Well Wishes

My phone vibrated. The first birthday text of the day came from the old man who coached my Little League team after my father died. He made a real impact on me during a time when I was most vulnerable.

“Happy birthday, Samuel!” he texted.

I was so moved. And although, technically, my name is not Samuel (it’s Sean), it is still nice to be remembered.

The next email I received was from a guy in Mayfield, Kentucky. He’s busy helping with the relief efforts after the devastation from the tornadoes.

“Happy birthday, Sean…” the man’s letter began. “I love you.”

I could not believe that in the midst of a veritable ground zero, this man took the time to wish me a happy birthday. This time, I cried.

Later, my phone vibrated again. An old friend who is currently undergoing cancer treatment in California messaged.

“Happy birthday, Sean…” was the gist of the email she sent during her chemo treatment.

This woman who is undergoing the worst trial of her lifetime paused to wish me well. My cup runneth all over the place.

Throughout the day, the phone rattled in my pocket nonstop. My mother texted. My sister. Old coworkers. My cousins. My uncles. My old employers. Someone with important information about my vehicle warranty.

And I got a text from my pal, Guillermo.

Ah, Guillermo. I met Guillermo in a Walmart parking lot many years ago. My heap-of-junk Buick had broken down. Guillermo saw me from across the lot, struggling. He fixed my engine although he did not speak a lick of Norte-Americano.

That night, I figured out that Guillermo was living in his car in the Walmart parking lot. He was camped there until he got enough money to fix his Honda’s transmission.

And since I speak fluent hand gestures, I asked him if he wanted to come live with me and my wife.

I will never forget the look on my wife’s face when I arrived home with a five-foot-one Mexican man and proudly announced that we had a new roommate.

Guillermo fit right in. My wife and I fell in love with him. In the evenings, I helped him practice English, and he would tell stories about Mexico, and about how much he missed his family.

Sometimes he’d start crying, and we’d awkwardly hug each other until one of us manfully cleared our throats and talked about football in his own language.

We haven’t talked in years. But today, I received his text which read: “¡Feliz cumpleaños!” Which, of course, for those who don’t speak Español, means: “You deserve more than three beers today.”

For the rest of the day, my phone pulsated like crazy. It vibrated right off the table and into the air vent at one point. I received a few thousand texts from old friends and family.

There was the text from my fourth-grade school teacher. I don’t know how she got my number. She texted:

“Happy birthday, Sean! Remember when you peed your pants in my class? LOL!”


There was a text from the elderly preacher from my childhood. His eyes are in poor condition due to cataracts, but somehow he managed to tap out a text, which read:

“Happy birthday to you,
“Happy birthday to you,
“Happy birthday, dead Sean,
“Happy birthday to you.”

I’ve never been so happy to be alive.

And the well-wishes kept coming. More emails, more messages, more texts. I received messages from people I’ve never met.

Like the teenager who was just adopted after spending a childhood in an abusive foster home. “Happy birthday,” he wrote.

The seventeen-year-old whose father committed suicide, just like mine did when I was a child. “I love you, Sean. Happy birthday.”

The kid with brain cancer who reads my stuff.

The young woman who is sleeping in a shelter tonight after running away from an abusive husband.

The single mom who is about to get married tomorrow morning at the courthouse.

The young man who just rescued his first bloodhound.

The Catholic priest. The Carmelite nun. The Episcopal priest. The Presbyterian preacher. The Methodist minister. No Baptists messaged, but hey, you can’t have everything.

The irony here is that when I was a young man, I went through life believing that nobody cared about me. It’s no secret that I come from a broken home.

Birthdays were always the worst. I hated them. They were the darkest, most miserable days of the year. But not anymore.

So to anyone reading this, I want you to know that you’ve changed all that for me. This column/blog/whatever-the-heck-you-call-it introduced me to you. And you, my friend, have altered the course of my life forever.

All my love,


  1. Peggy C - December 30, 2021 6:52 am

    One more of many to come—Happy Birthday!

    • Marilyn Friesen - December 30, 2021 5:16 pm

      Hi from a Mennonite.May you continue to be blessed for warming so many hearts.

  2. Amy - December 30, 2021 7:04 am

    Happy Belated Birthday! I enjoy your work very much.

    In lieu of a gift, when I saw this article, I thought of you. It’s only good until noon on Dec. 30th.


  3. Lois Oleson - December 30, 2021 7:15 am

    Happy Birthday Sean! You are a bright spot in my day and also to many of my friends. Thanks for being a light in a dark world!

