Make a long story short for your chance to be published in Reader’s Digest and win $25,000. Here are a few of our favorite entries so far in our “Your Life: The Reader’s Digest Version” contest. After reading these, head over to Facebook and enter your own story about a special moment or lesson that shaped your life.
“Road Trips with the Boys”
By Donna Adams
Two words–Road Trip! My sons and I traveled all fifty states. Every summer,we would take time off from our hectic schedule and see something new. The stars at night in Montana,the midnight sun in Alaska.New Orleans a week before Katrina hit. The Redwood Forest, the Rocky Mountains, Pearl Harbor, the Grand Canyon. Ground Zero the year after, Central Park and the Statue of Liberty. While all those things were a sight to see, what I really remember is us. CD’s burned for each trip. Something said that got repeated with much laughter the entire week. A Frisbee that went to all fifty with us. Cards, dominoes, and S’mores. The boys, bigger each year, dutifully posing for pictures with grins on their faces, Just a family,doing what we do. My life? Love and Light and Laughter, courtesy of my three sons.
By John Lawlor
I grew up in Brooklyn and gambled and smoked as I was a street kid. I met a girl from another part of Brooklyn when she was a senior in high school. She was a caring, loving person. While in grammar school she volunteered in St. Peters Hospital. In high school she made friends with ten other girls and helped at home as she was the youngest of 6 children with an absent father. After going together for almost 2 years I asked her to marry me. She agreed as long as I agreed to have as many children as possible. So you see how 1 bad egg and 1 good egg made scrambled eggs. We had 8 children and many joys as well as sadness. We had 56 years of love when I lost my love of my life. She still lives on in our children and grandchildren.
“My Father’s Son”
By Stephen Miller
Standing in a cornfield in rural Iowa, my father told a teenaged me that when I was older, I’d realize he was right. I turn 42 next Friday, and he was wrong. About everything! He was hardworking, but he always hated his job; he didn’t realize it was OK to use your brain instead of brawn. My foster parents didn’t abuse me. College was not an expensive babysitter. Being gay is not the end of the world. Bigger cities are not dehumanizing. Play-writing is important; hobbies are important. Being different is not only good; it’s often very funny. Studying social psychology wasn’t worthless. My mistakes haven’t yet killed me. Dad never once said he loved me without my step-mom forcing him, but when I was 23, he did say he never knew how to raise me. That was obvious. I love and miss my father, still to this day.
By Amelia Hipps
Four, four-legged children occupy our house. They range in age from nearly 3 to almost 12 and are as varied in appearance and personality as wheat-colored fields are to the black of coal mines. Daily, they offer up life lessons — of the need for exercise by their morning romps in dew-covered grass; of the importance of never losing our child-like wonder by their exploration of shaded woods; of the meaning of unconditional love by their leaps of joy no matter how long we’re parted; of the power of hugs to calm tangled nerves by the nudges of our hands to request strokes of affection; and of the need for rest and reflection by their long naps in the sun. Yes, our four-legged children remind us daily of life’s important lessons. They are our dogs.