The Value of Writing
It Forces You To Remember

I have written articles and essays for over a quarter of a century. Those writings have appeared in a newspaper column that I wrote for over a dozen years. In addition, I wrote articles for several magazines and other newspapers. Furthermore, I have written well over a thousand articles for my webpage.

Al at his desk

Several weeks ago, I wrote Some People Feel the Rain, which was my attempt to figure out why I am so driven about my two youngest grandchildren, Jack and Owen. Writing that article has helped me better understand that relationship.

Last month, I wrote an essay based upon what Mahatma Gandhi said. "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." After looking at both articles, I realized that one of the great benefits to writing is essentially that of creating a diary. My diary consists of newspaper columns, magazine articles, and my webpage articles. The stories are my memories of where I was in life and what I thought at that given time and place.

Then it hit me while looking over some older articles. I had forgotten that I had even written some of the essays, let alone recalling any of the data in that essay. We all need to write. This is a warning for all of us to write so that we can remember. I did not write anything as my three children grew up. When Ayanna, my 20-year old granddaughter, was born, I did start to write about her.


Nevertheless, two decades later when Jack and Owen, my two young grandsons, came into the world, I really wrote. Now, I am into writing. In nearly five years since Jack was born, I have written dozens of articles about him and Owen, his younger brother.

Jack and Owen

Interestingly, I wrote those stories initially so that they will have my memories of them. They will forget all the fun times that we have shared together so far. Children have to reach about five before they generally can remember happenings and events in their lives. However, as I look back upon some of those articles essentially written for them, I have forgotten much about which I had written. Obviously, many of the details were lost, but so also was my memory of some of those actual events. Then I pondered all the other memories of my children and Ayanna decades ago. Many of them have been lost in time and space...forever.

Therefore, I write. Writing is my legacy to my family so that the youngsters have a written history and the older generation can also remember. Randy Pausch's Last Lecture was for his family especially for his three children who will not remember him because of his pending death.

The Last Lecture

The Last Lecture

Visit the The Last Lecture page to read more about this topic.

Dancing with Death

Dancing with Death

Visit the Dancing with Death page to read more about this topic.