The Little Girl

There once was a little girl who lived in a tiny town, in the far off land of south Alabama. A beautiful little girl. A girl with braided brunette pigtails, chocolate eyes, skinned-up knees, and a cherub smile.

Hers was an era when men wore fedoras and women wore summer dresses. An era when bulbous, chrome-covered Fords and Chevys traveled 12 mph on the main drag. When distant radios sat in window sills, playing Bing Crosby, Eddie Fisher, and of course, Les Baxter.

From her earliest years, the girl’s favorite activity in the world was dirt. Oh, how she loved playing in dirt. She loved to put her hands in dirt. She loved squeezing dirt. She loved smelling dirt. Other girls played with porcelain dolls, others liked coloring books. She preferred straight mud.

Her daddy owned the hardware store. Her mama was a math teacher. They were your typical small-towners. Her father spent his days sitting behind a shop counter with a floor fan aimed at his sweaty face, selling roofing nails, fishing rods, and toilet lids. Her mother sat at a blackboard, teaching kids the cosine.

Meantime, if the little girl wasn’t playing in dirt, she was usually eating. She has always been a great lover of food. Namely, cake. Cakes of all kinds. But also candy bars. You never saw anyone love candy bars more.

Her favorite candy bars were as follows: Pay Days, Baby Ruths, Snickers, Almond Joys, Butterfingers, Heath bars, Milky Ways, Hershey’s bars, Mounds, Crunch bars, Kit Kats, Mars bars, Three Musketeers, Twix, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and pretty much anything else that comes in a wrapper and isn’t good for your teeth.

And don’t even get the little girl started on ice cream.

One of the girl’s inherent gifts was the ability to make flowers grow. She was good at it. Some people just are. This is why throughout the girl’s lifetime her fingernails were often dirty, her skirts were stained with soil, and her arms were usually tan.

When she got a little older she went to Huntingdon College, a Methodist school. She left her Alabama hamlet, driving in her first-ever automobile. She took Highway 31 straight up to Montgomery, seated behind the wheel of a giant gray Plymouth that looked like a seasick Moby Dick.

The car was junk. Sometimes it didn’t even crank. And once you got it going, if you braked at an intersection the engine would die. So she learned to completely ignore stop signs. A lifelong habit she would carry into old age.

Going to a Methodist college was fun. Like all good Methodist girls, she would often sneak beer into the dorms, icing longneck bottles in the lavatory sinks, trying hard to ignore the framed portrait of Jesus on the wall.

Late at night, the girls would all congregate in someone’s room, sitting on filthy dormitory floors, eating homemade cookies and smoking unfiltered cigarettes. They would burn the midnight hours laughing and discussing the philosophical topics that all devout Methodist girls discuss.

Methodist boys.

But mostly the girls just rode around in that hideous car. They took famously fun trips through town. And whenever the ugly car would approach a busy intersection, local traffic cops, who recognized the vehicle, would halt traffic to let the girl’s Plymouth blitz through the stoplight so she wouldn’t have to tap the brakes.

When the car rolled by, five or six beautiful girls leaned out the windows, blowing kisses to the patrolman, hair flying in the wind, all screaming, “Thank you, officer!”

And it was probably the greatest day of that officer’s life.

The girl eventually married. She settled down. She had kids. Three of them. Two girls and a boy. She had a cute house. A nice backyard. Many colorful flowers.

She did the usual mom stuff. She changed cloth diapers, attended school plays, went to Little League games. She was in Civic League, she made ridiculously good deviled eggs, and she could whip up a tomato chutney that made grown men see visions.

And then she grew old.

It all happened so fast that hardly anyone noticed. Why does age work like that? Why do the years get shorter? Why does life itself whirl past us at a breakneck tempo?

Her lifetime went by like a veritable blur. Often she wonders where it’s gone. It seems like only yesterday afternoon that her lean, youthful body was seated behind the great wheel of that godawful Plymouth.

