The legend says that Hemingway was given the “impossible” task of writing a life story in only six words. His answer: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

That’s the basis for the Six-Word Memoirs on Some are funny, others sad, and some just make you wish you knew more about the writer’s backstory.

I’ve found it nearly impossible to write my own. There are too many aspects that I would want to cover, and not nearly enough words. Maybe it’s because there isn’t one part of my life that I identify with enough to give it focus. For example, “Always taking care of someone else” not only tells what the person did, but gives you a pretty good idea about their underlying personality. “Five grandchildren; two are actually mine” is enough for you to build a larger story in your mind. “I never got over her death” makes you wonder whose death and how long ago. “I still make coffee for two” sparks images of a lonely widower; as it turns out, it was a guy who had recently broken up with his girlfriend and is now doing much better. Your six words clearly change with time.

So how would you condense your life into six words?

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