GRIPPING • POWERFUL • TRAGIC • COURAGEOUS
As the mother of four children, Linda's heart-wrenching story began with a god-forsaken premonition on the eve of the summer solstice. The next day, June 22, 2004, the longest day of the year, her youngest son, 10-year-old Sam, was crushed beneath the wheels of a trailer hauling a 5-ton tractor. The tragic family accident shattered Linda's world, but not her courage. Vowing to honor his life, Linda fulfilled Sam's dream of someday riding across the country on a horse.
Lightning Strikes Twice
Eight months after Sam's death, Linda began her healing journey by riding 4032 miles across America, alone, on horseback. Dubbed "The Promise Keeper" by the Navajos, Linda honored her youngest son's dream and memory.
Seven months later, as she crossed into her home state of Maryland approaching the "finish line," her eldest son Eric greeted her with a silver bracelet etched with the words "Expect Miracles." It was to be the last gift Linda ever received from her eldest son. Four hundred and twenty-one days later, Linda lost her second son,18-year-old Eric, to tragic circumstances.
Unbelievably, lightning struck twice. Two sons were gone. A mother's world was ripped apart.
A Woman of Valor
Taken down by grief, somehow Linda rose, painstakingly picking up the pieces of her shattered life, emerging with wisdom, compassion and grace—indeed becoming a Woman of Valor, inspiring others with her message and will to survive.
"I've given up, but never quit.
I've moved forward, by taking action and growing.
Every second. Every minute. Every hour. Every day.
Little by little, with every step, progress was made.
And when I look over my shoulder and see all endured,
I shake my head in disbelief,
'How did I get through that? How did I?'
It still amazes me.
When I look forward, I have hope, that the strength I've gained, that the woman I've become, will inspire just one person to take just one step along their own journey. Taking them from pain and despair to hope—an unbelievable hope and focused faith in self and more— and moving them to a different place, no, to a better place and time."
December 5, 2007