018 3:25 am


  12. Joan Raines - June 24, 2018 1:21 pm

    Sounds like maybe she found someone who deserves her. Let’s hope.

  13. Toni Tucker Locke - June 24, 2018 4:39 pm

    Your writing captures the not-often-noticed among us with incredible genius. Thank you for sharing yourself with us!

  14. Janet Mary Lee - June 25, 2018 12:57 am

    I love those “little miracles”! Thank you for helping me to see them!!

  15. Debbie Shiflett - August 21, 2018 1:51 pm

    Oh my goodness! I love her! I’m so happy for her. You are the best Sean. How did you meet this wonderful young woman? Her story alone would be a wonderful book. I look forward to my time with you and my coffee every morning. God notices, oh yes He does.


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