FROM OUR CONTRIBUTORS
THE I AM PROJECT
I am Howard Guidry:
A tinker. I like fixing things. when I was a kid I would take things apart just to see if I could put them back together. I am always looking for ways to make my radio reception work better, or if I'm bored I'll change the arrange of my cell as a way of adjusting my attitude.
I love getting lost in a good book. I appreciate a challenging and lively debate. I hate cold weather. Growing up in Louisiana I hardly ever wore a shirt, and swimming in the bayou with my friends was what we did to stay cool in the summer. I'm a giver. nothing material is sacred to me.
I deal with depression on a regular basis. Creating art, playing chess, D and D or meditation or all coping mechanisms for me.
I have been in single man segregation cells for 25 years of my incarceration. Sometimes I feel like I'd rather be dead than spend another day in this place.
Most importantly, I am another innocent man the state intends to execute. I am Howard Paul Guidry
I am : Andy Canales
by: Anibal Canales
"........Let go of who you are, to become who you could be...."
Today, I sit at my small table and think of all that
I have seen and done, as I sip at my cup of coffee,
reflecting on my own life..I know that I have posted
about my childhood, my environment, my parents,
my mistakes. Truth is, when you talk about your
own life, we have tendency to gloss over facts,
change the outcomes of horrors that we have lived
thru, because you don't want to think of the pain and
sorrow of THAT!..Yet, years later.. I can recall the past
without all that emotional baggage attached to it,
because I confronted my past, my history, my crimes,
and once the journey was over,I looked back and saw
NOTHING, because I was the one that placed so much
importance to it..I was the one that allowed it all to
dictate and control my future ..THAT was all ME!
I've spent time working on myself, a lot of years ..
18 to be exact.. and thru it all,I knew that if I quit,
stopped searching, stop delving, stop asking, stop
confronting and being honest with myself,I would
never be anything, what my past had already
defined me as..
TODAY, today is MY day..today I walk in a whole
different mindset..today, my life is filled with life,
laughter, joy, love, happiness..Today,I am the best
version of myself then I have EVER been!Today,I
can look at ME and know who I am, where I have
been and where I am going..all because I was
willing to confront, the me that wasn't ME!
I'm 58 years old,..I don't have much..I can look
around my cell, and truth is, there is nothing I
value except my Bible and photo album..One
fills my heart with Hope,Love,Joy and Grace..
while the other reminds me of all those that
I love, enjoyed, hugged, laughed and cried with,
and the rest ?? whatever! LOL!
I've been blessed, with an amazing group of
people who gave me love and helped me look
within, challenged me to be honest with who
I WAS, and who I WANTED TO BE..They always
asked questions, forcing me to think, ask, reason,
and begin the process of healing within..Because
of their patience, their love, and guidance I stand
here today as a MAN..a man who is not afraid,
of my own testimony, not afraid of sharing, being
honest with ALL, always able to say what I MEAN,
and mean what I SAY...I owe that to them, all of
them, and can't image how I could pay them back
for such a gift..
Today,I stand before you all, and know who I am,
what I want, who I love, and what it means to me..
today,I am the ME that I was suppose to be..no
longer the him that was. I have worked hard to
be ME, and worked even harder to better myself
with all the opportunities that have been available
to me here on the 'Row..I have graduated from
Bridges to Life, which was so profoundly enriching
and helpful in my own growth! Overcomers, which
helped me get a real grip on my addiction's, also
providing a blueprint to keep you sober..graduating
THAT class, was a real accomplishment!! Truth Pro-
ject, was inspiring..Authentic Manhood, encouraging..
Beyond Success ,has been a real inspiration lesson,
on leadership..Graduating from these classes, taking
all the lessons and applying them to my life, has given
me the tools to be a better human being, seeing those
around me,as fellow travelers who are walking the
same road as I am..which means, that WE ALL benefit
when we better ourselves to be the best version of our
Today,I can say with complete confidence, that I am the
very best that I can be..today..Tomorrow,I will work on,
when I get there! I'm a happy man today and each day
I wake,I greet it with enthusiasm, because its another
day to be a Doer! I'm able to be a Doer, because the best
gift that I have EVER received, was my SALVATION! Thru
all my work on me,I turned to God, for guidance ..But, it
wasn't until January/2022 that I was able to finally find
true fulfillment, real peace,TRUE REDEMPTION! The day
I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour,..
I opened my eyes and saw the husk of who
I was laying on the floor underneath me. I
stood up and as I did,I felt like something was
missing..I couldn't put my finger on it, but it was
like I was missing something and it felt very
different from my normal self.As I wiped the
tears away, hearing the cheers of my brothers
around me,I took a step to the door and felt so
light, that it shocked me..as if there was no gravity,
and I floated!! I looked back and saw the chains
on the floor, all the locks and chains that had held
be back from that final lap in my marathon to better
myself...All gone! Then it hit me, what was different,
it was the fact that I didn't have all that ugly baggage
I had been carrying around in my heart, all the hate,
anger, rage, pain, SIN..gone..just like that! I leaned on
the door and cried like a baby..filled with a joy, that
was so shocking...amen!
Today,I am a Follower of Jesus of Nazareth,The
Messiah! I am happier, stronger, healed, peaceful,
joyous, and walking in the light of my Lord God..
The only thing that would make it better is standing
in the Great Hall of God Almighty, hearing, seeing,
bathing in the beauty and glory of God...
It wasn't easy, it still ain’t, but each day,I walk further
away from the old man I use to be, and become the
man HE sees in me...