My first triumph left a pretty big scar… but I guess that’s how you know it’s a triumph.
Once again, “FLANERY, GET OUT HERE” came rushing through the screen door from the porch. So out I went, knowing it was time for another growth spurt. My Grandaddy’s words were always so economically spent that I learned to savor every single syllable on that porch. He just sat there in his lawn chair with his head tilted back, seemingly asleep, until he said “rest the butt, boy… might take a time” without even opening his eyes. I crossed in front of my Grandaddy and climbed up into his best friend James’ empty lawn chair right next to his and waited.
“Coach Lamar braggin’ & tell me that you climb tha dangling PYTHON in tha gymnasium higher’n any other first grader-that you made it all tha way up to that first mark… tha white tape he tell me. But he also tell me how you’s tha only tiny in P.E. that he figured could climb above the grade’s basic requirement. He tell me them second graders only gotta make it ’bout 5 feet further up ta that second mark-tha pink tape. Tell me boy, you grab that rope & try yo absolute best? ‘Cause you try yo best, don’t matter ta me ya don’t reach that pink, er even that damn white. So… you give ya best or not?”
I just watched his stillness and instead of really considering his question, I just wondered what he wanted to hear. “Um, yessir… I did.”, I said.
“See, that a problem when ya don’t even know ya lyin’. Seems you’s just listenin’ to tha noise… tha noise that telling ya what others’ s done. Then you usin’ that data to calcuh-late what you’s capable of doin’ . Buncha crap that. Only YOU know. Well, you, yo daddy and yo Grandaddy… cause both of you come from my balls. Cain’t lie to tha balls you come from. Ain’t possible. I know it’s just the tiny that you THINK you are cain’t climb it. But I’ve met the tiny you ARE, and you trust yo Grandaddy when he say that THAT boy can climb that fucker. Today the time when ya realize that who ya think you are ain’t no match for my granbaby. See, I met him already… time you give him a hand shake. Now go get some duct tape out tha garage & meet me in tha truck.”
Now the “python” was a daunting fifty foot rope that hung from the very center of the gymnasium ceiling, and it had been there, scaring the shit out of children for decades. Every student that made it all the way to the top and rang the little black bell on the ceiling had their name on a plaque on the wall of the gymnasium… my Gradaddy’s and my Dad’s were two of only 23 names. These people that made it to the bell were called “ringers”, and it was an exclusive club. Every time that bell was rung, the entire school knew that someone new had been self-cannonized… Or so we were told, because I’d never heard that bell make a sound. The sheer girth of that rope made it incredibly difficult to climb, and it’s color told it’s story. The bottom ten feet were almost black from so many years of people grabbing and pulling at it with their filthy & desperate hands… but the top ten were completely untarnished hemp fibers in their natural tan. And the center was a gradual spectrum of dark to light that pretty accurately defined it’s noise.
Grandaddy opened up his lawn chair that he’d taken from the porch and plopped it down with a huge echo right in the center of the hardwoods where almost 50 years of tip-offs had initiated play.
“Today we gone climb. Don’t care how high ya get, just as long as you pull with everything ya got… an ya don’t stop ’til ya got nothin’ left. Today I find out if my balls tell me a lie… or if my Granbabby just ain’t never shook his own hand.”
“Don’t care how far ya go in this life, long as I know you located every single ounce’a your talent and ability and ya leave that damn cache bare ass empty when ya done here on God’s earth.”
“Don’t care how high a 1st grader supposed ta go. Don’t care how high a 5th grader supposed ta go. I only care how high YOU can go. AND, ta make sure there ain’t no difference in THAT… an how high you WILLIN’ ta go. If there ain’t no difference, I know I ain’t gotta worry ’bout my Granbaby. So, never mind all them colored tapes, you just promise me ta keep pulling’ until you got absolutely nothin’ left inside you, hear me? You do that and the height won’t matter shit. Just as long as ya know’d that ya left everything ya had on that rope.”
I was absolutely petrified of the Python. And it was compounded by what my head was telling me… that my Grandaddy was wrong. If I exhausted myself completely on a climb up, then I’d have nothing left to lower myself back down safely. I’d have to simply drop onto the hardwood floor of that gymnasium.
“Um, Grandaddy? If I…”
And he knew. He always did.
“Ya Grandaddy ever lie ta you? If ya use it all up on a climb, I’ma make sure you get down. Right hand ta man I will. I see you all scared up. But you climb ’til you completely done, and you gonna get took care of. Now, if you’s only focused on tha “get down”, then you just gonna show ya Grandaddy and yo self a PUSSY climb. Ain’t gonna get a chance ta meet my Granbabby, an that’s who you here ta meet.”
