This site has been named to honor the memory of one special woman, named Linda. Linda was Jenna’s aunt and taught her something very simple. Don’t give up, love with all you can, and you can accomplish anything if you work hard enough. Linda’s sister shared a very special story of her life with us that you can read below.
Who is Linda? She was my younger sister, a loving daughter, wife, mother, friend, and an aunt with a huge heart. She was my hero as I told her on many occasions throughout her short lifetime. This is her story.
Linda was one of eight children born with a twin sister. She was a very quiet and sweet child. She was always the child who did everything right. Never gave our parents any trouble. Linda was on her way to great things after high school. She found she was very artistically talented and enrolled in an art school in the Twin Cities, where she completed her training and soon became an accomplished artist painting oils, portraits, and beautiful pastels. Her life was going according to plan when she married her high school sweetheart and started on her life road.
Linda and her husband, Dave, then started planning their family only to find out she had problems with infertility. This was devastating news for her as she was looking forward to the dream of motherhood. But, this isn’t the only news that Linda received during that time. Soon she was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease called, scleroderma, a disease that is the tightening of the skin and organs.
The disease affected her fingers first making them so tight they would split and become infected and riddled her with so much pain. This made it difficult for Linda to practice her craft, but she didn’t give up due to any physical limitations. She continued on living life to the fullest — with no complaints.
Linda opened an art studio and continued to work on her craft. With the devastating news of her infertility, Linda sort of began to “adopt” nieces and nephews. Teaching them all about her passion for art, taking them out on movie nights, and taking them to her art studio just to name a few things.
As the years ticked by the pain in her hands and joints worsened, but she would get up everyday and put a smile on her face. Although Linda’s appearance began to change, her heart never did. Scleroderma changes the face as it becomes tighter and tighter, changing the way you appear. I think that was the hardest part for her. It hardened her beautiful face. By the grace of God, the effects of the disease slowed down and eventually when into remissions for a time.
Linda and her husband, Dave, decided that this would be the perfect time to adopt children. They welcomed a baby boy, Louie, then a baby girl, Josie, into their home. She was very happy to shower these children with all the love and support she had to give. She took care of them until she could give no more.
Although she was fortunate with a time of remission, the disease came back and the effects of scleroderma slowly began attacking her body again. She would wake up in terrible pain, and would go through the day and go to sleep with the same pain. I don’t know how she did it. Her fingers got so infected that they would not heal and eventually a couple of them had to be amputated. She continued on with her talents, but in a different way. She became an art teacher at the school she attended as a student.
She endured the pain silently. The only time you would see the pain on her face is when she would come and give you a hug hello or goodbye. She would wince with pain. The disease soon attacked her lungs and started to harden them with scar tissue. As Linda continued to battle this disease, she was devastated by losing her husband at the young age of 57 to lung cancer.
Almost immediately after losing the love of her life, Linda too was diagnosed with lung cancer. The doctors thought that the symptoms she was having in her lungs was due to the scleroderma, but in fact it ended up being stage four cancer. But, Linda would not give up. She fought for her family. She endured chemo and radiation treatments all while dealing with the ongoing symptoms of scleroderma.
On July 12, 2015 she could not fight anymore. Her body was tired and the Lord showed her grace and welcomed her home. I could go on forever about the strength and determination of this sweet woman and the love that she had for her family. But, the best way for me to sum her up is generosity, love, and determination.
I think it it very fitting for this site to be named after her. Women need someone to be inspired by as we walk through this crazy thing we call life. I can’t think of anyone else who could be better inspiration. She was an inspiration to all who knew her.
I encourage you to live like Linda, love, hug, and create even through all of the pain.
Written by: Vicky Campbell