  4. Christina - December 30, 2021 7:20 am

    Happy birthday Samuel Sean! We love you and are so grateful for your daily dose of vitamin s. Keeps us laughing, crying and hopefully more kind each day.

  5. Jacqueline Holmes - December 30, 2021 7:23 am

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY Sean, from Brewton Alabama and of the Baptist Faith, :>)

    • Norman Turnipseed - December 30, 2021 1:31 pm

      Happy birthday Sean from another Baptist.
      I take it that your birthday was yesterday the 29th.

  6. Phyllis McBride - December 30, 2021 7:46 am

    Happy birthday, Sean! I am a baptist and I love you! Looking forward to reading your next book!

  7. Naomi Smith - December 30, 2021 7:49 am

    Happy Birthday!! I hope your day is blessed beyond measure. ( I have no idea when your birthday arrived, but I pray that it was filled with happy memories.) I love to travel so I travel vicariously through reading.
    I enjoy reading your messages. It is usually one of the first emails of the day. I read them in the middle of the night. 1:40 AM now. As you get to be of a certain age, sleep is many times elusive. Except when you are desperately trying to stay awake! Lol. Strange how that works.
    Oh by the way, this is from an Arkansas Baptist!

  8. Donna Rotenberry - December 30, 2021 8:02 am

    Happy belated Birthday’ from a two o’clock in the morning reader. I look forward to your powerful stories every morning when I wake up too early because I miss my deceased husband and you, sir, give me hope to help others. May God bless you.

  9. Carole Couch-Moormann - December 30, 2021 8:07 am

    You touch everyone’s heart Sean, that is why so many people wished you a happy Birthday. I did not know it was your birthday and of course i do not know your phone number or I would have texted you. So Happy Birthday.

  10. Debbie Roberson - December 30, 2021 8:16 am

    Happy Birthday Sean

  11. 🇿🇦Norma Den - December 30, 2021 8:25 am

    Happy whenever birthday from South Africa. The more wishes the merrier. Good bless from a Presbyterian but raised Baptist ✝️

    • Sandra Futch - December 30, 2021 12:07 pm

      You touch my heart every day! Thank you and Happy Birthday!

  12. Karla - December 30, 2021 8:34 am

    Happy Birthday! He that has the most birthdays, lives the longest! Maybe you have a lot more birthdays@

  13. Liz Hoyt Eberle - December 30, 2021 8:39 am

    Dear Sean, HAPPY BIRTHDAY. You, my BFF, have had your life altered forever because YOU are a loving man, a friend to strangers, a good guy. YOU have eased burdens of so many of us,YOU tell the truth, you LOVED your mother-in-law, you ADORE AND LOVE your wife and treat her with respect. We LOVE you because you give us love EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Even on OUR bad days. Ooh…and you write exceptionally WELL. 🤗
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY from a Texan living out my last years in Washington state. 🎂🎂💕💕🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🎂🎂

  14. Laura W - December 30, 2021 9:31 am

    Happy belated birthday Samuel! Your column/blog is the first thing I read every morning, starts my day properly.

  15. Frank - December 30, 2021 9:56 am

    Happy Birthday, Sean! Just FYI, you make a difference.

    • Kate O’Rourke - December 30, 2021 12:17 pm

      I join the legions who stumbled upon one of your posts and fell in love with reading you every day. Happy Birthday, Sean, from upstate New York. You sure do make a difference! Thank you from the bottom of my heart. ☘️🎂🎶💕

  16. Leigh Amiot - December 30, 2021 10:04 am

    Usually I can stifle laughter in the pre-dawn hours while my husband is still sleeping, but I lost it on “Happy Birthday, dead Sean”. So glad you are still among the living! Happy [belated] Birthday, living Sean/Samuel, and many more!
    🎂 🥳 🎉 🎁 🎈

  17. Susan H Poole - December 30, 2021 10:05 am

    Sean ~ you precious, precious man who everybody loves! Happy belated Birthday.

  18. Marilyn Vance - December 30, 2021 10:18 am

    Well, I’m not a Baptist minister but I’m a pretty good front row Baptist, so happiest of birthdays from Georgia from an Alabama transplant! Keep the giggles and tears coming…I look forward to opening my e-mail every morning!

  19. Beth Kinstler - December 30, 2021 10:38 am

    Happy belated birthday, Sean. You can add “Jewish” to the list!

  20. chris nischan - December 30, 2021 10:59 am

    Sorry I missed the chance to say Happy Birthday Sean! Sounds like it was a great day

  21. Dianne DeVore - December 30, 2021 11:16 am

    Happy Belated Birthday, Sean…..
    And many more.