I stared up the length of the Python at the white, then the pink, the brown, blue, and finally the violet tape mark near the top for the 5th graders that sat just below the black bell that hung about a foot down from the cob-webbed ceiling. My GOD, that rope scared the shit out of me, but what the hell… I figured that even if I made it all the way up to the pink and fell, I’d survive. Then that roll of duct tape hit me in the chest and brought my gaze back to Grandaddy.
“Wrap ’em up. Don’t want yo eyes telling’ your heart when you done. “
So I did. I wrapped my head, top of forehead to tip of nose, in duct tape… did about five laps around my skull until I could hardly breath out of my nose. I felt my Grandaddy tear the roll off and throw it down. Then he took a moment, slapped my chest and said:
“Get ta pullin'”
I heard the squeak of his lawn chair, then the “pfffft” of a cap leaving the top of one of his Miller High-Life “ponies”… and then perfect silence. So, I pulled. And I pulled. And I got scared. Actually, that’s a lie. I wasn’t scared… I was fucking petrified. But, I pulled some more. I pulled until my whole body was shaking with fatigue and I was wet everywhere. I could feel every one of my muscles reaching failure. But he was right about the noise. I saw and felt only my own ability. It was my only gauge. Nothing else. I finally stopped to gather myself just below what I had estimated must be a hair shy of that ridiculous pink mark to try and source any bit of spare energy left for one final pull. I pulled. And as I did I felt my head open up as my eyebrow impacted the sharp rim of that black bell. I imagined that the ring would’ve been deafening if it weren’t for the rounds of tape that were practically cutting off my circulation and covering my ears. But the noise was glorious. It was my liberty bell. And I imagined that the violent strike of my head had caused it to crack… just like in my text books. When the ringing finally died down, my fear couldn’t even be measured with double digit exponents… but I heard, in total darkness, my Grandaddy’s voice say:
“Now pull that piece offa yo chest and stick it the ceiling ‘fore you come down.”
In that moment, I realized that my Grandaddy might know more about me than even I did. I was paralytic with fear. But I trusted his words. I kept both arms wrapped for life on that Python, but managed to turn one hand back to my chest… and sure enough, that was what the slap was about. I pulled a piece of tape off of my chest, yanked myself up one last time by the rim of that bell and slapped that dusty ceiling… and then, the fear just vanished. It left with that slap. And it took most of my exhaustion with it.
“Wanna stop & get some boudin on tha way home from tha Piggly?”
I was surprised at how easy the “yes sir” came out, because my most immediate memories of anything beyond a moment ago were of complete exhaustion. Then I lowered myself down hand over hand as I heard my Grandaddy’s chair fold up and his feet head toward the door that led to the gravel parking lot.”
“Meet me in the truck.”
When my legs finally found the hardwoods and my head was unwrapped, there was about 8 feet of duct tape at my feet with a bit of blood, a large portion of my facial skin, and every single follicle from my eye brows stuck to it as I peered up at that message I’d slapped on the roof. I could tell that he’d written something on it, but from that distance I couldn’t decipher what it said.
On the way to the Piggly for that boudin my Grandaddy told me that on that duct tape, he’d just written “the pertinents”… my initials, the date, and “#24”. And that the color of the grey tape was to finish the spectrum… and stop the noise. I asked him why he wrote it so small. Hell, I wanted everyone to know that I’d climbed the Python… even BEYOND that stupid fucking bell.
“Listen me. Don’t you EVER let the world see you beatin’ yer own chest, boy. The world gonna find you… long as you just shut up an’ deliver.”
…and I understood.
“Oh, and that cache’ I was talking’ bout? Leaving’ it empty? Hell, that easy… long as you know where ta find it.”
It wasn’t until I reached the top and KNEW that I’d used up every ounce of me in it’s entirety on the ascent… that I found the “extra” to get me down. It was like magic. A magic I’d never felt until that day.
“See boy, yo self preservation instincts can locate a hidden cache’ of strength and energy that yo conscious mind ain’t got no idea even exists. But the key to that lock… is necessity. REAL necessity. Not that made up shit where people got something left, but they just too damn lazy ta use it. And if you access that secret cache’ enough to be trusted with it… well, that’s when God gonna give you yer OWN key, and you’ll have access to that “extra” the rest of yo life. Whatever that plaque say on tha wall… well, you an ME know it got a “plus one” to it. And those tha only people NEED ta know.”
Yep, there’s a lie on the wall of my old elementary school that only my Grandaddy and me know about… And I’m okay with that.
PS Around that same time, there was another climb that left an even BIGGER mark, and almost took my tiny life. But that’s a story for another day. Or perhaps a book called Jane Two… because there’s always a reason to climb.
