It was my worst week ever. I had an apartment located smack-dab on the university campus. It smelled like moldy goat cheese. I felt like the oldest student God ever created. Maybe I was.
College kids would point and say things like, “Hey, Grandpa, the morgue’s that way.”
Then skateboard off.
Anyway, I applied to a school program. The professor said my work stunk. So, I applied to another. I failed the interview. I called my wife.
“What am I doing here?” I said. “The professors treat me like a dumb redneck, students act like I belong in a nursing home.”
“You aren’t dumb,” she said. “But you are kinda redneck.”
I persevered—though I was about as uncomfortable as a cricket in a honey puddle. Then, one day, a campus official approached me.
“I don’t know how to tell you this,” she said. “A computer glitch deleted your name from our system. Sorry, but we have to drop you for several semesters.”
“You’re kicking me out?” I asked.
In a few hours, I was driving back home. I cried in the truck. I stopped at a gas station, ate three honey buns, and counted the pennies in my pocket to make myself feel worse. My cellphone vibrated. It was my wife.
“It’s Daddy,” she said, sobbing. “He’s fallen. There’s a lot of blood. He’s in ICU.”
When I got home, I forgot all about school. While my wife held vigil at the hospital, I loped into rush-hour traffic for coffee. I considered my future career options, which were less-than plentiful. I was leaning toward taxidermy.
Just then, the vehicle ahead slammed its brakes. I rear-ended it hard. The airbag busted my cheekbone, I went unconscious.
When I awoke in an ambulance, the paramedic wore a grave face. He said, “Good thing you didn’t pee your pants, lotta folks mess themselves during car wrecks.”
Thank God for small blessings.
In the hospital, Jamie sat beside me. Her father: just down the hall, comatose. I don’t recall feeling more despondent than I did that day. In only one week, I’d managed to see my life become an exotic brand of fertilizer.
You’re probably wondering why I’m writing something so depressing. Because. Life beats the spit out of you without mercy. And I do believe there’s a reason behind it.
Call me nuts, but I don’t think your worst moments are coincidences. Take me, for example. If it wasn’t for the god-awful, dream-crushing week I just told you about, I’d be miserable, staring at a little gold-framed certificate on my wall. We might not be friends. And you certainly would not be reading this.
Anyway, that was the week my wife said, “You oughta start putting your writing on Facebook.”
It was a ridiculous idea.
Susan Tidwell - October 6, 2016 10:46 am
smart woman, thank you for listening to her 🙂
Darcie Gibbons - October 6, 2016 3:25 pm
Thank goodness she did! I look forward to your posts!
Tish - October 6, 2016 3:41 pm
🙂 your wife is very special and very smart to recognize your talent.
Lynnette Rich - October 6, 2016 5:31 pm
I am so pleased that you took your wife’s advice. I look forward – every day- to what you’ve written, the feelings and ideas…so much in such a small space. Thank you for sharing your opinions and ideas and feelings–your heart! Best wishes, Lynn
Rick Singletary - March 25, 2017 12:57 pm
I am glad the intellectuals, did not want you to intellectualize! Nothing happens in God’s world by mistake!
Maureen - October 6, 2016 8:30 pm
Great idea. And as far as older students go – I tried to enrol in an on-line course recently but was defeated when it was mandatory to put in my birth date and their on-line dates didn’t go back that far…
DebySu - October 20, 2016 9:39 pm
Hahaha! And we benefit!
Susie Munz - February 16, 2017 6:43 pm
We are all SO glad you did!
Byron Audler - March 25, 2017 10:09 am
Thanks, Sean. It’s always a pleasure to read your posts. I love good writing and your’s is some of the best. What you have they don’t teach in school 😉
Alan Stanley - March 25, 2017 10:24 am
Enjoy your writing. You have a gift as a storyteller. Trying to get back into writing because my life too has been an adventure. Lots of stories to tell. Love your style.
Catherine Meyer - March 25, 2017 10:57 am
Thank God for small blessings and unanswered prayers. Hope your daddy in law is alright, your family is blessed and you never stop writing and sharing your thoughts and observations on every day life. You have brightened my day and touched my heart with your sharing and loving soul that shines through your writing. So glad my friend shared you with me!
Mandy - March 25, 2017 11:49 am
Thank the good Lord she did! I love what you have to say. About life and about the southern experience in particular. Your Vision is amazing. There are no coincidences in this life. Only God’s timing. Thanks for sharing your heart.
Joyce - March 25, 2017 12:05 pm
Timothy - March 25, 2017 12:48 pm
I have joined the ranks of those who appreciate your deep dips into what it is to be a human with faith.
Michele - March 25, 2017 2:04 pm
Great idea!! I’m so glad you listened!!
Debbie Woods - March 25, 2017 2:14 pm
First let me thank your wife for encouraging you to post on FB. I love stories about the south, food, rednecks, kin folk, and the good Lord. I hope you never run out of stories!
Beverly - March 25, 2017 2:15 pm
Absolutely…..you are right….and you can write…..and we should love bad days because only in those we get the good ones…..and you!
Peggy Black - March 25, 2017 2:31 pm
Thank your wife for us! Amazing how negatives become positives, isn’t it?
Kay - March 25, 2017 3:03 pm
Thank your wife for me!
LindaD - March 25, 2017 3:08 pm
Incredible how life works out sometimes, eh? Nothing but fertilizer one minute, then with seeds and a little water, a beautiful garden grows. You’re our sunflower, Sean.
Sandra Johnson - March 25, 2017 4:32 pm
In my late 30’s I went to Community College and joined the swing choir. I was, of course, the oldest person in it. Had a great time.
Susan Victoria - March 25, 2017 6:34 pm
We all love you. Write a book. Please??
Susan Victoria - March 25, 2017 6:36 pm
We all love you. Write a book. Please?? Ummm. Or maybe write another book. Looking for your five novels now!!
June RouLaine Phillips - March 26, 2017 1:38 am
You took that nasty curve that life dealt you like a champ. Your wife has a good eye, by the way..
Ann - March 26, 2017 3:41 am
You are one of the most talented writers I’ve ever read. And I read a lot.
Angie - March 27, 2017 3:49 pm
Thank goodness for that bad week, and that your writing style didn’t get beat out of you in favor of what many professors think “good writing” is. I recently discovered your blog and look forward to your writing so much. You’re amazing!
Connie Ryland - June 30, 2017 1:46 pm
So very glad you listened to your wife! I enjoy your daily blog and I ordered one of your books from Amazon, which I should have today. That’s going to be the highlight of my week, although it will be devoured in one sitting, probably. Thank you for sharing.
Jeanne Butler - September 16, 2018 9:41 am
Thank God you did. I read your daily and then read ones I haven’t read before. It’s 5:30 am and I’ve read your one for the day on September 16, 2018, and have read four others. I just can’t quit. I’ve read all your books except for one I’m waiting to get from Amazon. You make my not so great anymore life better. Thank you. What would I do without you. Love and hugs.
Steve Winfield - November 7, 2019 2:45 pm
I don’t know how you ever find the time to go back & read comments on old articles. Just about every new story I read I end up linking to a few others. Many I’ve read before but many I haven’t.
Like so many other fans here I truly hope you outlive me. Can’t imagine my mornings without you.
Harriet - November 11, 2019 9:12 pm
That’s great advice.