Today, however, she lies in her hospice bed, drifting in and out of consciousness. She stares out her bedroom window, looking at her rainbow of geraniums, begonias, pansies, lantana, impatiens, and hydrangea-like clusters.

I’m sitting beside her, writing this.

My thoughts are interrupted when she struggles to speak through the confusion that overwhelms her mind. But eventually she gets the words out so that we can understand her.

“Please,” she says. “Don’t forget to water my flowers.”

We won’t, of course. We will never forget. Because we all know how much this girl loved playing in the dirt.


  1. Carol ROTHWELL - July 29, 2021 7:26 am

    No one can tell Mother Mary’s story like you Sean ! she’ll be watching and reminding you every day 😊Then one day in Heaven she’ll give you a great Big Hug! And say “I knew you would “❤️🙏

  2. Spence - July 29, 2021 7:43 am

    Sean, Your writing is so good and real it makes me tear up. Thanks.

  3. treygregory - July 29, 2021 7:51 am

    This part of the country makes the best people, and they have the best stories. — tg

  4. Roger Easley - July 29, 2021 8:32 am

    Sean, I am so grateful for discovering your writing, filled with humor and most of all, filled with heart. I know your heart must be filled with sadness now. Remember how much love you are sharing, and remember the legion of people who have gotten to know, and gotten to love, Mother Mary through you.

  5. Roger Easley - July 29, 2021 8:47 am

    Sean, I am so grateful to have discovered your writing, which is filled with humor, and most of all, filled with heart. I know your heart is filled with love for Mother Mary and with sadness, knowing she will pass away soon. Remember all the readers who–through you–have gotten to know, and gotten to love, Mother Mary.

  6. Bob - July 29, 2021 8:50 am

    God Bless!

  7. Elizabeth - July 29, 2021 9:27 am

    Ah Sean. Such a beautiful essay. We are praying very much for you all in this time. Continued love and prayers.

  8. david grant - July 29, 2021 9:29 am

    Thank you for sharing .

  9. Barbara Zuleski - July 29, 2021 9:30 am

    Aw, your mother in law, What a tribute, bless her and her family.

  10. Glenda E Hulbert - July 29, 2021 9:31 am

    As an “early bird”, I blitz through your blog posts every morning while reading my thousands of emails and rarely comment. HOWEVER, today I am so overwhelmed with this one, had to stop and let you know, that there are likely thousands of us who read you; smile or cry ~ and don’t do anything to let you know how much your reminesces mean to us. Thank you for all your efforts to conjur up yet another remembrance! And, please know that your wit and humor, and YES your “way with words” delight and enchant!!!

  11. Paul McCutchen - July 29, 2021 9:35 am

    I have been there. You would like to leave, if nothing else but to get something to drink, but you can’t make your legs move, so you stay and hope for a miracle or just one more day.

  12. Susan - July 29, 2021 10:03 am

    What a wonderful tribute to your Mother Mary. She is blessed to have you sitting by her bedside in her final hours. Praying for you all.

  13. Barbara - July 29, 2021 10:03 am

    That is the sweetest tale and delightful remembrance of a loved ones life. What a special gift you have and freely share it daily. This one invites us to view a special lifetime. Thank you for remembering the days of Mother Mary’s youth . . . and not just seeing her as an aged person. She is abundantly blessed by the loving care you & Jamie provide. God be with you all. 🙏❤️

    • Charlotte Asbury - July 29, 2021 4:53 pm

      I couldn’t say it better! My heart is with you and so are my prayers.

  14. Joan Moore - July 29, 2021 10:03 am

    There are no words for what this means to read this beautiful tribute to this beautiful woman.Tell her she has many people who love her. We are praying for God’s perfect healing.The Rose of Sharon is waiting for her. Love to Jamie.