And yes, the conclusion of “The Great Norman Reedus Bathroom Escape” is coming soon. Just waiting on what I’m sure will be some GENIUS artwork to hit “publish”. SO… subscribe to the right for access >>>>>>>>> … And stay tuned. It’s inspiration. And it’s imminent.
As always, God bless & Godspeed… in all.
-Sean Patrick Flanery
Brilliant! You never know what you can’t do until someone else tries to tell you. The it’s up to you to prove them wrong. And baby, your gramps helped you prove YOURSELF wrong that day.
I look forward to purchasing a copy of your book. I hope I’m fortunate enough to still know you when you become a Grand Daddy yourself, Sean. The thought makes my heart warm.
Lovely story Sean. I wish I knew my grandparents to get wisdom like that. Loved the pictures to particularly with the cars.
That was a great story! Your Grandpa sounds like a remarkable man Sean! We all need good caring, positive role models in our life & he definitely fits the bill! Now the torch is passed to you Sean your more wonderful& special than you can ever know! We fans know it that’s why we love you so much! You make us smile 🙂 & most of all you make God smile :). Thank you Sean! Hugs & love Stephanie<3
Its obvious that your granddaddy was a wise and amazing man. Everytime I read one of these tales from your childhood of the lessons he taught you it gives me more and more of an idea of who your drive, inspiration, and kind heart came from.
You inspire so many of us to push past these barriers every single day and to put our belief in ourselces first. Thank you for sharing this story of drive, strength, and faith……showed me that ebery day I need to make sure that in everything I do I need to leave it all out there and defeat my own “Python”
See!!! Duct Tape does fix everything. But ouch! You were blessed to have a grandpa in your life. He definitely raised you right. Your awesome!!!
I love these stories! If only we were all so lucky to have a wise granddaddy like yours. Thank you for sharing these memories!
I would love to have met your granddaddy. But I am so grateful to have met you. So thankful for all you teach and share. This story makes me want to close my eyes and take a giant leap of faith, in myself. God bless.
You were very blessed to have someone in your life to inspire you to do your best. I wish I would have had that kind love with my own family.
Once again Sean you have brought hope and inspiration to me at a time I needed! Almost like u knew!! This time in my life in challenging myself in ways I never did before, running with obstacles and never giving up that no matter how old I am if I want it bad enough and believe in myself I can do it! Being 38 yrs old and making new challenges for myself has shown me that age is just a number! Thanks for ur inspiring words and ur grand daddy’s wisdom ❤️❤️❤️
Thank you for sharing. I always love hearing stories of your Granddaddy. 🙂
Thank you for the story! Do you think you could’ve done it without a blindfold? Did you try it later on again, knowing that you can go all the way?
Not the first time… too many colored marks telling me that I was fighting out of my weight class. I’ll never again let a colored mark tell me who I am.
Sean, I think that your blog should be required reading for every young person today. They way Huck Finn and Animal Farm were when we were young. A clear voice of wisdom for a confused generation. Thank you for sharing your stories with us, I am blessed to be one who has found you, your blog and understand what it means to Shine Until Tomorrow.
I miss the Piggly Wiggly!!
Enjoyed the story as much as the writing. Awesome stuff 🙂
Wow. So awesome and deep. Really hits it home that people are the only ones holding themselves back.
Thank u for sharing this with us, Sean. Not everyone would do that.
You are special.
Special as your Grandaddy was (like he is described in your lines). He cared for u and u care for me by writing your blog and telling me the lessons you have been gone through.
Your lines go always straight to my heart…..ok…excluding the Reedus – Story..it makes me more lough than anything else^^…can´t wait to read the next part:-)
Hug s n kisses from Germany
I’m so happy I subscribed to you. Growing up, I never had people in my life to motivate me or tell me to do my best. I was bullied a lot and instead used the anger my classmates gave me to prove them wrong. That I could be worth something so I pushed hard on my academics and aimed high for the goals in PE. I attended MegaCon 2015, meeting you and the rest of The Boondock Saints gents, and in a way you all inspired me. I’ve been putting a lot of my goals on hold lately due to family and monetary reasons, but you guys had an air about you that screamed, “We worked hard and we love it”. I left MegaCon with a renewed fire. I’ve been working towards my goals, looking to self publish and I’ve been putting serious work into a portfolio. Reading your entries, they keep renewing this fire, and I’m beyond grateful.
Thank you so much.
Amazing what you can find out you can do when you just stop worrying about everything else. Some insperational stuff.
Awesome story as always, Flanery. Another fine example of how the boudan was nurtured, along with a boudin reward. Nope. No misspelling there, either.