  22. Steve Winfield (Lifer) - December 30, 2021 11:25 am

    Sammy, Sammy, Sammy. Happiest of Birthdays to ya. Without doubt my life improved when I discovered you. I would not miss a day.
    Hug the wife & dogs for me.

  23. Ernie - December 30, 2021 11:35 am

    Belated Baptist birthday blessings!

  24. Dana - December 30, 2021 11:55 am

    You are a gift to us all. Happy birthday from another Methodist preacher

  25. Bev - December 30, 2021 11:56 am

    Happy Birthday to one of the best ways to start my day! (Truly, your wife is amazing!)

  26. Irene - December 30, 2021 12:02 pm

    Happy birthday Sean. I hope you have a yay day!

  27. Kay Britton - December 30, 2021 12:04 pm

    Happy Birthday, Sean. You always make my day. You deserve the very best.

  28. Debbie - December 30, 2021 12:10 pm

    Happy Birthday Samuel/Sean!! You DO make a difference in this Southern Baptist’s mornings.

  29. Susan Hatfield - December 30, 2021 12:11 pm

    And YOU, my dear , are a gift! Happy Birthday!

  30. Dee Cook - December 30, 2021 12:19 pm

    Happy birthday Samuel Sean! Enjoy many more! The world is a better place with you in it.

  31. Cynthia - December 30, 2021 12:22 pm

    Happy birthday, Sean! Here’s another greeting from a Baptist! I’m sure you feel all the love and hugs from these messages.💛

  32. Polly Monica - December 30, 2021 12:26 pm

    Happy birthday Sean! Hope you have a wonderful yeat! Stay safe out there!!

  33. Janet W. - December 30, 2021 12:27 pm

    Just finished reading “The Incredible Winston Browne” and loved every page! Happy birthday, Sean!

  34. cartynol8 - December 30, 2021 12:29 pm

    Dear Sean, you are deeply loved by all of us who read your blogs daily. Nearly every day starts this way for me, and most of the time I end up crying happy, cleansing tears. Love you, Nanny Granny

  35. Judy+Mercer - December 30, 2021 12:32 pm

    Happy, though belated, birthday wishes to you, Sean/Samuel! Thank you for touching our hearts, tickling our funny bone and bringing back the reminders that.there are still good people everywhere!!!

  36. Pat - December 30, 2021 12:39 pm

    Sorry I missed your birthday. I wasnt aware of it. But Happy Birthday!
    Is you mom still alive?
    Does it hurt her feelings t0 hear you talk about your sad childhood? You said your birthdays were the darkest days of your life. Wasnt she around?

  37. Mary - December 30, 2021 12:44 pm

    Thanks for sharing your bright shine every day. ❤️❤️❤️

  38. DeWayne Wells - December 30, 2021 12:46 pm

    Happy Belated Birthday, Sean, from another Baptist. You know us Baptist, we’re late to everything except desserts at a church potluck. Your emails come in the middle of the night and are one of my “eye openers” along with my morning coffee. Keep up the good work, brother, and may you have a prosperous 2022.

  39. Virginia Russell - December 30, 2021 12:46 pm

    Happy Birthday from another Presbyterian 🎉🎉🎉

  40. Susan - December 30, 2021 12:51 pm

    Happy Belated Birthday, Sean! 🥳🎂

  41. Bill Jones - December 30, 2021 12:59 pm

    Happy birthday, Sean. From a Baptist!

  42. Mary Botto Causey - December 30, 2021 1:02 pm

    Happy Birthday from a Baptist!!!

  43. Sharon Truman - December 30, 2021 1:04 pm

    Like others have stated, your column is the first thing I read every morning and is part of my devotion time. I look forward to the inspiration, hope, and humor you give us all. I’m responsible for a retirees (where I used to work) Christmas luncheon every year. And every year I choose one of your columns to share with them; they love it! You and Jamie have had a hard year, yet you continue to bring comfort and joy to others. Wishing you the happiest of birthdays. BTW, I met you in Reeltown, AL a while back; felt like I had met the President.

  44. John - December 30, 2021 1:12 pm

    Happy birthday Samuel (Sean). May your day be blessed. From a Texas Baptist.

  45. Vanessa - December 30, 2021 1:19 pm

    Happy Birthday, dear Sean from your devoted reader in Houston, Texas. You bless my every morning with your beautifully, artfully crafted words. I love you!

  46. Rebecca Burrell - December 30, 2021 1:20 pm

    Happy Belated Birthday from a Baptist!

