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Growing up, I was abused by my father physically, mentally, sexually, and verbally. I tried to kill myself when I was seven years old for the first time because of this. To him, being a father was like a light switch, he could switch it on or off. It was usually off.

I was miserable with him in my life filling it with unfulfilled promises and lies. He …

December 2, 1985 in a moment of that day a beautiful baby boy was born. For two days I looked at him, smelled him and tried to tell him how much I love him. I thought I was doing the right thing, what was best for him. Not one day has passed that I knew it was wrong, he should have been with his true mother. A life long …

It was approximately 7pm on November 5, 2009 when I had my moment. I had spent the morning and the previous day with a young man who was scheduled for execution by the state of Texas. I found him to be soft spoken, intelligent and at peace with the circumstances of his life. At least that’s what he wanted me to believe. We talked about hope …

I wrote my ass off the summer between my Sophomore and Junior years of high school. It was my first summer school experience, and now that I look back on the situation, it was the beginning of my writing career. I had failed BOTH English and Algebra my Sophomore year--I was a rebel who refused to believe school had anything interesting or novel to offer me, so I …

The moment I felt the doctors pull my daughter from my body and the time before she let out her first cry- it was the longest moment, it was the sweetest moment, it was the ultimate "I am mom! moment. It was perfect.

I am four and a half months pregnant on my husband’s and my last trip with just the two of us. We finish securing waterproof bags to our Klepper, a folding canvas kayak we’ve brought to the high Arctic.

We are launching in the narrow, serpentine Nigu River, flowing from its headwaters in America’s largest national park, Gates of the Arctic, into the largest block of public …

One day, when I was around ten, the weather forecast stirred interest to those of us in Virginia Beach. A tropical storm was headed for North Carolina and Virginia’s coast. This meant great waves and extra fun along the shoreline.

Being a youngster, I had no fear and was ready to go when my parents packed up the car. The waves were high and the current strong. I …

She found me after taking 360 doses of sleeping pills. She saved my life. My best friend was there and didn't react at all.

I woke up a few days later. Shocked everyone that I was alive. I'm still shocked. And haven't done anything with that feeling but destroy myself. I still don't know what my best friend was thinking. So how am I supposed to feel?

Mothers Day 2008 Seemed like a normal day I was up early (for once) and making some eggs. Suddenly, the front door tears open with the sound of breaking wood.
“Who the hell…”
“HAVE YOU NEVER HEARD OF ANSWERING A PHONE? I’ve been calling all morning!”
“Did you just kick in the door?”
“You need to come with me”
Still in my pajamas, my step father drug me to the …

There was a secret buried deep within the DNA of my family line on my mother's side, a secret defect that robbed relatives of muscle control, of health and eventually of their lives. My mother lost two brothers to the dystrophic disease before deciding to purse genetic counseling. We were lucky to live in an age where we could actually track this horrible disease and our likelihood of falling prey …

It was just another day, meeting mom after school for some shopping and a visit to her doctor. After that we'd go home, have dinner and watch TV 'til bedtime. Tomorrow the story would replay, with slight alteration.

I was a chubby fourteen-year old whose greatest problem in life was deciding whether or not I liked the prospect of manhood looming before me. I was confronted with the first …

I remember the day my mother told me we were moving from our central New York home. Everything in my life turned gray, like in a black and white movie. Meaning went out of everything I was doing - which is a lot for a 12-year-old.

I've moved every four years since then, can't seem to settle down in life. In job interviews, when someone asks me where …

The oblong green and white pill slid down my throat.

It was a brave moment, one I had to do alone. It slid down easily, as if my throat had been long-awaiting this synthetic little ellipse.

I, with a lot of help from my friends, had experienced a long-standing battle with this moment: “It’s unnatural,” “You won’t be yourself anymore”; “You will make crazy decisions”; “I …

His arms were around me. We were staring out a hotel window to a view of the financial district of Manhattan. We both began to sway to a melody in my head. I felt like a metronome. After a few moments, a quiet laugh, and then "I don't know what song we are swaying to, but I like it... it's nice, it's comforting."
I reply that I know. …

I woke up the morning after my birthday covered in vomit, my clothes, the bed, all the way down to my bellybutton. Realizing that if I had been on my back, chances are good that I wouldn't have woken up at all. That someone would have found me this way and had to tell my momma and my kids that I had gotten so drunk the night before and …

My heart slammed hard against my chest. Despite the chill, I was sweating profusely. My legs threatened to cramp, give up, or both.

"C'mon, we're almost to the top! You are sooo slow."

I huffed and puffed up the 386th stair only to be left breathless. Paris, indeed the city of lights, spread herself before me. The sun was slowly setting, casting violet and orange hues …

When I went to Raccoon River Bible Camp in 2005, like I did every year, I didn't expect anything extraordinary.

On Friday, the last day of camp, we had our very last chapel service. Pastor Brown spoke about Jesus, and how he died for me. It didn't hit me until he did a demonstration. He took a railroad spike and squeezed it with a rag with red dye …

Humbled by ernest, states of oscillation, pencilled in light frost crackles, like scores of hope awaiting the arrival of a sky sketched with higher consciousness colour, seeped through shifting mackeral clouds felling cadets.

1993. Divorced (from the second husband) since 1992. One thing good about husband #2 was that he always engaged my brain, and since the divorce, I felt that my brain was turning to mush. I stopped in for an introductory session at the then-new Cupertino (California) location of the University of San Francisco with the idle intention of getting my bachelor’s degree. Their program was one where you would take …

Those few words changed my life and my existence.

Funny how just a few words can make you or break you. In my case I got stronger as I was fighting for my son's life.

My husband—the "strong one"—fell apart and cried at the sound of those words.

My son looked at his dad crying and said, "Am I going to die, Mom?"

Those words ache …
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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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