I’m glad you survived the other scars too; the world would be a poorer place if you hadn’t lived to share your Grandaddy with us. Looking forward to Jane Two. Much love, Ninja. xoxo
While you were finding out what you were really capable of, I was learning how to hunt for my breakfast! Grandpa didn’t have a tv, much less hot water. I went fishing by the moonlight & snapped beans on the front porch. The only thing I was scared of was ‘huge ant mounds’. Kids today, don’t have a clue about LIFE! Only the mirror, ipods and how much mullah they can swindle from their parents. I had to earn my transistor radio & record player with calluses from long hours of working the garden. Even though ‘tape’ never came up in what Grandpa Tom had to say, I learned how to use it on the boys who would like my name & ponytails a little too much! He did say that nothing comes easy, you have to EARN IT! (I worked The Piggy Mart at 16)
I loved this! Your writing is always inspirational, and always some how just what I need to hear! Thanks for sharing your grandaddy’s wise words! 🙂
Your grandaddy sounds like a very smart man! Reminds me of my grandaddy….they sure were wise .
I could not help but smile reading this, I absolutely love reading these, it takes you back while teaching you an important lesson at the same time. You can see so much of your Grandaddy in you, you listened and learned well & now we are lucky that you pass that same wisdom on to us, so many times we are unaware of what we are capable of until we drop the excuses, take that ‘climb’ & accomplish…thanks so much, I hope you realize how much you are appreciated, can’t wait for Jane Two, I know it will be GREAT…
First let me say I’m glad the switch has turned back on and I’ve been patiently awaiting your return here. You are, as always a great inspiration and once again your grandaddy’s teachings are awe-inspiring. I look forward to more email alerts announcing new blogs of wisdom.
Your grand daddy was quite a man. And he has quite a grandson!! Thank you for sharing yet another story that made me smile!!
What an amazingly inspirational story! Grandparents are the best, aren’t they?
What a beautiful story. Seriously. You’re granddaddy sounds like he was a very wise man. Not only did you put such an entertaining spin on this, but there’s also a much deeper message to be learned if one only opens their ears to listen. We still have Piggly Wiggly grocery stores where I’m from. That made me smile as I’m sure this memory did add you wrote it. Shine on, my friend – you ROCK.
P.S. Anxiously awaiting the conclusion to shiny boots 🙂 Thanks, Sean.
What a great story about your beginnings and your awesome granddaddy. …reminds me of so much of my family. …love reading all your pearls of wisdom. ..eagerly awaiting the Reedus conclusion! ♡
Thanks for sharing Sean. My greatest memories are of my grandparents. I wish my son had a male in his life to inspire him and push him the way you did. I love these memories you share. You are a talented writer. Thanks for letting us in to your life.
You have his eyes. it’s seriously incredible to look at the world through them. To learn, to grow, to be. You are carrying that within you and sharing it with us. How remarkable you are. And how grateful I am. <3
I asked you not too long ago on Twitter how you got to be so smart, I didn’t get a reply, but that’s ok cause I know you get a crap ton of tweets. Upon reading this I now know the answer to my question. Your granddaddy was a wise man!
All the best,
That was great!!! Just what I needed:) You’re awesome’o by the way. xxoo
I always love the stories involving your Grandaddy.
Your granddaddy was a special man. They don’t don’t make ’em like that anymore. No wonder you’re so awesome… Look where you came from! God bless you right back!
If you wrote a name on a stone for every person that inspired you in life imagine how long the path would be that lead to your front door. You would dwell upon a stone in my grove.
Sean you are an extraordinary man and so was your Grandaddy! I always look forward to these stories that you unselfishly share with us and I’m so grateful for them and your time you take to tell them to us. When I met you in Tulsa, Ok last November with the BDS cake lol I told you thank you for helping me lose weight and meeting some life goals and you told me that I did it you didn’t. Not sure if you remember that I then said “well you pushed me to do those things” and you said “you’ll take that” well thanks for the push Sean, everyday! I am glad you got passed the fear and made it up and down that Python safely. I am so looking forward to Jane Two! Thanks for being so great and God love ya for sharing your blog, I’ll continue spreading the word about you and your blog along with the meaning Shine Until Tomorrow…. God Bless and much love to ya Sean!
Awesome story Sean. Always love reading your blog updates. They never fail to inspire me and keep me fighting every day to be the best I can be. I have my bad days and they can get a hold of me, but I won’t give up on myself. I know I’m capable of anything if I just get off my ass and take action and have faith in myself to do so. Also having your honest and helpful advice is a great uplift too.
Thank you for telling your story. It brought back sweet memories of my Cajun grandpa. Very wise men our grandfathers. Love ya and as always #ShineUntilTomorrow
I do enjoy reading stories about your Grandaddy. Something tells me that he gave you your storytelling gift.
