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Angels Watching Over Me

Helping a friend write his memoirs

Over the past several months I have been helping my dear friend Gilles write his memoirs. I first met Gilles in 2008 when my husband and I moved to Tumbler Ridge, BC. He and his wife Betty went to the church we decided to attend. Even then, he was a hardworking man of strong faith who’d had many interesting life experiences.

In late 2019 he asked me one day if I could help him sort out an airplane ticket that he had received as a gift. He wanted to visit his wife in the nursing home where she now resided, but wasn’t sure how to redeem the ticket. When he told me the story behind it, I was touched and asked if I could write it down. He agreed, and I wrote a short article called “A Valentine For Gilles” which was published in our local newspaper. (I also blogged about it here.)

I made an offhand comment that he should start recording his life story since there were so many fascinating aspects to it. Shortly thereafter, he called me up and asked, “Were you serious about writing my story?” And thus, he and I began meeting on a regular basis so that he could tell me all about his life. Covid had already hit by then, so we met using ZOOM, and I recorded our conversations.

I’ve since spent hours transcribing our sessions, and more recently, I’ve been rearranging and rewriting to make the story flow a bit better. I was surprised at how easily the project has come into being. What started out as an idea, has become a full blown project, one which both Gilles and I are excited about.

Last week, I shared the first draft with Gilles and then he and I met in person – for the first time in months – to go over a few changes. The story is written in first person because I wanted to maintain Gilles’ voice. He is a natural storyteller, and I wanted that authenticity to come across in the retelling. We are well on our way to publishing the book this summer! I can hardly believe it!

ANGELS WATCHING OVER ME is an uncensored glimpse into the life of an ordinary man who lived through some extraordinary and sometimes cruel circumstances. It’s the story of my 85 year old friend, Gilles. I was not expecting to be talking about another new book so soon, but it looks like this baby is bursting to be born – ready or not!

Gilles was a trucker for fifty years so the initial cover design has a truck on it along with angel’s wings. Expect to hear more about this project in the near future!

I’d love to hear what you think of our little project. I am confident when you read it, you will also be touched, as I was!

2 Comments

  1. Matthew Westergardq says:

    That is soooooo cool. I’d definitely read that. He is such an interesting man.

    1. tracykrauss says:

      Yes, I agree! I really think it’s a “God thing’ because it has come together so quickly and easily. Nice to hear from you, too!

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