Hey there. I want to direct your attention today to the New York Times' annual feature "The Lives They Lived." Usually the Times profiles the famous who have passed away that year, but 2011's subhead is "These American Lives: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives."
Not famous, then, but even better, to my mind, the stories of ordinary people. And they are amazing. The one that had me in tears was "Uneasy Rider" by Mike DeStefano, an HIV-positive comedian who died last year. He tells a story about riding his girlfriend (who was in hospice care at the time) on the back of his motorcycle one last time, IV bottle held high, hospital gown flying. An excerpt:
I’ll never do anything that great again. Freakin’ HBO specials, whatever you want to give to me, nothing will be better than that because it was such a deep reckoning within myself that I am not a piece of crap, that I don’t deserve to stick needles in my arm. I am a good person, look what I’m capable of. I’m capable of deep love and commitment, you know? That was my whole life was taking care of her..
Start there, and you can make your way around, if you like. Good storytelling.