A Six-Word Memoir® is the story of your life—some part of it or all of it—told in exactly six words.

In classrooms and boardrooms, churches and synagogues, veteran's groups and across the dinner table, Six-Word Memoirs have become a powerful tool to catalyze conversation, spark imagination or simply break the ice.

Here on Six Words, we offer a simple platform to share the short, sharp story of your life, as well as provide daily prompts to share your six-word takes on the topics of our times.

More than half a million short stories have been shared here. Read more about six.

So give six a try—and make your words count.


Six Word Memoirs
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Born with a badly broken heart.

by SamiSwan on August 12, 2010   |  FacebooktwitterTumblr

I was born with a heart defect that was “not survivable” in the 1950s. My Uncle Louis had just finished his internship and was weighing competitive offers for his residency when he heard my diagnosis. To get the experimental heart surgery I needed, he threw away those offers and traded his medical residency. He agreed to work (pretty much as an indentured servant) for the state mental hospital in Norman, Oklahoma. My parents, Uncle Louis, Aunt Wese, my cousin Doug, and I all moved into the staff housing and lived there for the duration – which explains a lot about my present mental state.

Now, this was the era of breast worship, so the doctors refused to make the incision on my chest; instead, they went through my back, cutting me nearly in half. I was left with a perfect bosom, and a magnificent scar on my back. Whenever I got tired of being pestered with questions of how I got such a huge scar, I just told people I’d been attacked by an enormous shark. That shut them right up, and it was well worth being grounded.

Uncle Louis went on to become a renowned surgeon in Oklahoma City. However, his own sons didn’t know about his sacrifice until I told them, shortly after his death. That’s the kind of man he was. It’s no wonder he had such a special place in my newly-repaired heart.


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