Amazing Life Stories: Back-to-School Edition

Tell us your story for a chance to be published in Reader’s Digest and win $25,000.

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.

“Love Letters”
By Chelsee Pengal

In fifth grade, Brett liked me. I knew because he teased me relentlessly. One day, he stole the hat from my head and used it in a game of catch with his friends. Later, I received a note that said: Sorry I took your hat. I like you. Do you like me? —Brett. My ten-year-old brain couldn’t process the strange feelings I had, so I did what any girl who might like a boy would do when faced with this dilemma. I wrote back: No. After Brett read the note, he immediately ran off and started joking with his friends as if nothing had happened, but the teasing stopped. Permanently. Almost 20 years later, I’m sure his heart has mended, but mine never has. It’s a little-known fact I learned that day in fifth grade: when you break someone’s heart, a part of yours goes missing, too.

“These Boots Were Made for Walking”
By Deborah McEwin

The local department store had a shiny pair of white boots on display in the window. Everyday on my way home from school, I would admire these boots. The cost of the boots was not in our budget. I wanted them so badly but knew we could not afford them. One day after school, the boots were gone when I went by the store. It made me so sad. I moped and felt sorry for myself all the way home. Can you imagine my surprise when I got home and found the shiny, new, white boots sitting on the table? Nancy Sinatra had a popular song at that time and I would walk everywhere (in my new boots) singing, “these boots are made for walking and that is what I’ll do” I believe I had to be the happiest 10 year old on the planet!

“My Life in 150 Words”
By Andora Henson

My life in one word is easy — blessed. My life in 150 words is a little harder. Here are some words from the beginning; poor, afraid, abused, hungry, but that was only part of it. Mix in laughter, love, family, and adventure and the picture becomes a little clearer. Words have always played a big part in my life. Reading was my escape, writing my reprieve. School was my refuge. Fast forward twenty years and I still love words, family is even more important, but those first words have changed to happy, joyous, strong, and hopeful. Now I’m saved, set free, in love with Tommy and with life. Jacob is growing and Shelby and Haley soon became our daughters. Life isn’t perfect, it’s not supposed to be, but the love of God is and that is enough. Never give up; your words can change too

By Anne Sawan

His name is Eddie. The big, tall maple that lived in our front yard. We named it Eddie because momma always said there was a refreshing eddy of a breeze that would come right around that tree in the sticky, hot summer. Eddie is in all our family photographs, the first day of school: “Go stand near Eddie so I can take a picture.” Easter: “Kids line up near Eddie. Quick, before you go get your church clothes all dirty!” Prom: “Why don’t you and George go stand over near Eddie? Ya’ll look so grownup!” Eddie was the home base for our massive neighborhood games of hide and seek “I gotcha ya!” “No way. I tagged Eddie first!” Eddie is still the first thing I see when I pull up to my parents’ house. A few less leaves, bending perhaps a bit more, but standing proud, delivering his cool breeze.

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