  47. Trish - December 30, 2021 1:22 pm

    “ to live a conscious life, we need to constantly refine our listening “ John O’Donohue
    Happy Birthday!! Thank you for helping us become better listeners 😄

  48. Trisha Knudsen - December 30, 2021 1:25 pm

    Belated but most Happy Birthday to YOU, Dear Sean! Your writing is the highlight of my day and I share it around like I’m sprinkling confetti!

    Here’s to you, Cheers to you!
    Thanks for everything you do
    To make the world a little brighter
    and every load a little lighter

    God bless you now, God bless you ever
    And may you live with Him forever
    Some fine and happy future day
    For writing all He asked you to say

    I love you, too – we all do!
    Trisha xo

  49. Joey - December 30, 2021 1:26 pm

    Dear Sean of the Dead,
    You share a birthday with my son and husband. All great men!

  50. Diane White - December 30, 2021 1:27 pm

    Happy Birthday!
    So glad you were born!

  51. dianakinser55 - December 30, 2021 1:28 pm

    Happy birthday week, Sean! May you be filled with the blessings you give to others. And that is more than one can count on by all your fingers and toes! Thank you!

  52. janicecarlike - December 30, 2021 1:28 pm

    Baptist here! Happy birthday!

  53. Randy McGhee - December 30, 2021 1:31 pm

    Happiest of birthdays to you Sean aka Samuel! I look forward to reading your posts first thing every morning and have passed them on to dear friends. You are very special and hope you realize it some day!

  54. Trudy - December 30, 2021 1:40 pm

    Happy Birthday, Sean. The world was blessed when you entered it. I read your column/blog before I get out of bed every morning. Sometimes I’m ashamed that I read it before I read my Bible. This Baptist loves you.

  55. Jan - December 30, 2021 1:41 pm

    Happy Birthday to one of the best writers and best human beings ever. Thank you for sharing life with us and making each day better!

  56. Lois Evans - December 30, 2021 1:41 pm

    Happy Birthday! And I am Baptist!😃

  57. Pat Hephner - December 30, 2021 1:48 pm

    I look forward to your columns every single day! It is a bright spot! So glad you had such a blessed birthday with so many special moments. Thank you for being you and sharing yourself with us! ❤️

  58. Joyce Anders - December 30, 2021 1:53 pm

    Happy Birthday from 84 year old Joyce and my cat, Princess.

  59. Tammy S. - December 30, 2021 1:59 pm

    Happy Birthday, Sean! You & your kindness are a gift to so many! We are grateful for you!! Love to you and your beautiful bride!

  60. Jeannine Auth - December 30, 2021 2:01 pm

    Happy Birthday and a wish for many more good days and good health! Appreciate your writing every day.

  61. Holly Denton - December 30, 2021 2:04 pm

    Happy Cake & Ice Cream Day, Sean!!

  62. Beth - December 30, 2021 2:05 pm

    Love this blog this morning! Happy Birthday, Sean – and, yes, I am also a Baptist (in Methodist clothing and membership since my husband is a Methodist minister! LOL) But in all reality I am a non-denominationalist. Love you.

  63. Jarvis Deborah - December 30, 2021 2:11 pm

    Happy Belated Birthday, Sean.
    You are loved by your readers.
    And Jamie certainly knew what she was doing when she picked you out!
    If more men could express their love half as well as you do, there would be a LOT fewer divorces!
    Many wishes for a wonderful 2022 for you and Jamie.
    We cried right along with you and her during the sad 2021 times.
    Looking forward…
    Deborah in Albertville

  64. Melissa Armstrong - December 30, 2021 2:12 pm

    I don’t always comment, Sean, but I read what you write everyday. You don’t disappoint me. Sometimes it’s so tender I cry. Most times I smile at what you’ve written. Keep writing; I’m reading. I’m glad your birthday was a good one.

  65. Sammy Ford - December 30, 2021 2:15 pm

    Happy Belated Birthday

  66. Mike Fletcher - December 30, 2021 2:16 pm

    Happy Birthday, Sean, you make all of our days brighter. I hope this one is really bright for you.

  67. terric - December 30, 2021 2:19 pm

    Happy birthday Sean! Love you much.

  68. Bob E - December 30, 2021 2:19 pm

    You may be a year older but you haven’t lost your (humor) touch.
    Have a great year and more.

  69. Beverly Patterson - December 30, 2021 2:21 pm

    Happy Birthday Sean from a Presbyterian! Your blog is a blessing to my family. Thank you from the heart of my heart!!

  70. Lamar Martin - December 30, 2021 2:22 pm

    You are loved and respected.❤️❤️❤️ Don’t ever forget that. 😁😁🎉🎁🎈🎊🎂

  71. Bonnie - December 30, 2021 2:27 pm

    Happy Birthday, whenever the day really is. Love your writing!

