“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” — Mahatma Gandhi
Mary Lou Guindon doesn’t know how to slow down. She rides her bike 10 miles a day, writes a weekly news column called “Positively Parish,” is a member of a handful of organizations throughout Oswego County, and a Parish Town Board member.
She is a woman grounded in faith and a giver through and through. But she wasn’t always that way. There was a time in her life when things seemed very “dark,” and it took the love of one little boy to brighten it.
Mary Lou said the darkness started when she lived in Florida. She was in her early 20s when she got news her father passed away. He was only 49.
“I recognized in that moment that life was too short,” she said. “So I divorced my husband and moved back to New York. I started drinking. I went through a four-year period where I drank. And then, two years after I moved back, I got into a bad car accident. I survived that accident for a reason.”
That reason was a little boy named Jeremy. He was her nephew and, at 8-years-old, he was without a family. The boy lived with various foster families, some, she said, who treated him poorly. But she said that little boy never gave up hope.
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“The last foster home he was in brought the Lord into his life and he had such passion and such hope and I said, I want to be a part of that. So I started going to church and finding my faith. With faith, you don’t need to worry about the darkness.
”I lost my sister two years ago. She was 57. I’m 55. So now I’m doing what I need to do to live strong and healthy. I have a passion for everything I do, or I wouldn’t be doing it. I’ve tried to cut back but I guess I love it because I thrive on it.”
The love of another can be the fuel we need when we feel all is lost. Love is the core of everything. Giving love is the answer to self-sabotage, self-hatred and self-denial. It fills us with self-worth and self-love. Fall in love with yourself. That’s really where it all begins.
Joleene DesRosiers Moody is a transformational speaker and freelance writer who lives in Pulaski. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit her at www.joleenespeaks.com.