  15. Leigh Amiot - July 29, 2021 10:09 am

    The story of her youth was lovely, the summer dresses, especially the ones with dirt on them. The young ladies blowing kisses to the officer as they breezed through the intersection…you took us there. I hope Mother Mary has re-lived this as she awaits her ultimate healing, and how wonderful it is she can see her flowers in the meantime. I understand her concern for them. I love to play in the dirt as well.

  16. Ernie - July 29, 2021 10:28 am

    It is incredibly kind of you to share this process with us. It would be so much easier to keep it to yourself. You are supported and loved as is your bride. Blessings and peace to mother Mary.

  17. Steve McCaleb - July 29, 2021 10:37 am

    A perfect tribute to a great southern lady.

  18. Donna W - July 29, 2021 10:42 am

    Rest in peace, Mother Mary.

  19. Susan Kennedy - July 29, 2021 10:48 am

    How blessed Mother Mary is to have a son-in-love as precious as you. 💙

    • Deborah Tinter-Dietrich - July 31, 2021 7:37 pm


  20. Suzanne Stephens - July 29, 2021 10:52 am

    Your writing always speaks to my heart. Love, hugs, and prayers for you and Jamie and Mother Mary.

    Love, Suzanne in Ludowici, Georgia

  21. Ginny Judson - July 29, 2021 10:52 am

    That’s probably the most beautiful thing you’ve ever written. I can see it, smell it, and feel it all.

  22. chris nischan - July 29, 2021 10:58 am

    What a wonderful legacy. Thank you for sharing. This is really helping me. Both parents are 88 and someday sooner than I want they will be on a journey down this same path. Sean you are such a blessing to so many of us. I know you are a blessing to to your wife and your mother in law. Lucky man

  23. Debbie g - July 29, 2021 11:03 am

    Mother Mary said it best for us. “Don’t forget to water my flowers “. All us flowers out here need you Sean bless you for watering us daily Love you and Jamie and mother Mary Praying
    for y’all

    • Bob E - July 29, 2021 12:01 pm

      Well said.

  24. Margaret - July 29, 2021 11:11 am

    We have all been blessed witnessing your family’s love of one another. We hope y’all feel all of our heartfelt blessings now.❤️

  25. Lori - July 29, 2021 11:26 am

    Our hearts hurt for you and Jamie and the family. Thanks for sharing Mother Mary with us. Your memories will give you strength as you walk with grief…but you already know that well Sean.

  26. Lois Goland - July 29, 2021 11:32 am

    Such a beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman!!

  27. Karen - July 29, 2021 11:44 am

    Thank you for sharing this loving tribute to that beautiful little girl.

  28. Donna M Fisher - July 29, 2021 11:47 am

    Beautiful. Thank you.

  29. Te - July 29, 2021 11:48 am

    We a blessed to be privy to Mother Mary’s passing. Each day, I hurry to read the next episode. This was a wonderful tribute to her life. It reminds me how much I missed: my parents died in their sleep, both at 89, in a nursing home. They didn’t die of anything. They just left. I like to believe their souls made a decision that it was time for their senile, frail bodies to give it up. I never felt grief over their deaths. Not everyone has a nurturing family, sad to say, but I look on death with a different view: they went home. More like, Home. That wonderful, happy, loving world we call “heaven.” “Summerland” to the spirit world. To die at the end of a long, well-lived life, to die in peace and surrounded by love and those held dear, is the natural order of things. Mother Mary did it right.

  30. Debbie Cloud - July 29, 2021 11:51 am

    Bless you as you memorialize her death!

  31. Bob E - July 29, 2021 11:56 am

    A beautiful tribute to a beautiful lady who led a beautiful life.

  32. Betty Lowery - July 29, 2021 12:02 pm

    Oh, Sean. I’m reading this with tears in my eyes. Your love shines through every word. Having lived through this with both my mom and dad, 6 years apart, under the care of hospice in our home (God bless all hospice workers!) I truly understand what you are going through, though no two situations are exactly the same, I know. I can empathize. I don’t know what I would have done without my husband being there with me at my side, loving my parents like a true son. Your wife will never, ever forget what you are doing for her mom, who you love and honor as if your own, and for her. Praying for you both. I know you are finding comfort in the many loving memories of this amazing women stored in the treasure chest of your heart.

