Life Stories

“There was never yet an uninteresting life. Such a thing is an impossibility. Inside the dullest exterior there is a drama, a comedy, and a tragedy.”  ~  Mark Twain

Mark Twain
Mark Twain (Wikipedia)

As a writer, I believe in these words from the great Mark Twain with all my heart. Each of us has an interesting and unique story to tell, with a new angle, and a fresh take on our individual life experiences.

As a fitting example, my mother-in-law shared the following with me this afternoon when we visited her.

“My father first set his eyes on my mother, Amelia, or Millie as she was called, when he was twenty and she was only twelve. Even at that tender age, she must have stolen his heart, because he told her, “Millie, I have to go away to work at sea, but when I come back, I will marry you.” Upon his return eight years later, he was true to his word. He took her as his wife, and nine months after the wedding, I was born. My father loved the name Mona, so he was the one that named me.”


The way she shared the story of how she came into the world resonated with me.

As life often goes, however, what started out as a romantic tale eventually encompassed great personal tragedy, hardship, and sacrifice.

My mother-in-law’s story of her family could easily fill the pages of an epic novel. It is a story I would consider worthy of recording and retelling one day.

Have you been moved by someone’s words in a conversation recently? As a writer or blogger, are you listening for new story opportunities in every-day life?

How about your own experiences? Have you ever considered writing a memoir?

31 thoughts on “Life Stories

    1. Unfortunately yes, Jill, there were many tears. That poor girl married him at twenty but died at 34. Then Mona, my mother in law, helped her father raise the family. She had to, because she was the oldest and he was away fishing much of the time.


  1. Everyone has a story. I am writing a fiction book, and it is peppered with conversations I have had or overheard, things that actually did happen to me and stories that friends have told me.

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  2. I remember as a child listening to the stories of my grandmother and great aunt, then later my own mother and mother-in-law, and I would be totally drawn in and mesmerized by the tales of long ago. I felt my life at the time my life was so colourless. Now I am nearly at the age as they were when the stories were told. Still the stories from their by-gone era seem more attractive to me than my own experiences. That was until I was speaking to my brother one day. Being a bit younger than me, many of the people of that ‘bygone era’ had departed this life before he was old enough to remember them or their stories. Moreover he was fascinated by MY stories of my time with them, and of my early childhood. This was my brother, and he thought MY childhood was a bygone era! Anyway, I started writing the stories down. One day …. it will be a story to be told. .


    1. You were smart to do that, Elizabeth. What a gift for future generations those stories will be. Now that my parents have passed, I regret not having gotten them to tell me more about their lives growing up. I can recall some of their stories, but I’m finding lately I have many more questions. Recently I have been asking some of my aunts and uncles to share memories with me.
      As for our own memories, journaling is a great resource too. We all have stories worth sharing, I am sure. Thank you for your comment!


      1. That is true. And I am so sorry now that in my childhood journals I did not include some of the trivial everyday things that would have given more insight now into the way we lived then before computers, mobile phones, TVs even. You don’t sit and write “my neighbour from up the road came to our house to phone a taxi to get to the doctor because they did not have a phone and they did not have a car (and this was quite common)”; or “the man came to fill up our ice-chest where we keep our meat cool because we do not own a refrigerator”; or “I was woken by the milkman clinking the empty bottles on the porch” although I can still clearly remember such events.


        1. I was wishing the same thing the other day, that I hadn’t thrown away my childhood diaries. Funny how we don’t value the same things when we are younger. :/

          Technology has changed the world so much in the past couple of decades, and sometimes I wonder if there is too much, and not enough appreciate for the simpler things in life. But then I realize I wouldn’t be connecting with people like you, Elizabeth, if it wasn’t for the internet! 🙂


  3. Thanks for a post that reminds us to listen for and even draw out the stories all around us. I am passionate about learning others’ stories, and have had a wonderful time putting together a family history website, mostly so I can share what I am finding out with my daughters. I love your Mother-in-law’s story. It is such a great example of the romance, love and sacrifice going on every day all around us. My father’s mother’s name was Mona, too!


    1. Mona is a popular name. 🙂 A family history website sounds like a great idea, Susan, especially as something for your children to share in and learn from. A resource such as that is priceless, and is something all families might be wise to consider. Thank you so much for your feedback.


  4. I agree with what you said, our lives are filled with drama, comedy and tragedy..I’ve personally experienced it. Its not less than an entertaining movie.
    My name is Mona too. 🙂


    1. Hi, Mona. Thank you for your comment. 🙂
      There is a book in each of us, I’m certain. Another interesting aspect of it is how you want to portray your story. What do you want the reader to take away from it? Will it be uplifting, or cautionary, etc.


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