I love your stories, Sean. I loved the fact that this story was about you and your Granddaddy. I just love reading stories told about grandparents. As you can see I’m a (Shawn) too, only female. I’m hoping to get the opportunity to meet you sometime soon. I always know that when I need a smile I can get it here and on the Facebook page. Thanks again Sean, your awesome.
What a great story. I absolutely love the picture of the gymnasium. The lighting is perfect. It looks all boarded up. What interesting architecture in a GYM that is being laid to waste.
I love that your stories always have a lesson but you don’t beat us over the head with it. You trust us to take what we will from it and use it, or not.
Emotional, sad and happy see your grandpa story….
It’s like a poem world, really love this story…Thanks!
truth, again, other than childbirth, one of which had a cord wrapped around his neck, I really have nothing to compare to this story, in my life. I’ve never been pushed, I’ve never been made to prove myself in any hardcore way. that’s pretty much why I’m a detestable human being in your eyes. I accept that. I spend each day surviving as best I can with what I’ve got. that’s not good enough for most people. It’s all I can do.
Your Granddaddy was a wise man and you are a fantastic storyteller Sean. The pictures are great too! Love the Piggly, haven’t seen one of those since I was a kid!
Amazing! love it your grandaddy was such an amazing man, grateful you share it to us and to be learning so much from you and him thank you Sean such amazing people you truly are <3 <3 love ya brother.
It goes without saying that your Grandaddy was a brilliant man. And what he said about “cache,” I got to experience finding my own secret cache very recently. At this time last, exactly a week ago, I was watching my 3 year old son struggle to breathe while in the local ER. We were later transported to a children’s hospital via Ambulance, and he was delivered promptly to the pediatric ICU. They could not get his wheezing and labored breathing under control. I found my secret cache when they made me stand just outside the door of his room, while 12 medical professionals surrounded his bed. Seeing his tiny limp body in that large hospital bed, knowing that he was moments from being placed on life support… I had already spent the better part of the day trying to hold myself together, this was one of the ultimately most terrifying experiences a parent could ever witness. But I found that secret cache your Grandaddy spoke of. I stood outside his doorway looking in, I was shaking like a leaf and holding that door frame with white knuckled grip, and I watched as they did what they needed to do. I stayed strong, for myself, my family, and for him. Things did get worse before they got better, and he almost required ECMO (heart lung machine). He had experienced a “perfect storm.” A severe asthma attack which he had never previously been diagnosed with, a weakened immune system from a recent cold, which allowed for a lung infection to develop with three different types of bacteria — staph, strep, and pneumococcal (a different strain than what is in the vaccine).
It was torture. And here we are a week later, and he’s HOME. He’s still weak, as to be expected from spending nearly a week confined to a bed. But is expected to make a full recovery.
So this post of yours, it truly hit home with me. I found my secret cache, and am ever thankful for it. You don’t know your own strength until it’s tested to the max, and you should never doubt your own abilities. After all, you never know what’s hiding waiting to be found. 🙂 Great post, Sean! Keep ’em coming!! <3
Beautiful story. I am fairly new to your blog, but I am very happy to have found it. Your stories are very inspirational and a joy to the eyes. You sure know your way with words. This is a great reminder to give up on the “I can’t”. Looking forward to read more from you!
Thank you, Sean!
thank you for sharing your stories with us. You agree thoughtful, make us laugh and cry. I look forward to your reading. Although I have some difficulties with the translation. But where there’s a will there’s a way.
Die Geschichte ist toll sean einfach pure Gänsehaut.Ich freue mich auf weitere Geschichten von dir weil ich lese abends sehr gerne liebe grüße anne.
Brought tears to my eyes. Wonderful story and a great lesson. Thank you Sean. Love you for this and so much more
Great story Sean! I have been trying to find a way to get in touch with you for some time now! I married your childhood best friend Gordon Falvey! And he would love to reconnect with you!
Please tell Gordon I said hello!
…and I’ll shoot you an email.
Thank you, Sean, for yet another great inspring lesson. Keep ’em coming. Looking forward to the final “chapter” in the Reedus story, as well as your book.
Your Grandfather sounds like a great man. I never really knew mine that well. But it is what it is. This reminds me of a constant argument that I have with my daughter about her school work. She tends to be very lazy when it come to school, she does the bare minimum to get by and it drives me NUTS. The girl is smart and has great potential but she doesn’t own up to it. A few months back she had a project that she had to do for Black History Month. She had opted to do a “creative display” for her project, and knowing her as I do, I knew she was just going to half-ass it. So I pushed and pushed and pushed. When she got it done she was so proud of herself and I was proud very proud of her. She really put a lot of work in to it. When she eventually got her grade back for it she got an A+, it was the first time she’d gotten 100% on anything. We still have the grade hanging on the fridge. Ever since then she had been putting more effort into her school work and I couldn’t be prouder of her. I was raised by parents who always told me “it doesn’t matter how well you do, as long as you try your hardest, that’s all that matters.” They always held true to that and I’m trying to raise my kids the same way.