  33. Debbie Oglesby - July 29, 2021 12:03 pm

    Your writing touches my heart and soul every day. You have such a gift and I thank you for sharing it with us. As one of the many who have sat by a hospice bed with a loved one my heart goes out to you and your wife. It’s never easy letting go.❤️❤️To you and Jamie.

  34. KAY JENKINS - July 29, 2021 12:05 pm

    Don’t know if this is your Mary’s last day on this side of the veil, but it’s the Feast of Mary and Martha today in the Catholic tradition. An especially good day to enter Heaven, wouldn’t you think? Love for all of you.

  35. Ann of Mobile - July 29, 2021 12:05 pm

    Your once upon a time in the real world story today, Sean, is too beautiful and moving for my feeble comments to adequately state, but I’ll try anyway. My 95-year-old mother passed away in hospice last month. She was a kindred spirit with Jamie’s mother. Thank you.

  36. Eliza Bragg - July 29, 2021 12:06 pm

    Thank you for sharing your mother-in-law’s journey with us! I’m so sorry for your loss!

  37. Denise Walker - July 29, 2021 12:06 pm

    a wonderful tribute. Thank you.

  38. Lori Klein - July 29, 2021 12:07 pm

    Thank you for helping us all know Mother Mary just a little bit. I wouldn’t have wanted to miss that.
    My heart goes out to you and Jamie. There’s never a good time to lose your mama. I am praying for all of you.

  39. Jo Ann P. - July 29, 2021 12:08 pm

    Thank you, Sean. What a lovely Mother Mary story. Probably most of us wish we had known her & had been given a ride in her awful car. What a blessing for her & for all of you her to be able to leave this world at home surrounded by family & friends. May your memories comfort you as Mother Mary heads off to her next adventure.

  40. Nan Williams - July 29, 2021 12:13 pm

    Beautiful tribute to Mother Mary. I know she loved you.

  41. Gina - July 29, 2021 12:33 pm

    Ahh Sean. You are describing my 91 y.o. mama. After raising 7 kids and working her butt off as an RN, working night shift, she finally retired. Mom and Dad moved to Morehead City, NC and she finally had a nice yard that wasn’t trampled by constant football games or tag or romping around by all of the neighborhood kids. She planted and planted and planted… until finally, recently, she couldn’t do it anymore.

    Those coastal Carolina summers are brutal when you aren’t right on the water. She would go for hours, pulling weeds, transplanting things… on past her 80’s. Sweat dripping from her, me fretting over her (or was it me fretting over me and how hot that I was?) She was fine, she said. Always fine.

    Your stories have so much heart and emotion. Tell Jamie that there is an entire army of Mother Mary fans out there. She is never alone. Neither are you.

    Gina in NC

  42. Teresa Brooks - July 29, 2021 12:35 pm

    That was a beautiful story. The most rewarding experiences from being a Hospice RN was listening to the patient and families stories. Thank you for bringing back the memories.

  43. Nancy Crews - July 29, 2021 12:35 pm

    ❤your writing. It is so hard at the end.

  44. Wendy - July 29, 2021 12:39 pm

    Thank you for sharing her and your pain unflinchingly with us. It’s beautiful all of it. I hope that we readers somehow can give back to you what you give to us. Whatever form it is through prayers, comments or holding you in our hearts. God bless you Sean and Jamie.

  45. Heidi - July 29, 2021 12:41 pm

    I feel like I’m sitting there beside you and Mother Mary. My heart is heavy for you and Jamie. Love & prayers to you all.

  46. Cyn - July 29, 2021 12:45 pm

    Your writings during this emotional time of letting go of your mother-in-law are so filled with love and compassion. These writings truly are a gift to your wife as she is struggling with the letting go as well. It is hard but she will get through it as will you and the rest of the family. There is no question that there was and is love for your mother-in-law.