  72. Susie - December 30, 2021 2:30 pm

    Sean, the day you were born, the angels in heaven turned summersaults in celebration!! (This was in a birthday card my mom gave me one year.). I’m passing it on to you.

  73. Pam Phelan - December 30, 2021 2:30 pm

    Sean , the first thing I do each and every morning is read your column. Makes my day. If I could figure out how to use the cap feature on this iPad I’d be using exclamation points. I’m also a huge dog lover, which is not to say I’m huge, just love dogs. !!!!!! Wow, just found it! Thank you for making each better for me and my little rescue dog Dollie. AKA The Doll.
    We love you Sean and Jamie and Every dog you’ve ever had and will have in the future
    Pam and the doll

  74. Melanie - December 30, 2021 2:37 pm

    Happy Birthday, Sean Dietrich: published author, accomplished musician, loving husband, extraordinary dog dad, local celebrity. You done real good, Sean. ☺️

  75. Linda J Hendrix - December 30, 2021 2:39 pm

    Happy “belated” birthday, Sean! Well wishes & much love, from an ole’ retired Alabama lady to whom your writings bring much joy! You are admired & loved by so many people you have never met, that is until we walk through those Pearly Gates!

  76. Shirley Gilliland - December 30, 2021 2:41 pm

    Happy Birthday from a Methodist. I also start my day with your column.☕🥓🧇

  77. Joyce - December 30, 2021 2:48 pm

    Happy birthday Sean!! Enjoy your day!

  78. Ann Bodiford - December 30, 2021 2:58 pm

    Happy Belated Birthday from Monroeville, Alabama,! I know it was a good one with all of the HAPPY BIRTHDAY messages. May you and your wife have a very SAFE & HAPPY NEW YEAR.
    I love reading your stories every day!

  79. Kathy - December 30, 2021 3:04 pm

    I didn’t know the day, but I give thanks for you often and especially today. Happy Belated Birthday!

  80. Audrice - December 30, 2021 3:07 pm

    Sean, you make me laugh. You make me cry. You touch my heart so many days. Have a blessed and happy day today, even if your birthday has passed. I’m glad you were born.

  81. linda keenum - December 30, 2021 3:17 pm

    Happy Belated Birthday, Sean. I am so glad people care for you and send you best wishes and love. So do I!!!!

  82. Brenda Stone - December 30, 2021 3:20 pm

    Happy Birthday 🎁! I hope your day was as special as you are!

  83. Cynthia Lynn Staton - December 30, 2021 3:23 pm

    If your birthday was yesterday (12/29), so was mine! Hope your birthday was grand. And this is from a lifelong Baptist.

  84. Kathy Smith - December 30, 2021 3:27 pm

    Happy Belated Birthday, Sean! I just discovered your blog a few months ago thanks to a dear friend who forwarded it to me. I look forward to reading it every morning with my cup of coffee. It is such a blessed way to start my day reading about all the love out there in this world. You are an angel sent to show all of us the love that still exists for our fellow men/women. Thank you, Sean!

  85. Patricia A Schmaltz - December 30, 2021 3:32 pm

    Rats! Missed your birthday! Happy belated. I NEVER miss your posts/blog/writing. They truly lift me up everyday. As my new bracelet from the grandkids reads “Love you to the moon and back”. Truly. Thank you for sharing your heart.
    Patricia (aka PiePie)

  86. Shelton A. - December 30, 2021 3:41 pm

    Happy Birthday, Sean! Hope Jamie fixed you all your favorites for dinner and the dogs didn’t get all of it. You brighten the lives of so many, you move us to tears, you help us find good in the world. Happy Birthday, Samuel, uh, Sean, and many more to come! God bless you and Jamie.

  87. susanfoster04 - December 30, 2021 3:46 pm

    Happy Birthday, dead Samuel. Thank you for the laughter & a very personal message of hope.

  88. Charlotte Lee - December 30, 2021 3:47 pm

    A belated but very sincere wish for a happy birthday and many more to enjoy. You bring love and laughter, comfort and peace to us through your writing. May it return to you a thousand fold❤️

  89. Cathy M - December 30, 2021 3:50 pm

    Well, if you don’t think you are successful, just read all the love letters today. You are to be celebrated for sure. I wish we had all been able to gather for cake and ice cream. You would have been worn out from all the hugs and love. I am 73 and although blessed with a wonderful family I am surrounded by friends who are ill and many who have passed away. It’s just the stage of life that comes with age. Reading your blog every morning keeps me centered and hopeful. I met you once in a church parking lot in Birmingham and we had a great visit. I felt like I had met Elvis. Happy belated birthday to a man who is very important in my life. And I am just one of hundreds who feel the same. I love you to the moon and am so thankful to your mother for birthing you. She gave all of us a gift

  90. NancyB - December 30, 2021 3:55 pm

    Not sure the actual birthday date, but this life-long back row Baptist is adding my wishes for a wonderful birthday! I’m glad so many people reached out to help you celebrate. (Of course, you deserve the happiest and best of days everyday, birthday or not!)

