Earlier this year, on a Friday, my Grandfather on my Mother’s side passed away. Saturday morning, I learned my Grandmother on my Father’s side had also died.

Through my tears, I sat with a pen and a Delta Air Lines napkin and I wrote. I wrote my thoughts about their deaths, about the ideas they had inspired, about the beliefs they each held. Ultimately, though, what I wrote about most was their actions — all the memories I could recall of the things they had each done.

Over the next ten days, I heard many people recount their own memories about Grandpa and Grandma, and each story centered on an action, and collectively these actions represented themes in each of their lives: love for family, thoughtfulness, humor, kindness. I realized these actions had become their legacies, and in that moment, I knew why I write.

I write because words
are my way to process feelings,
and feelings give way to thoughts,
and thoughts grow into ideas.
Ideas shape our beliefs,
and beliefs drive our behavior.
Our behavior is what impacts other people,
and that impact becomes a memory in someone else’s mind,
and those memories become one’s legacy.