  47. Beachdreamer1 - July 29, 2021 12:52 pm

    Love and prayers from so many, offering comfort the only way they can. I pray for peace for you all. Thank you for sharing your lives with us. God bless ❤️

  48. Bob Ross - July 29, 2021 1:08 pm

    A beautiful tribute to a wonderful lady. Your writings evoke so many memories of a kinder, gentler time and the many outstanding people who filled that time. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and reminiscences.

    • Christine A Carr - July 29, 2021 4:08 pm

      Thank you for sharing this very precious time. I was at my Mom’s bedside 56 years ago, as she was letting go of this life. It is a gift, albeit a hard one to accept at times. Prayers for your MIL’s journey home.

  49. Alison - July 29, 2021 1:09 pm

    Care and prayers to you, Jamie, and your family. May this be a sweet, sweet time of loving memories together. You have blessed your readers with a glimpse of a lovely woman’s life. Thank you.

  50. Sue Hales - July 29, 2021 1:19 pm

    My mother loved playing in the dirt also. She has been gone over 25 years and I still remember my dad saying, “If your mom dies outside playing in the dirt she will die happy”. Love and prayers to all of you.

  51. Elaine Price - July 29, 2021 1:20 pm


  52. Sandy Burnett - July 29, 2021 1:21 pm

    Praying for your entire family . May the peace of the Lord reign in your hearts during this time of transition for all of you. 🙏❤️

  53. Julie Moreno - July 29, 2021 1:26 pm

    May y’all feel the Lord’s presence during this time. Thank you for allowing us to know and pray for Mother Mary.

  54. Janie F. - July 29, 2021 1:30 pm

    Mother Mary is a blessed woman indeed for she knows great love. Thank you for this Sean.

  55. Mary Guenther - July 29, 2021 1:31 pm

    Love, hugs and prayers coming to all of you from me. What a wonderful tale of a wonderful woman who thoroughly enjoys life.

  56. AlaRedClayGirl - July 29, 2021 1:36 pm

    A beautiful story about Mother Mary….Love & Prayers to you and Jamie!

  57. C - July 29, 2021 1:39 pm

    Thank you.

  58. Stephanie - July 29, 2021 1:47 pm

    You don’t know it, but we have coffee together every morning. I silently sip as you share your world with me. The last couple days you’ve shared stories that we both have lived and my heart aches for you and Jamie. It aches in a way that words can’t describe, but you know it cause yours aches the same way right now.

    I just want you know, that even though we don’t really know each other, I love you and Jamie, and Mother Mary. And as much as I would love to ease your suffering right now, all I can do is pray for you and love you from a distance.

    You have been here with me every morning, faithfully as I laughed and cried. Please know that, at least in spirit I am with you during this difficult but blessed time. God speed my friend.

  59. Dee Frances.Hoomes Wichman' - July 29, 2021 1:51 pm

    Sorry that she is so sick. I will be 77 in Dec, was born in Brewton, and love flowers, although I probably love birds more. I also liked playing in the dirt but I also liked paper dolls. I often think it was all the playing in the dirt that has kept me free from arthritis and other ailments. I grew up drinking from a dipper on the back porch, as did every one else who got thirsty between meal times. If I drew a bucket of water from the well and it had a frog in it, I simply poured that bucket our and drew another one. Life was simple in Damascus and Hoomesville and it still is. Not so many people now but the memories of how it was last forever. I love you, Sean. Keep on keeping on.