  91. Barbara - December 30, 2021 3:57 pm

    Happy birthday, Sean! I really enjoy your writing. Thanks for all you do to enrich my life!!

  92. Linda Moon - December 30, 2021 3:58 pm

    Happy Birthday! I’ll be going for treatment later today, so how about if I just add “Well Wishes” to you, me, and others with birthdays or treatments….is that O.K. with you? I love you, Samuel.

  93. Betty Martinez Lowery - December 30, 2021 4:07 pm

    Happy birthday, dear Sean. You, and your column, mean a lot to me.

  94. Spence Bilbo - December 30, 2021 4:08 pm

    Happy Belated Birthday, SAMUEL. Glad to hear it was great!

  95. Sally - December 30, 2021 4:09 pm

    Happy birthday Sean
    – a Canadian

  96. David K Karem - December 30, 2021 4:13 pm

    I had not read your writings until today when a friend sent me this story. This caused me to read others and as you will understand the piece on Kentucky after the tornado was greatly appreciated. Your work in some ways reminds me of writings by Roy Herron a former Tennessee state senator. He is a friend and author of “Things Held Dear”, Soul Stories for My Sons. I hope you have read that book or other of his works because they will touch your southern heart.

  97. Don+Gardner,+Jr - December 30, 2021 4:13 pm

    Happy Birthday Samuel, or Sean, or whoever you are! LOL

  98. Steve Rafferty - December 30, 2021 4:26 pm

    Happy Birthday Sean!!! Love your outstanding prose!! What a gift during these troubled times!

  99. Karen Stephens Bassett - December 30, 2021 4:29 pm

    Happy Blessed Birthday!

  100. Susie Flick - December 30, 2021 4:33 pm

    Birthday wishes and blessings on your special day – enjoy and celebrate YOU!

  101. Cynthia Woods - December 30, 2021 4:34 pm

    Sew love and kindness and mercy and that’s what you will reap! Get a bigger basket, Sean. Happy Birthday Blessings to you, dear one! 🎉🎂🎉

  102. Stacey Wallace - December 30, 2021 4:41 pm

    Sean, Happy Birthday! You’ve just heard from a Baptist. Love to you and Jamie.

  103. Susan L Wolf - December 30, 2021 5:00 pm

    And happy belated birthday, Sean. I really do know what you mean. . . I have three children, none of which contact me for my birthday. I have two stepchildren, one of which will text me. I have several former stepdaughters and they almost always wish me Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas and Happy Mother’s Day. We just put the love out there and sometimes it comes back to us from unexpected corners.

  104. Helen De Prima - December 30, 2021 5:00 pm

    You wouldn’t be the comfort you are today to many without your early stresses and sadness. Delayed rewards.

  105. Teresa Clabots, MD - December 30, 2021 5:09 pm

    The happiest of birthdays to you . You make my day brighter every day.

  106. Evie Boston - December 30, 2021 5:11 pm

    God grant you many many years 🙏.

  107. Carol - December 30, 2021 5:12 pm

    I’m late but Happy birthday Sean, I love you.

  108. Phil - December 30, 2021 5:26 pm

    been reading your daily writings for a few years now – never knew we shared a birthday! would imagine we are probably about the same age as well. happy birthday! p.

  109. Kathryn - December 30, 2021 5:43 pm

    Happy Birthday and best wishes for a safe and healthy New Year. Your column is a wonderful capture of life events that leaves me smiling, laughing, and/or crying and often gives me goose bumps. Thank you for sharing with us.

  110. Shirley - December 30, 2021 6:24 pm


  111. Anne Arthur - December 30, 2021 6:31 pm

    Happy birthday, Sean.
    Lots of joy in your life, health, happiness, lovely writing ideas to flow from your pen (aka laptop), and many more happy birthdays that bring you joy and fulfilment.

  112. Tess Enterline - December 30, 2021 6:37 pm

    Belated Happy Birthday wishes, Sean! Can’t count the number of times your writing has given me a lift. Sending love & a hug to you!

