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Harassment, Fire, Kindness, Move, Regroup, Regenesis.

I lost just about everything in 4 inches of water in August of 2005. Came back to pull out a few things, said goodbye to that home and spent the next few years working hard on my city and living in many neighborhoods of New Orleans, taking offers from friends of empty apartments, a place for a FEMA trailer etc. Waited for my old apartment to be ready; ultimately realized …

All of the song lyrics in my head that I had always lived by suddenly didn’t matter anymore. When I kissed her, I knew I had found my music.

I lost my faith on the day of my Confirmation. I had never been very religious, most Episcopalians aren’t, but until that day I gave the Anglican traditions at the Church of the Good Shepherd my whole heart. I loved the pageantry, the thrilling organ music, the old English verses from the King James Bible. I memorized psalms, sang wobbly solos in the choir and ushered small children up …
Christmas Joy replaced , friends NOT family.

Family's perfidiousness realized, unfettered joy regained.

Family's perfidiousness realized, unfettered joy regained.

Boss admitted he loves me. Shit.

Doo. Doo. DOO, DOODOO, DOO...

His ears perk, his nails scratch against the well-worn, garden-level stoop’s hard wood floors. He knows we’re heading out, out for a walk, his favorite...and he doesn’t even know the storm dumped about two feet of snow the evening before. He’s going to be stoked, shit, I’m stoked. This is the most snow I have ever see with the exception of some Cali ski …

Unexpectedly, I come across a small photograph of the girl who became my mother. At ten she stands in soft sepia shades beside her black and white milk cow, her arms stretched about its neck, her face pressed against its smooth soft side. Her white dress falls gracefully below her knees and is met by high white stockings rising in bunches above black, laced shoes. Her dark …

Wandering through life without a true direction. Really...not me. I thought that I knew where I was going. I was ready to tackle the world. The fateful day arrives. Get the mail! My world awaits acceptance. WHAT! Not good enough to be accepted. Not good enough to be a student of medicine...my childhood dream destroyed. Where do I go? What do …
Being by my cat's side when she passed away was a life-altering moment for me. It made me profoundly and gratefully aware of the brevity and fragility of life. In the days and weeks following her death, I also came to realize that my grief over her death, though difficult and painful, could also be a portal to healing and moving forward for me.

“We have a new student today. This is Lindsay and her family just moved here. She’s going to be joining our class for the rest of the year. Please say hello to Lindsay and make her feel welcome.”

“Hello, Lindsay,” the class mumbled.

I stood at the front of the fourth-grade classroom, observing the boring wardrobe choices of my new classmates. The girls mostly wore headbands, v-neck sweaters …

Two pink lines on a lazy Saturday morning changed it all. There were small changes at first: no caffeine, eat fresh vegetables, don't ride roller coasters, the usual pregnancy changes. I changed, but I did so grudgingly. At 23, I felt I was too young to become a mother.

The real change happened when I lost the baby at 12 weeks. I was …

It was early October 2004, and my thoughts were consumed by the race for President of the United States between Prez G.W. Bush—gunning for his second term—and Sen. John Kerry.

The contentious campaigns had by then reached the “Your Mama, and your Daddy too!” stage when name-calling supersedes anything resembling constructive issues dialogue. Only a superhero could save this thing from sinking further into the muck of swift boats …

On the Saturday before Thanksgiving 2000 that I had breast cancer. High risk family...never wondering “if” but “when”. Had six cigarettes left in the pack... smoked one and threw the rest away. No cigs, no cancer, since then. Living 10 years strong and much more aware!

I had a lot of trouble getting pregnant. The doctors told me I was going into premature menopause and wasn’t a candidate for IVF. But when Dr. J. wanted to put me on an experimental protocol using a new combination of drugs, I thought, hey, he’s the doctor. He must know what he’s doing, right? So I agreed to be his experiment. And he was probably more surprised than …

He was laughing one minute: head tossed back, his gap-toothed grin - resembling more that of a toddler’s than of a 73-year old - wide open. In the next: he was face up on the bathroom floor, vomit gurgling, seeping out of his mouth.
Massive heart attack.
Robotically I barked orders to the only other person there. “Il telefono, Mamma!” I was 24 and the adult in charge. My …

The moment my life changed, began September 7, 2003. I joined an organization called the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls (IORG). That exact day, I met the only family, I would ever really know. Before this day, I had been in and out of foster care, and back in forth with my mother. But that day, I was given a family. I joined a Sisterhood, and because …

It was raining late November. I was so excited I couldn't sit still as we made our 40 minutes journey. I ran from the car to the door quickly. Partly because of the rain and mostly because of the new love that was to join our family. We sat on on the couch and she brought over 3 beautiful babies. They sat on our laps and as we were ready …
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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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