  60. Suellen - July 29, 2021 1:57 pm

    As someone who is now watching her grandchildren grow like weeds I sometimes remember the days of my youth and wonder where the time went. We get so busy with life and next thing you know more of it is behind you than is ahead of you. I read yesterday’s blog and it hit me right in the gut. I found myself unable to comment. I was remembering my Mother lying on her death bed and the nurses telling us that they could tell when death was near because the person would start seeing people that had already passed over. After sleeping for hours and hours my Mother sat up and said “Mom mom mom” and I said “I’m Suzy” and she said “I know that” exasperated. I said “Do you want your Mom?” and she said “YES!” and laid down and went back to sleep. Those would have been beautiful last words but her last words to me were actually “SHIT I bet they don’t have a cigarette in this whole damn place.”

    • Cindy - July 29, 2021 5:44 pm

      What a horrible way to die!!🥺

  61. carolanncarlisle - July 29, 2021 2:07 pm

    A beautiful tribute to your mother-in-law. The love shared between you two is heartfelt. God bless.

  62. Tim Peace - July 29, 2021 2:12 pm

    These tributes…awesome expression of your love for someone so very special….

  63. Charlie Mathers - July 29, 2021 2:15 pm

    My friend’s last whispered wish was to take care of the horses and the children. She also asked for dahlias. She slowly breathed her last last week.

  64. Christina - July 29, 2021 2:15 pm

    Mother Mary is a little girl at heart, it’s what makes her so lovely!

  65. June Jones - July 29, 2021 2:17 pm

    Mother Mary left her earthly home with love surrounding her. Blessings to Jamie, you and the family.

  66. Betty F. - July 29, 2021 2:19 pm

    Not to jump the gun and not to be crass, but so many of us will want to honor the life of Mother Mary and your wonderful writing. Is there a cause dear to her heart, your heart or Jamie’s heart that we could donate to in her memory or in her honor?
    Please somehow let us know.

  67. KPD - July 29, 2021 2:27 pm

    Sean, these last few days have been some of your best and most heartfelt writing. With my Mom recently passing away I understand and feel your words at a deep level. I know your wife is falling in love with you more every day because of them and that your Mother-in-law Mary knows you are there each moment you spend with her. And while these are painful moments, they are also precious; to be there with a loved one who is crossing over into eternal life….wow. The quietness was very unexpected for me as well but I felt like it was preparing me for the empty spot I would feel once my mom passed on. I miss talking to my Mom in person but I still talk to her and ask for prayers from her everyday. I know she is still with me just like your Mother-in-law will continue to be in your hearts as well.
    Thank you for sharing with all of us. God Bless.

  68. Hope Ewans - July 29, 2021 2:30 pm

    Sean, please know you, Jamie, Mother Mary and family are in my prayers. I love you

  69. Karen Snyder - July 29, 2021 2:31 pm

    Mother Mary’s gonna live on in the hearts and minds of so many who never met her, thanks to your loving words. Prayers.🧡

  70. Mike Harris - July 29, 2021 2:33 pm

    Mother Mary would be proud of you for this one, brother.

  71. Andy Gartman - July 29, 2021 2:51 pm

    Praying for you, Jamie, and Mother Mary.
    Your preacher buddy.

  72. Jacqueline Arrington - July 29, 2021 3:05 pm

    This woman, little girl, is blessed to have such a wonderful family and writer to be next to her and pay tribute to a wonderful little girl, teenager, wife, mother and mother in law and grandmother during her time of passing. My heart and thoughts continue to stay with you.

  73. Cathy - July 29, 2021 3:27 pm

    Thank you, Sean, for caring so much for Jamie’s mother. You are all blessed for having such a special relationship. Prayers for your family.

  74. Crabby - July 29, 2021 3:28 pm

    Father God, I lift up Sean & his family to You today. They are hurting a hurt that never really heals. I pray You bless this family, strengthen them, comfort them & grant them the peace that can only come from You. Help them to remember that You are in charge of everything. Help them to remember that there’s only a breath between us and You. Help them remember that You are as close to us in bad times as You are in good times. Please surround them with the gift of Your presence and Your comfort. May the people they need & love be by their sides right now when they are most needed. When this burden becomes too heavy for them to bear, carry it for them, Lord. We thank You for family & the love that binds us generation to generation. May it never die. In the name of Jesus I pray, amen.

