By Jackie Nelson
HESSTON – Wilma Loganbill recently published her first book, “A Very Fortunate Woman,” though at first reading, Loganbill, herself, said, “The 80’s were not a nice decade for us.”
Loganbill’s book is based off her journals written through the years chronicling the early, happy years of her marriage to Paul, the birth of three sons, Bruce, Phillip and David and the shattering of her family in 1982 when her husband committed suicide. Loganbill continued to write as her family struggled through the chaos of a near drowning, car accident and eventually the murder of her youngest son in 1989.
“I had a lot of help. I didn’t blame God for what happened. I had a good church, good parents, good family, good friends and that’s the only reason I survived. I’d have never made it by myself,” said Loganbill.
Over the ensuing decades, Loganbill shared her story with congregants and friends. With encouragement from Mildred and Roy Unruh and assistance from Carol Duerksen, Loganbill finally agreed to have her story published.
“This book could not have happened if I hadn’t journaled during that time,” said Logabill.
Duerksen took Loganbill’s journals and began the process of piecing together a cohesive story.
“The book is my words, but she organized them,” said Loganbill.
Loganbill said writing the book was not a particularly emotional experience, as she had “Already processed a lot of what happened as I went.” However, she said several people who have read her story reached out.
“The thing that has been really meaningful to me are the kinds of responses that I’ve gotten. So, that makes me glad that I’ve written it,” she said,
Through the writing and compiling process, “I really almost felt kind of funny that I wasn’t working on it harder,” she said.
Loganbill said she hopes that the message of her book is clear – without her faith, “I wouldn’t have made it.”
Throughout her book, Loganbill said forgiveness is central to her ability to keep persevering, particularly after her son’s murder.
“I read a lot about forgiveness and finally, with God’s help, I was able to forgive him. When I forgave him, I let myself out of jail. And that was a real surprise,” she said.
Loganbill said she hopes readers will be encouraged by her story and challenges and she said based on responses, they have been.
“When reading your feelings, I recognize times that I felt the same way and God loves me, even then. You have been blessed to have Christian, caring people. That shows how we can help each other with comfort and understanding and have support when we need it,” Loganbill read from a letter.
Loganbill said the enduring message of her book is one of faithfulness and “Yes. It’s possible to get through these things.”
She added, “I have learned a lot. I have grown a lot. The title of my book is purposeful. I feel like I’m a very fortunate person. I’ve had two really, really bad things happen to me.”