Thats was a truly amazing story. Thank you so much for sharing it. I just love when you share these amazing moments in your life because almost everyone can relate and it makes your fans feel even more connected to you.
Another wonderful post where your words seem to come alive. You were very fortunate to have known your grandfather. It sounds like he pushed you to strive but never forgot to teach with love and honesty. I too had an extreme fear of that darn rope but I think it was more my fear of heights than anything else. My folks couldn’t wrap their heads around how I could be scared of a silly rope but oh so willing to put my life in the hands of a four-legged beast (horses were my saving grace and got me through a long and dreadful part of my life).
Treasure all those wonderful memories you have of your grandfather and every other influential person you’ve crossed paths with over the years.
I stumbled onto this blog somehow watching you and Norm interviews which make me laugh over and over. Now I just enjoy reading your stories you never know if they will be super funny or bittersweet. Either way, I really like them. I am a HUGE BDS fan and I DO know they difference between you and Norm. haha
Great story! Very inspiring. I saw it unfold in my mind as if I were watching on screen. Really good!
Thank You Sean
Sean, What an amazing grandfather you had. Such a smart man..I barely remember any of my grandparents, let alone anything they may have said to me. You are so lucky to have such wonderful memories of him.
Another great glimpse of how amazing and wise your grandfather was: he put you in the condition to challenge yourself and give less importance to the fear brang from challenge the others that archieved before you. This reminds me a lot about my mother. Thank you to have shared another story with us!
Mr. Flannery, goodness how I love the way you write. I smiled through this entire post, mostly because of the way you captured your Granddaddy’s accent. In my head I was reading the words in the voices of my own dear loved ones. Thank you for sharing and stirring the glorious sounds of beloved voices I haven’t heard in awhile. “Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow” -T. Chisholm
I appreciate you sharing such a beautiful and inspiring story from your past. My grandfather was the most important person in my life and will always be my hero. He brought out the best in me and expected more from me then I ever thought I had to give. But most of all he believed in me. Reading such a moving experience from your past reminded me of this at a time when I need it the most. It’s easy to forget this when those we love have been gone from our lives for such a long time. I truly thank you. ~Heather
Thank you for the sharing your Granddaddy with us and his words of wisdom
Your words amaze. Always.
I’ve been thinking about this post a lot the last couple of days, it’s very inspirational. But I have been wondering what to do myself. I want to push and find the limit of my strength…but I have lupus and kidney disease..and when I weaken my body I risk more damage but if I do nothing the medicine makes me balloon up. I don’t know where the line of smart and healthy is. I feel like I’m on that rope with the blindfold off knowing I could reach the next mark… but wondering if I should. Any advice Sean?
Unfortunately, I’m not qualified… only your doctor can advise a protocol that will work within your conditions. There IS a protocol though.
Thanks Sean for taking the time to read my reply and send a response, that means a lot. I’m gonna ask my doc next week. I dunno what it is about you, but you make me want to be a better version of myself, and not fighting to get healthy and an appropriate weight feels like letting you down and I just can’t do that.
I am so sorry to hear of your health struggles and pray your health has improved since last May. You are not only fighting one serious illness but two at a time. Both take a tremendous toll on the body emotionally and physically! Please take pride in the strength you are able to find and not push yourself past that. It is better to climb the rope a little every day and eventually reach that mark…your mark…then push too hard one time and then not feel like climbing at all….emotionally or physically.
I understand the struggles you face. I was a “professional patient” for eight years and a single mother of two young boys as well. I have survived three separate code blues, numerous surgeries and immune issues. As soon as I was able, I was up and running, literally running. This would set me back physically and then emotionally, thus also affecting my health, but none the less I kept doing it, repeatedly. I finally came to my senses and learn to adjust my marks. I learn to appreciate what I did accomplish in a day, not what I did not. I started to set my marks a little closer so that I would meet them. When I made it to the end of the drive way and back, good for me. When I made it to a neighbor’s and back, even better. Before you know it you are walking farther than you could have ever imagined. Maybe there is a day you don’t feel up to it, so try just a little something and take pride in it!
The same goes for your health issues. Take care of yourself and follow the doctor’s protocol advice. I know some of the side effects of the meds may get you down, but if you feel better for a few hours today, Awesome! A few more tomorrow, even more Awesome! The most important thing is to feel better!! The rest will fall in when it is time.
After what I have read about Mr. Flannery and in his blogs, I am sure he like the rest of us, just want you to feel better and be proud of the marks you hit. Slow and steady is always better…ask the turtle! LOL!
