To You

Sean Dietrich


Hi. We hardly know each other. And I know this won’t mean much coming from a stranger like me, but I have to say it: I’m sorry for what you’re going through.

I mean it. I am sorry. I’m sorry about the big and the little things that happen to you. I’m sorry you didn’t sleep last night. I’m sorry your back hurts. And I’m sorry about the long-term repercussions of fiscal American inflation.

Also: I’m sorry you don’t laugh as often as you used to. I’m sorry money doesn’t grow in the backyard—God help me, I am. I know what it means to work long hours and get nothing but a bloody lip in return.

I’m sorry your car won’t start. I’m sorry alternators cost more than booze-cruises to Barbados. I’m sorry that every time you get some money saved, your roof begins leaking, your water-heater goes out, your toilet backs up or you need a root canal.

I’m double-sorry about the root canal.

I’m sorry your dog died. And for the sour feelings you get when you see the empty food-bowl on your kitchen floor.

I miss every good dog I’ve ever owned.

I’m sorry your loved one died recently. I’m sorry grief has become a permanent part of you, and that your heart has been polished with a cheese grater.

I’m sorry the doctor said you need surgery. I’m sorry you’re diabetic. I’m sorry your entire world caved in when they said, “Ma’am, you have cancer.” I’m sorry for the undiagnosed illness that no medical people can seem to figure out.

I’m sorry you have felt sick and rundown for so long that you don’t remember what the old you felt like.

I’m sorry life doesn’t go the way we want it. I’m sorry the clock runs out too quickly, and that our bodies don’t last longer.

I’m extra-sorry for anyone who feels unimportant. I know what it’s like to lose your confidence. Confidence is a funny thing. Once you lose it, you can’t get it back.

Such losses cause you to look carefully into mirrors. But, even though you stare long and hard, you don’t see what’s really there. Instead, you see a dumb face, a big nose and two ugly eyes.

Then you walk through life, thinking of yourself as small. Maybe you can’t remember the last time anyone listened to you — and I mean, REALLY listened.

And all this makes you wonder. You wonder when things will get better. You wonder when someone will touch your shoulder and tell you they love you — with no strings attached. You wonder when someone will help you by telling you nothing and just holding you.

Well, I’m a painfully mediocre man. I drive a rundown truck that leaks oil. I have no achievements, and no credibility to my hillbilly name. You don’t know me, and you have no reason to keep reading my ten-cent words. But, there are a few things I believe:

I believe in good. I believe in you. I believe that you’re stronger than you think. And I believe that you are beautiful.

You are so beautiful, in fact, that a complete stranger stayed up very late tonight, writing what you just read. A guy who just wanted to tell you that I love you.

And you’re going to make it through this.


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