By Crystal Lynn, Gary Crusader
Richard E. Wilford, pastor, father, blogger, and now author, has chosen to share his life journey over the last three years by answering many questions we have about life. He does this through two recently released books — “Light In Darkness” and “Living Without A Limp.”
In the first book, “Light In Darkness,” Wilford shares his experience as caregiver to his son, Angelo Wilford. His son was nationally known for his “Don’t Complain” movement while he battled a rare form of cancer. The second book, “Living Without A Limp” is Wilford’s life after his son’s death.
Wilford recognized the need to discuss the subjects people deem off limit. These are sensitive topics that people don’t discuss when caring for a terminally ill loved one, or don’t talk about during the grieving and healing process afterwards. Wilford wrote that when a loved one is “in hospitals, you need someone there who is knowledgeable (medical staff), and the medical staff has to see that there is someone there who cares (family). There are so many things I learned along the way that I wanted to be of assistance to someone else.”
“They don’t talk about what you should do,” Wilford explained as he shared how he chose to remember Angelo. “I didn’t throw his things away, I reorganized things because the pictures on the wall froze him in time. He’s here [in my heart].”
While explaining what living without a limp means Wilford sheds light on the misconceptions that take place after the loss of a loved one. “I’m not saying there is a specific time limit to healing but you can’t get stuck there.” Wilford, speaking from experience, says he saw a lot of individuals who used their loss as a crutch and an excuse, for years, not moving forward with their lives, not getting the help they needed.
As Wilford talked about living without a limp he continued to reminisce about conversations he and Angelo would have. He said that while you may want to attri-bute the strength and dignity that Angelo displayed as a trait acquired from his father, Wilford passed the tribute on, to the many influences in Angelo’s life, from his grandfather and his uncles. “He [Angelo] was a Wilford man,” Wilford said proudly.
Wilford’s thoughts, emotions and experiences are exquisitely expressed through metaphoric stories he wrote over the years while sitting beside his son. They were the perfect combination of humor, joy and heart. Wilford’s integrity shined a light on how we should be as the supporter and protector for our children.
In a chapter of the first book, “Light in Darkness” titled, “Unwelcomed Home,” Wilford talks about the struggles of getting back into the routines of life. Wilford said, “I was not in a rush to go back to reality. You postpone your life and you’re expected to just jump back into things—I struggled with that.” Wilford goes on to say, “but I got to a point where I know I’m where I’m supposed to be, doing what I’m supposed to be doing, and I have a peace about that.”
The blogs written by Wilford called, “The Real Will” have now turned into books and songs. Wilford feels this is all a blessing, “I don’t even know how it’s all come together. I just said, “Lord if you open the door, I will walk through it.”
Wilford currently has a radio show, “The Real Will Radio Show” airing on Facebook weekly. He is a regular featured guest on WGVE’s “In the Studio” once a month and has started his own publishing company.
The official book release will take place at St. Timothy Community Church, 1600 W. 25th Ave. in Gary, on Saturday, May 6, 2017 from 4-6 p.m.
Wilford’s two books are available on barnesandnoble.com and amazon.com. For more information on his publishing company visit: rawpublishinggroup.com.