THAT was a very inspiring story I LOVED IT I just signed up for shine till tomorrow keepmthe pics and stories coming.You put a smile on my face
Your words are always so positive and encouraging but what happens when you truly have nothing left in you .My Grandfather was always my hero , when my Father was drunk and beating my mother if he was around he would step in .I found out later in life after his death he was just as bad with my Grandmother, I felt so betrayed. I’m 40 now and have been fighting all my life and I’m sure I have nothing left in me , is it sometimes best to just give up . I can’t go into all the details on here and it would probably bore you to death anyway but do you think I can find my strength again when I feel I’ve given everything I’ve got xxx
No… it’s never better to give up.
That was such a wonderful story, thank you for sharing. It brought back some many wonderful memories for me of my Grandfather, Looking forward to more from you.
I never leave comments and to be perfectly honest I never really read blogs. I don’t have the time. Lol. But I came across yours a little while back. I have always been a fan and have even shared a few words with you on myspace several years back. Needless to say, I was shocked it was you instead of Wendy! Lol. Anyways…back to my point… I find your very existence to be likened to the chances of seeing a rattlesnake with braces!! Lol. But just because it seems so unlikely to exist. Doesn’t mean there isn’t one out there somewheres! Lol. Your mind is like the one chewy whopper in the box! A pleasant surprise!!! I grew up here in Louisiana and besides a short stint in Dallas, I have lived here my entire existence just like a tropical flower in the desert. The desert being the never ending waves of monotonous idiocy due to the lack of true and genuine imagination! Always needing more than what’s available. Starving for a nourishment that is so few a far between. A shared love of art, poetry, deep thought out responses to discussion of any vernacular. Don’t get me wrong, I love it here and the people are very unique to say the least but growing up in the Bible Belt and being forced to fit your mind into a shoebox under the bed is not a pleasant task! It’s as if having a deep and thoughtful disposition is a crime! Loving the written word and the meanings behind Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ earns you a PERMENENT black mark in the book of normal societaI circles. Not to mention ur own family. I have earned the unspoken title of black sheep within my family and dare I say, I hold this title with a certain pride. I find it strange that the only person brave enough to speak her mind and or call someone out on an evident injustice is currently the unpopular one amongst its peers and family. It’s even funnier how it’s more the current and more acceptable norm to keep ur mouth shut and let these same people run all over you! Well… Not this Chica! Ok. I think I’m drifting a lil but to bring it all back home, I just wanted to basically give you a high five for even existing out there in a world so full of things that make me sad. I literally read all existing parts of your Norman Bathroom Debacle to my husband over the phone while taking a bubble bath! Now that’s a hell of a way to relax in the evening! I laughed so hard at one point that i think I actually peed a lil!! Lol. SPF! dude! You are the very reason that millions of women go to the fridge when they aren’t even hungry!! Props for being that kind of man. Mindful. Soulful. Playful. Sigh-inducing on a level of pure sexual starvation that has absolutely nothing to do with physical contact! You’re a bit like a good touchless orgasm. But you know all this already. You know what your words do. What they evoke. That in itself is a gift. I’m glad to see you sharing it with the world!
Words can be very cheap but only if you don’t mean them… I sincerely enjoy the many faucets of your talents. But I have one very important question, Mon Ami… Have u ever spatch-cocked a Cornish hen? Lol
Wonderful story Sean. You always inspire me to try harder, give my all and to shine!
“Quote Searching Time” …there are so many good ones & best reading EVER in the process, so glad to know you like the memes, hope you enjoy them in the future & it was Awesome finally meeting u this past weekend…
Likewise, Miss Bowen!!!!
I swear no matter how many times I’ve read your entries they NEVER get old, seem to take something new from them everytime…I ‘racked’ up too lol, the wisdom/inspiration overflows…SO, is there any quote or wisdom you wanna share that I haven’t been lucky enough to read yet? I know you’re full of it…in a very good way, Obviously 🙂 Can’t wait for #JaneTwo
Hey Sean, this is Elijah, I was the guy you talked to who delivers mattresses. We talked down in Nashville TN before I headed down on vacation to New Orleans; I thought that I would post a comment on here! This story explained how you got your scar didn’t it? I seen the picture above, and that rope was absolutely massive looking!
Glad you found us!!!!!
