Writing, a family gift

By Helen Guilford

Many, if not all, of you, my readers, started reading my material because you had followed the column my brother Russell wrote for 24 years before he stepped through the veil into the reward God had prepared for him. Since then, you have faithfully followed my writings for the past nearly 30 years. There have been what I considered good, interesting columns and there have been opposites. But you’ve borne with me. Thank you for that.

So, was writing a family gift? Well, there is still our brother, Paul – who was probably the most prolific of us. His writings, however, took a different direction.

He wrote poetry!

Whereas both Russell and I stressed the spiritual side of our thinking, Paul’s writings addressed whatever was going on in his life or in the lives of those around him or, for that matter, whatever popped into his head. All of life was the basis for his writings from early happy childhood memories to the loss of friends, family and acquaintances later in life.

I encouraged him to make a book of his poems but that was never his goal. I think some poems were written simply because there was something he needed to put on paper. They were never meant to be shared.

Starting in the 1990s, he did begin putting together a loose-leaf book for family at Christmastime. Though these were well received, many of them were never read in their entirety. Still, I kept on encouraging him. I had made the same suggestion to Russell.

Then, in 1990 (has it really been that long?). I published my book, “Aren’t You Somebody?”

When I actually had the books in my hands, I took them to give out to the adult Sunday School class I was teaching. While I wanted to do that, at the same time, I was afraid Paul would be emotionally hurt. What? Didn’t I even know my brother? Holding it proudly in his hands, he simply said, “Well! About time!”

Both my brothers are now in heaven and when I laid my hands on Paul’s Christmas books recently, I thought long and hard about who would want them. AHA! It came to me – the cousin who was an avid follower of both Russell’s and my writings.

But this AHA moment came after many other ideas, including putting them in the outgoing trash. After all, family had them and who else would be interested? I emailed the cousin and got an affirmative answer. Then I went to the garage where I had last seen the books. No books! I concluded I must have put them in the trash after all so I apologized to her and she graciously accepted.

A few days later when I went to get the riding lawn mower, I wondered what that was stacked on the hood. Yes, you guessed it – the books! I had forgotten where I put them. Now, that cousin will get a pleasant unexpected surprise.

Fortunately, God is constantly aware of us wherever we are, whatever we are doing, what we are remembering or forgetting! Putting us in the trash is not an option. He is even planning the day and time, He will call us home. Are you ready? Know Jesus!

By Helen Guilford