  113. Joan Busby - December 30, 2021 6:53 pm

    Happy Birthday, 🥳 Happy almost New Year! And thanks for the cheer and good will you spread. You start my day with sunshine 🌞

  114. Patricia Gibson - December 30, 2021 7:11 pm

    Happy Birthday 🎈 Mine was the 29th. Great people born in December. Love you ❤️

  115. MAM - December 30, 2021 7:12 pm

    Happy Birthday yesterday, today or whenever it was/is to Sean AKA Samuel. And I love the little tidbits of humor always tucked into every story. You are our gift everyday!

  116. Chasity Davis Ritter - December 30, 2021 7:14 pm

    Sounds like the best kind of birthday Sean. I’m glad you know you’re loved because you truly are!!

  117. Laura McAliley - December 30, 2021 7:15 pm

    Happy Belated Birthday from a lapsed Baptist. I’m a dedicated Christian, but I am done with the Baptist aspect of that. Anyway, I wanted to complete your collection of Birthday wishes. Your column brings me joy every day, and I am happy to have you as an event to look forward to every day.

  118. Sandi. - December 30, 2021 7:26 pm

    Happy belated birthday to you, Sean. Seems I recall that your actual birthday is sometime in November, but I wish you would please tell us readers the precise date so we can mark it on our calendars for 2022! Happy New Year to you and Jamie.

  119. Connie - December 30, 2021 7:51 pm

    Thank you for being you and sharing you with the rest of us. And on this day, the celebration of the day God made you, I thank God for YOU!! Happy Birthday!!

  120. Jackie Lavin - December 30, 2021 7:53 pm

    Happy birthday dear Sean. I love you you precious man.

  121. Becky+Souders - December 30, 2021 8:01 pm

    Growing up, my family always sang a second verse: “God bless you today. God bless you today. God bless you, dear Sean. God bless you all-way.” Yup.

  122. Jane - December 30, 2021 8:14 pm

    You share a birthday with one of my favorite people. She turned a very lively 80!! So, another Happy Birthday from a reader who started life as a Quaker, moved to the Pentecostals upon marriage, back to the Quakers and currently a member at a Baptist church! More importantly, I’m a follower of Jesus!! Thanks for all of your writings, I don’t miss a column. Sounds like a great birthday! Lots of love coming back to you from some seeds sown long ago! Hope 2022 brings you and Jamie more happiness than you can imagine.

  123. Kathi harper-hill - December 30, 2021 8:25 pm

    Happy Birthay, Sean. From a Baptist who is too cheap to pay for texting. But I did wish you HB on facebook.

  124. Nan - December 30, 2021 8:53 pm

    Happy, Happy Birthday, Samuel!!!!

  125. Betty - December 30, 2021 9:42 pm

    You deserve the happiest of birthdays & nothing but good things in 2022 for all the joy you bring to so many.

  126. marilyn Youngkin Hmmmm - December 30, 2021 10:08 pm

    Happy Birthday! I read your column daily’. It is just wonderful. However, I feel a bit sorry for your Mother. I would assume she did the very best she could under the circumstances. Maybe , a column about her like you did forMother Mary would mean so much to her. As a Mother. I know it would certainly mean so much to me.

  127. Karen Snyder - December 30, 2021 10:13 pm

    Here am I, also a day late and a dollar short, but who knew? It seems a small thing to just send happy birthday wishes to someone who gives so much to so many, but that’s all I got. Maybe we can look into getting the brass band and balloons next year. 😉 Seriously, I hope it was a wonderful day. We all love you. ❤️

  128. gracegems777 - December 30, 2021 10:29 pm

    Your writing has been a great encouragement during this awful year. My wife died in August and this 74 yr old Methodist pastor has felt really blue sometimes, but your column always makes me glad to be alive! BTW I was a Baptist pastor before I discovered the grace emphasized in my church.

  129. Cathy - December 30, 2021 10:56 pm

    And happy belated birthday, Sean! I start most of my days with coffee and you (and many times a Kleenex). I hope you have a fantastic 2022 but know you will because that’s the kind of guy you are now – – always turning lemons into lemon meringue pie! With love from a Methodist in western North Carolina.

  130. dkwhitepoboxcom - December 30, 2021 11:00 pm

    Happy Birthday, Sean, from a somewhat Baptist.

  131. Sean of the South: Well Wishes | The Trussville Tribune - December 30, 2021 11:10 pm

    […] By Sean Deitrich, Sean of the South  […]

  132. Steve McCaleb - December 30, 2021 11:27 pm

    Kid (relatively speaking), you deserve every good thing that comes your way. You are the voice of hope, of optimism in a world that has collectively lost it’s everlovin’ damned mind. Keep on keeping on….please.