Awesome!!!!! Loved it….& love that yall shopped at the piggly!!!! Thats whre i do all my shopping at here in my lil town….Your inspiration & shine keep me from slipping down the slope of addiction again. I have been clean & sober from meth for 6 months now & i have you to thank a lil bit for helping me. Love you & all the inspiration you have brought into my life..thank you & as always #shineuntiltomRTorrow
I’m reading this story all over again. Not because I can’t understand it – but to be honest some part was too much for my English – but because it reminds me of how I think of myself. I was never pushed to do anything I didn’t want or I thought I wasn’t able to do. Then soon I found myself 25 years old, jobless, living with my Mom in Hungary. I got a chance to change it, but it seem difficult and had no mood to step forward, but I had to. It was a struggle. I thought I’m not able to do that. Then I changed my mind, my thoughts. I thought if I would forget my limits, I might be able to succeed. And I did. Now, I live in London, I’m a nanny of a 5 years old kiddo and I’m happier than ever, I am free. And I’ll never think again I’m not capable of anything.
Thanks for sharing this story, Sean! You are amazing. Take care of yourself.
The stories about your granddaddy are always the best! I wish today’s children were imparted with so much wisdom at such a young age. Today is about instant gratification and not the internal fortitude it takes to do things that seem too difficult to overcome. Thank you for always making us smile, sharing a part of your life, and the inspiration – much love 😉
Thank you for sharing this. It helped me get to the point of being able to get out of my own way. I took another bold step toward achieving my own goals/dreams. I had to pull out all the stops and put myself in a position where I have no other choice BUT to MAKE it happen. I will be ringing my own bell at the top of a long, long, (no, really… long) rope I’ve been climbing for a decade now… soon.
Your Grandaddy sounds wonderful! He sounds a lot like my Daddy. My Dad passed away when I was still a kid and reading stories about your Grandaddy make me smile and bring back my own memories. Thank you.
Reminds me of my grand dad. He’d sit outside in a lawn chair under a big oak tree. This is a wonderfully written memory. And a memory that will hopefully be passed on to your children.
i just wanted to say that I absolutely love this story. Life lesson stuff for real. I love your mind and your heart. Shine on is a perfect catch phrase for you, perfect. X
I just wanted to thank you for being a muse(inspiring person) to all of us! We learn a lot from you… You speak with honesty,tough love,& wisdom! This blog is the best place to learn lessons in life…Your truly a remarkable,inspiring, intelligent man! So again, thank you Sean!! 🙂
Very much appreciated.
This story is very moving. It sounds like your grandpa was an amazing man and an incredible mentor. I love the concept of ‘noise,’ and the comparisons to others and limitations we impose on ourselves. Simple and profound.
You’re a great writer. Is the story of the other climb you mention coming soon?
It is. And it changed me.
This story was such inspiring.
I must confess I’m not in a good moment in my life, fighting against depression, and this is really close related with fear. This story really give me some litgh at the end of the tunnel sometimes you feel you are.
Grandads are sucha a source of knowlegde and support than sometimes we took for granted. I have none left and I miss those talks with them. Such a perfect moments.
Your grandad was absolutly right.
Thanks again for sharing this story.
Thank you for reading … and God bless.
Thank you for sharing your granddaddy with us Sean. I just recently lost mine to a brain tumor but he is still my hero so reading this put a huge smile on my face. Really appreciate how you share these inspiring things with us and keep us all going through hard times.
~also, I wanted to take the time to say you have been my hero since I was 8 ( Conner and Murphy being my childhood heros ) and I’m proud to say you are still my hero now when I am 22. I couldn’t really ask for a better role model. You have gotten me through several rough patches in my life and keep me positive on bad days and have inspired me to go chase my dreams when I wanted to stop and give up.
So thank you for having such an impact on my life Sean, and thank you for giving me a smile today my granddaddy would want me to stay happy.
It’s true – you will only know what you are capable of when you push yourself to the absolute limit. And amaze yourself
I learned that lesson at a very young age as gymnastics became my 2x daily routine besides attending school. As i was getting better i had to push myself to the limit and over… The closer we got to the (youth)finals, the more the focus became in achieving just that tiny bit more that divides winners from losers
Sometimes I get a little bored, late at night, after my kids have gone to sleep….your writings are GREAT at keeping me entertained!!
I’m very glad!!
I thought of you when I read this..this guy had to “hire” a Navy SEAL to teach him what your grandaddy taught you when you were in elementary school. http://thehustle.co/40-percent-rule-navy-seal-secret-mental-toughness
I’m saving all of my money right now to take my kids to Disneyworld, so I really need you and your boys to come hang out in Dallas after comicpalooza so I can see yall. I am so bummed I can not come see you!
You know Sean your work is very moving…….and i like how your grandaddy wisdom went from him to you and you to us in a way your like a close friend with all of us and pasting down great things that your Grandaddy said and lessons, also saying more about yourself. This web-site is my most used cause i’m am big fan of yours and along with everyone else on your page. I also loves hearing these cool little storys that you come up with and wonderful wisdom from your Grandaddy I really enjoy your work Sean.
Very glad! … and thank you.