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At 47 I don't think I have had my "moment" yet. I spent 25 years as an alcoholic and booze seemed like the only thing that was ever real to me. Everything I have ever done in my life seems to have been phoney, college, work, relationships, friends, life in a monastic community. I am 4 years sober and I'm still waiting for my moment. Any …

I've been loved. At night,when I am dying, I hold that memory as close to my broken heart as it will allow. There is no place in our king-size bed that is familiar, or offers me any rest, relief from this pain. After 25 years of marriage, I would have thought leaving would have been harder for him. Mere weeks after moving out, he found her: "The One." I am …

It was Friday, February 6, 1981. I am a young wife married to Michael for 1 1/2 years. I was working in the city as an administrative asst. for the Chief Electrical Engineer. The day started out as a normal Saturday morning. We were going to attend a close family friend's wedding. I was going to the mall to have my hair styled. I was …

I never imagined something so miraculous would occur in my life. At a time of great peril that was impacting my fragile life, something so unexpected occurred. When all hope was lost, when all my plans were slowly coming to their end, and when all my days were to be no more, I met the most wonderful, fascinating, and inspirational girl I ever laid eyes on. Her …

I'm sitting in church listening to the sermon. the priest mentions the story of Noah's Ark. At the age of 14, I realize that the story of Noah's Ark is nonsense. I get up and walk out. That was 33 years ago. I've not been back since.

It had rained earlier in the day and the air was thick with the muggy smell of wet grass. Small puddles filled the chipped flagstone crevices of the porch. I was looking into a puddle watching specks of dirt floating and wondering what kind of ice cream I’d get today. My dad was sleeping on the couch again; I could hear his deep rich snores out here on the porch …

It had rained earlier in the day and the air was thick with the muggy smell of wet grass. Small puddles filled the chipped flagstone crevices of the porch. I was looking into a puddle watching specks of dirt floating and wondering what kind of ice cream I’d get today. My dad was sleeping on the couch again; I could hear his deep rich snores out here on the porch …

It had rained earlier in the day and the air was thick with the muggy smell of wet grass. Small puddles filled the chipped flagstone crevices of the porch. I was looking into a puddle watching specks of dirt floating and wondering what kind of ice cream I’d get today. My dad was sleeping on the couch again; I could hear his deep rich snores out here on the porch …

Today it's been exactly two years. It was nearly midnight on January 12th 2010. My older brother had posted a few messages on Facebook, announcing that the earth was rattling pretty badly in the Dominican Republic and the rest of the island. A few hours later, I became aware that a terrible earthquake had taken place in the poorest country of the Western hemisphere. It was …

I needed new glasses, so I made an appointment with an optometrist in Queens. As this younger doctor examined me, I commented on his frames.
“Only jazz musicians can wear these frames,” he said as he dilated my pupils.
I was surprised to discover that the optometrist was moonlighting as a musician, but also felt envious. The style of his frames symbolized a velvet rope to me. I …

My father went to Yale. He never pressured me into following in his footsteps but instead just regaled me with fabulous collegiate stories about the intoxicating songs of the Whiffenpoofs, the late nights at the Yale Daily News, and the mysterious and powerful secret societies: Scroll and Key, Spade and Grave, and Skull and Bones. While other kids were learning to tie their shoes, I was dreaming of a life …

I. In 1986 I went to Bombay as a foreign exchange student. I was 15 years old and I had no clue what I was getting into. All I knew about India came from the glossy pages of a coffee table book: there were marble temples, skinny men in ragged shirts, and women in gem-tone fabrics dunking dirty laundry into the murky Ganges. Two things were certain: it was as …

I created this illustrated story about the moment my mother came out to me.

Until I was ten, I did not understand people died of natural causes. Apparently in the flurry of immigrant assimilation, some important facts of life had been glossed over—nevermind the birds and the bees, but what about the vultures and maggots? It had never occurred to me that living things all had to in fact die. Finally, one day while driving by an epic graveyard near Pasadena, California—where we were …

"How tacky," I thought, as I watched her drunkenly wail karaoke. I turned to my husband to find comraderie and a giggle at this, but found instead his eyes mesmorized, his face glowing (in lust not love.)

He, did not find it tacky at all.

That was the first moment, I found...I knew, he was gone.

When I was in third grade, I had a teacher named Mrs. Clevenger, that loved me despite my ADHD-like behavior. She told my mother that I was worse than any boy she had taught in all her 30 years. Being a girl, I did not understand how gender should make any kind of difference in difficulty, but I remembered it because I was so puzzled by it. …

My husband’s mother had a philosophy on illness: Take two aspirins and you’ll be fine in the morning. Much of her life was spent raising eleven children and there was little time left over for coddling or self-absorption. Survival was the important thing.

Twenty-four years ago, while opening a window, she collapsed with a brain aneurism. A metal clamp was used to seal it off. She recovered. Five years …

It was summer and I was 15. Still flat as a board, but tall and willowy, my hipless torso and ribbon legs predicting the shape I would eventually own in adulthood. I realize now that I was pretty back then, but at the time, I compared myself to my mother, whose exotic Cleopatra hair and red painted lips seemed more glamorous. My mother moved through life in stilettos, polished her …

I have always loved letters. Even as an adult I approached the mailbox with childlike anticipation that it might contain something wondrous today, though I rarely met more than the typical splatterings of circulars and bills. I often wondered why, when the prospect of a postcard or a handwritten note fills us with so much glee, we don’t take a moment to write one to a friend more often. Modern …

Everyone in my family is brilliant. I have a brother who scored in the 98th percentile on the U.S. Air Force entrance exam. I have a brother who used the hand warmers I brought him home from Japan as a prop to help him feign sick and (nearly) get out of going to school . I have a sister who aced the MBA entrance exam without even trying …
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The Moment Book

Moments from the SMITH Community

Tomorrowland "Daisy, F3," my son Archer says as we pull into our parking spot. Disneyland’s about to open and we've arrived, just the two of us, our last hoorah before school starts. *** The alarm goes off and I pull the pillow tightly over my head. My husband, Hal, offers to wake the kids so I roll over, fall back asleep until Archer's voice wakes me, this time for good. "Hi, Mommy. It's …
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With Both Hands Whenever I think of my mother, my mind flips to this story. Not to the whole story, but right to the middle of it, the worst moments of it. For me, that's where the story always starts. My mother was beating the hell out of me. The first few blows seemed to come from every direction as I grabbed my nightgown and pulled it over my head, not …
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Reasons to be Thankful By Robert Israel They scraped me off the street, my bicycle in a heap nearby, and ever so gingerly placed me on the gurney. A crowd of curious onlookers watched intently, thankful they were not being loaded onto the ambulance. The nurses at the hospital were calming as nurses are wont to be, and administered an intravenous tube of morphine, and soon everything around me became fuzzy and numb, and the …
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Read More Community Moments →
 
SMITH Magazine

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We believe everyone has a story, and everyone
should have a place to tell it.
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Six-Word Memoir® project.