  133. Erv Riley - December 31, 2021 12:15 am

    “Love you” just doesn’t seem like enough to tell you how much you are appreciated.

  134. Jean - December 31, 2021 12:25 am

    Happy Happy Birthday to one of the nicest guys and one of the most talented writers I know. I hope it was a wonderful day with cake!!

  135. Suellen - December 31, 2021 12:40 am

    Happy Birthday.

  136. Wanda Dupree - December 31, 2021 12:51 am

    Hope all the birthday wishes and love sent on your special day will be a continual blessing to you well into the new year- Keep the faith!

  137. Sharon Larson - December 31, 2021 1:02 am

    Happy Birthday Sean! It sounds like you have had a joyous day and I am thankful. I wish you and Jamie a great year in 2022. I feel like I know you since I have been reading your column and I told my grown kids that I want to adopt you two! We live in NC and are blessed with children and grandchildren. There is always room for more and we want you to have family as well. So, if you are in NC we would love to meet you.

  138. Edna Isdell - December 31, 2021 2:06 am

    Happy birthday and I read your columns every day and enjoy them.

  139. Ann - December 31, 2021 2:16 am

    Happy birthday …YOU are the gift!

  140. Pokey Gustafson - December 31, 2021 2:19 am

    Happy birthday to a wonderful and well-loved guy!

  141. Fulvia Petrelli - December 31, 2021 2:35 am

    Happy Birthday Sean!

  142. Cathy Davis - December 31, 2021 3:21 am

    Happy Birthday. This year you have let me know I’m not alone. I wish you nothing but the best.

  143. Beryl - December 31, 2021 4:00 am

    Happy Birthday Sean!

  144. Donna Hart - December 31, 2021 4:38 am


  145. Debbie g - December 31, 2021 5:39 am

    Happy birthday Sean and what Ann.said . “You truly are the gift where would I have been without you You have made my life better Blessings back to you. Love to you and Jamie and love to us all

  146. Johnna Clarke - December 31, 2021 8:23 pm

    Happy Belated Birthday, Sean! Your column notifications arrive in my inbox in the wee hours of the morning. My husband and I often are awake, and when we hear the ping, we both say simultaneously, “It’s Sean!” So I read your column aloud for both of us to enjoy, often with sweaty eyes. Best wishes for a new year and many blessings to you and Jamie.

  147. Mary - December 31, 2021 10:08 pm

    Happy belated birthday and happy New Year

  148. Stan - December 31, 2021 11:27 pm

    Happy Belated Birthday Sean !! Thanks so much for bringing some light into this dark world. God Bless You !!

  149. Tawanah Fagan Bagwell - January 1, 2022 3:22 am

    You mean a lot to me too. I am so glad that you have evidence of what you mean to your followers.

  150. Martha - January 1, 2022 4:17 am

    Happy Birthday! I too just had a birthday. Hope yours was good, mine not so much

    • Ann Marie Bouchet - January 1, 2022 6:46 am

      I hope your day was magical, Sean. You give us the gift of your words and you deserve so much more…..much love to you and sweet Jamie

  151. Linda Hill - January 1, 2022 2:32 pm

    Dear Sean, is December 30 your actual birth date? I don’t suppose it matters as long as it’s in December. December babies seem to be extraordinarily special. While we don’t know for sure that Jesus was born in December – he should have been. My late husband, one of my sons & 3 grandsons were born in December. I’m not positive what makes each of them so special – maybe it’s having a birthday close to Christmas, which necessarily means not as many gifts on each day as if your birthday was in day – June. Parents & grandparents try hard but it never works out. So each December baby learns to be tolerant & grateful for the blessings in his/her life – and that’s just one of the reasons they’re so special ♥️Happy Belated Birthday, Sean.

  152. Maggie Priestaf - January 1, 2022 8:51 pm

    Belated Happy Birthday, my brother (if I may call you that). You are a gift…

  153. Phoebe Harris - January 2, 2022 12:14 am

    Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful gift of writing with us. You will never know the impact for good that you make on so many!

  154. Kathy Brannan Howell - January 2, 2022 2:50 am

    Happy birthday and thank you for bringing joy each day.

  155. Karan Baker - January 2, 2022 4:18 am

    Very belated birthday wishes, Sean! You are a light in red darkness. Good

  156. Debra - January 3, 2022 7:10 am

    Happy Birthday buddy. Isn’t it incredible how many people you touch every day? Including me. You are a bright light in our lives.

  157. CHARALEEN WRIGHT - January 14, 2022 7:36 pm


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