  75. Linda - July 29, 2021 3:31 pm

    I am so sorry for your family’s loss Sean.
    I loved your stories about her…
    When someone dies I think about their loved ones on the other shore waiting for her – saying , “ Here she comes, at last “
    You all cheered her on here and now her race is over ….
    May she Rest In Peace ….

  76. Kathy - July 29, 2021 3:32 pm

    Thank you for remembering more of Mother Mary than what is right now.

  77. Rhonda - July 29, 2021 3:40 pm

    Been there done that. God bless you

  78. Janie Gentry - July 29, 2021 3:41 pm

    I will think of your beautiful little girl when I water my flowers from now on.
    You and Jamie are in my prayers; Mother Mary is always there.

  79. Gini Longarzo - July 29, 2021 4:07 pm

    As soon as I saw where you were going with this story my throat closed up and my eyes started leaking! Beautiful Sean, just beautiful!!!

  80. A Adams - July 29, 2021 4:09 pm

    Your blog posts mentioning your mother–in-law have always been so funny, but loving; this week, they have been a beautiful picture of her, her life, and thank you for taking us a long as she prepares for her home in Heaven. I am sad to think about the day when you tell us she is gone. Prayers for you, your wife, and “Miss Mary” as she flies to Jesus.

  81. Chasity Davis Ritter - July 29, 2021 4:16 pm

    Oh mother Mary… the gardens you will have in Heaven will make our sky so beautiful at sunrise and sunset…. dont worry they’ll be sure to water your flowers.

  82. tammymoody - July 29, 2021 5:05 pm

    Through you, we will never forget Mother Mary! ♥

  83. brenjsan611770 - July 29, 2021 5:15 pm

    BEAUTIFUL!!!!! Nuff said.

  84. Heather Miller - July 29, 2021 5:29 pm

    Sean, thank you for sharing Mother Mary’s life, and your observations of her transition from this life to the next. You are so privileged to be sitting next to her right now. God bless you and Jamie. God bless Hospice.

  85. Kitty duke - July 29, 2021 5:43 pm

    This is wonderful. A real tribute to your mother in law, your love for your wife and your caring

  86. Linda Moon - July 29, 2021 6:02 pm

    Before I opened my morning emails, I wondered if Mother Mary was still with us. When I opened “The Little Girl” I wondered if the little girl would be Jamie or Mother Mary. And I read on to discover it was Mother Mary, who grew old. How very blessed she is to have you sitting beside her, writing her story. And how blessed we are to read about an Alabama dirt girl named Mary.

  87. mim - July 29, 2021 6:26 pm

    Prayers and thanksgiving..

  88. Claire - July 29, 2021 6:35 pm

    You are an amazing heart reaching writer! Love this story. Sad yes, but so beautifully described. Blessings!

  89. Rebecca Souders - July 29, 2021 7:01 pm

    This is a fine tribute, Sean. Peace to you and your family.

  90. johnallenberry - July 29, 2021 7:10 pm

    This is just lovely. I know of no greater honor than to be memorialized in writing by you. You and Jamie and Mother Mary are continually in my prayers.


  91. Suzanne Cahill - July 29, 2021 7:27 pm

    Sitting with a loved one as they prepare to cross over is at once one of the most difficult things in the world, and also one of the greatest privileges in the world. It’s a gift to the loved one, and it’s a lesson and gift to those who sit with them. It is love of the highest quality. I just wish it wasn’t so hard. Much love to you all.

  92. Apric73 - July 29, 2021 7:31 pm

    My family recently went to the lake a few days, & my mother was just beside herself on the way back to know whether all her plants had been watered. With MUCH relief she texted her relief that indeed they were green. Whew! The concerns/nerves of our green-thumbed relatives!

  93. Suzanne Moore - July 29, 2021 7:52 pm

    This was just beautiful, Sean. What a tribute. You made me love her.

