The person who believes you aren’t quite enough. No matter what you do, the feeling is there, beneath the surface. It nags at you like the tag in a new pair of underpants.

To the kid with cancer of the bones. Who is up late tonight because his meds won’t let him sleep. To his mother, who is beside him, rubbing his tummy.

Mothers have been rubbing tummies since the dawn of the man.

To the man who raises palmettos in South Alabama, whose wife passed yesterday morning. The same man who is starting a pecan orchard because it’s what she always wanted.

To the woman who is the janitor for the Baptist church. Who clocks out of her other job to push her cart up and down the halls.

She cleans bathrooms, dust offices. Who doesn’t get home until eight at night, and still has time to cook her kids a full supper meal before bedtime.

To the nine-year-old girl whose father abused her. Whose life will forever be painted with the badness he left. She is now thirty-three. She got married this morning. Someone emailed me photos of the ordeal.

Once, that same girl said, “I didn’t trust anyone for a long time, it was a big mistake. I’ve wasted a lot of years being scared of good people.”

And to the young man who fell off the roof of a construction site. He broke two ribs. The woman across the street took him to the hospital.

She carried him twelve hours to Texas to be in his mother’s house while he recovered.

“Sometimes,” said that neighbor woman. “A man needs his mother.”

I’m writing this to the Walmart employee who was on a smoke break ten minutes ago. She sat on the sidewalk.

She cried while talking on the cellphone. If I didn’t know any better, it sounded like her boyfriend was breaking up with her.

And to Jason, who just discovered he’s good a basketball player. Who has felt like a failure until now. Who tells me he developed a love of Mel Tillis after a friend sent him several albums in the mail.

“‘Coca-Cola Cowboy’ is, like, one of my favorites songs now,” says Jason.

Mine, too, Jason.

To the young man who drives a truck for a living. Who thought it would be a great line of work, but doesn’t feel that way anymore. Who finds himself far from his kids and his wife. Who spends his nights on the phone and on his computer, keeping in touch.

And to you.

The person who believes you aren’t quite enough. No matter what you do, the feeling is there, beneath the surface. It nags at you like the tag in a new pair of underpants.

You have waited so long to see your ship come in, you’re beginning to think you’re on the wrong dock.

You are sad. You can’t have a baby. Or you’re poor.

Your girlfriend wouldn’t marry you—even after eleven years together. She left you and got married a year later. Then had kids. Three of them.

I know this is late coming, and I know it doesn’t mean much coming from a stranger.

I know it doesn’t take away the ugly parts of life. But I mean it when I say it. And I hope you know that.

God bless you.


  1. Shirley - June 23, 2017 3:35 pm

    And God Bless You!!!

    Thank you. We all need reminding that we are enough!!!

  2. Laura Young - June 23, 2017 3:35 pm

    Another good one Sean. I especially was touched by the part “And to you. The person who believes you aren’t quite enough. No matter what you do, the feeling is there, beneath the surface. It nags at you like the tag in a new pair of underpants.” Been there- still am sometimes. When your husband has affairs with others while still living with you, even using your credit card to buy for the other woman, and who promises to take your son camping, or fishing, or hunting, but doesn’t follow through (too busy with the other woman). When you still feel love in the midst of betrayal but must finally let him go. When you hurt so bad then feel you have failed because you couldn’t fix it. Then you can’t trust for so long- maybe forever and even though you KNOW there are good people, you don’t know which is which. But, even now though it nags at me all the time, deep down I know I am blessed and need to quit the pity party.

  3. Joann Wilson - June 23, 2017 3:57 pm

    This one, I think, might be my fortieth. I believe you mean what you said at the bottom.

  4. Joann Wilson - June 23, 2017 3:58 pm

    Sorry. My favorite…

  5. DEBRA GAMBLE - June 23, 2017 3:58 pm

    Sean, It is so wonderful that you listen to that still, small voice within you to write in a way only you can write.

    God bless you.

  6. Marilynne - June 23, 2017 4:01 pm

    Thank you. I really needed this today.

  7. Susan in Georgia - June 23, 2017 4:58 pm

    I echo that “God Bless You,” Sean. You understand people heaps better than most, and the way you write about them/us proves it. Thank you.

  8. Brian - June 23, 2017 5:11 pm

    God Bless you I’m one of those cancer people and I have learned what life is really about. So to honor Him I said I would drag him with me on every job site every meeting and after I go home he will be with me and my family. Thank You Sean ♫ ♪.

  9. Judy Miller - June 23, 2017 9:15 pm

    I’ve been through a lot of what those people you mentioned have, but on the first day of summer, I turned 78, I’m healthy as a good horse, I’m happy and at peace, even though the kids don’t visit or call very much and I give all the credit to God! Something always comes through to help me pay the bills, or fix the car, or just make me smile. It’s God–it really is! 🙂

  10. Robin cotton - June 23, 2017 10:09 pm

    You have made me cry the last two days.

  11. Sandi - June 23, 2017 10:44 pm

    Sean, I’m asking God to bless you today, too! You certainly and most definitely deserve an abundance of His blessings.

  12. Kay - June 24, 2017 12:18 am

    God Bless you too, Sean Dietrich! Your words are a gift to us all.

  13. Marsha Hammac - June 26, 2017 11:11 am

    Tears are rolling. Thank you again, Sean, for making me feel like I am worth something.

  14. Mary C - July 8, 2017 7:13 pm

    Only a person who has felt this way can care. Thank you.

  15. Mary Ellen Hall - July 19, 2017 1:42 am



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