A book about the late Woonsocket, RI native Marie Bilodeau offers inspiration to those suffering with chronic and debilitating illness.
Running to Heaven: The Story of Marie Bilodeau is a book by her son Ryan Bilodeau about a local woman who ran her church’s food pantry with an oxygen tank in her hand and a smile on her face. The biography was written to inspire those with chronic illness.
Marie Bilodeau lost her husband Jean in her 40’s, and alone raised her two youngest children during their teenage years. During these years she lived through multiple heart attacks, kidney failure, lung calcification and major surgeries on her legs and lungs, while also requiring oxygen and dialysis. Disabled and living on SSI, Marie was still generous enough to help the poor of the city at her parish food pantry.
The book is both a biographical sketch and offers a series of lessons from her life:
- Lessons from Marie: The Value of Suffering – Suffering, this chapter argues, has an overall positive effect on one’s self-growth and development.
- Lessons from Marie: Mind over Matter – Marie was able to accomplish so much while in a state of constant pain. How was she able to do it? Mind over matter.
- Lessons from Marie: One’s Need for God – Marie was a devout Catholic. As such she was able to see her suffering for what it was: a gift from God meant to humble her to grow spiritually.
- Lessons from Marie: The Importance of Mission – Never underestimate a person whose identity is tied to a mission bigger than herself. Marie viewed her life in terms of a calling to take care of her children. It was her mission that helped her carry on and flourish amidst all her suffering.
- Lessons from Marie: Laughing off Life – Marie saw humor in everything. Her laughter is what helped her cling to joy instead of despair.
Marie’s son Ryan Bilodeau said, “We all have bad days. But what do you do when you have bad years or bad decades? My Mom Marie lost her husband 15 years into her marriage and lived every day with chronic pain and illness. In spite of all this, she was able to raise a family while also tending to the needs of the poor of Woonsocket. It is my hope that the life Marie lived will serve as a source of hope for others who are enduring similar long-suffering and hardships.”
Ryan Bilodeau is a teacher, author and small business owner who is ardent about helping the homeless. In his personal life, Ryan is a big fan of marketing, writing, Boston sports, poetry, politics and hip-hop.
Running to Heaven: The Story of Marie Bilodeau by Ryan Bilodeau is available on Amazon and at http://runningtoheaven.com
Company Name: Running to Heaven
Contact Person: Ryan Bilodeau
Country: United States