  94. chrisswain3 - July 29, 2021 7:57 pm

    and don’t forget to grab a handful of dirt

  95. Celia Bass - July 29, 2021 8:24 pm

    You are speaking to my heart today, but then, you usually do daily. I can so associate with your Mother Mary in many ways. I too grew up just down Highway 31 in Canoe, west of Brewton. I too drove up Highway 31 to attend Huntingdon College even though I was not a Methodist but had a good friend who was going there. I grew up playing in the dirt, making mud pies and walking in the woods and pastures. I loved candy bars with Pay Days always my favorite, but would gladly eat any one. I’m now old (75), and feel that life has passed too quickly. And I know before too long that my time to leave this earth could occur at any moment. I truly hope that I have a daughter-in-law who will miss me, and love me as much as you obviously love your mother-in-law. What a blessing I’m sure you were to her, and she to you. Heartfelt sympathies to you and Jamie as you face the sad days ahead.

  96. Cathlyn J Unruh - July 29, 2021 9:09 pm

    I send you wishes for peace with my love at this tender moment.

  97. MAM - July 29, 2021 9:21 pm

    Your words about Mother Mary are as beautiful as the flowers she nurtured, and they will continue to remind you of her. Prayers!

  98. Beki D - July 29, 2021 9:52 pm

    Sean, not only are your words beautiful and heartfelt now, but they will be and will mean even more once Mother Mary has graduated to receive her crown. When you are in the midst of these type storms one focuses on getting through day by day, hour by hour. But once the storm has passed and those of us left behind have time on our hands I feel that both you, Jamie and siblings will be able to read these heart felt writings and appreciate them even more. The one regret I have of being with my Mama for several weeks before she passed was that I did not take notes or journal. In the midst of it I thought I will never ever be able to forget these feelings, emotions, acts of love from family and friends, words that Mama shared. But alas, that is not true. As time moves on and you get farther and farther away from it you still remember the sights, sounds, smells, and the emotional feelings, but some of the particular get lost over time. Treasure these moments, keep a written record of them not only for you, but for Jamie as well. Much love, hugs and prayers from way out in west Texas.

  99. Teresa Blankenship - July 29, 2021 10:11 pm

    🙏 She will have peace soon and plant a beautiful garden ❤️

  100. Debbie - July 29, 2021 10:34 pm

    She certainly hit the Son-in-Law Jackpot. Lots of prayers for all of you.

  101. Vicki - July 29, 2021 11:17 pm

    This made me think of my grandmother who, in her final days, directed where she wanted her flowers planted that she had gotten from the nursery but wasn’t healthy enough to plant herself. I’m grateful I was given a plant in her memory. God bless.

  102. Dorothy - July 30, 2021 2:21 am

    Sending you prayers and love.

  103. Judy Broussard - July 30, 2021 2:45 am

    Prayers for all of you.

  104. Kit - July 30, 2021 2:02 pm

    Families are blessed when they have at least one little girl like your Mary. Thank you, Sean, for prompting the rest of us to think about the little girls in our own families and to be grateful for them.

  105. CHARALEEN WRIGHT - July 30, 2021 2:27 pm

  106. Bill Harris - July 30, 2021 5:45 pm

    Thank you Sean. Your last three stories have truly touched my heart

  107. Hazel Barber - July 30, 2021 9:13 pm

    Praying for Mother Mary’s last days to be painless, peaceful and fill with special moments with you and Jamie by her side. You have blessed her exceedingly with your stories, humor and love. May God hold you all close. 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
    Hazel, Huntsville AL

  108. Wes - July 31, 2021 10:52 am

    Prayers for Mary, you and your family. These stories have touched me deeply and I greatly appreciate you sharing with us.

  109. Anne M Robinson - August 3, 2021 6:23 pm

    I am just thinking about how much writing saves ones life. You keep telling these beautiful stories. People need to hear them. God Bless you and your wife and phamily and GOD BleSS MOTHER MARY


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