"Linda has been a faithful steward of The Meadowbrook Collaborative which has touched and transformed the lives of many young people from economically challenged families living at Meadowbrook Manor in St. Louis Park. She has worked with local artists to bring hope, inspiration, and creativity to a part of our community that would not have access to these ingredients for healthy living without her and the Collaborative," said a FOTA Board Member.
When asked what about her work with the Meadowbrook community has made her the most proud, without hesitation Linda said, "the kids." She has stayed connected with many people she has come to know. The impact Linda has had on people's lives keeps them drawn to her. "That's just my greatest joy, watching kids grow up and seeing them come back to visit."
Just over a year ago, Linda was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma, which demanded she suspend the work that has brought her so much joy. While on medical leave, Linda felt it was important to fill her time with something meaningful. "I was thinking about all the times I used art with little kids over at Meadowbrook." Linda began sitting with people on the oncology floor at the hospital. She invites them to just doodle or color, and they begin talking. "People don't even know that talking to someone who has cancer or anyone else in general can really be healing." Linda's desire to have an impact on the care people receive at the hospital has led her to join the hospital's Patient Advisory Board. As Linda will attest, the staff at Methodist is amazing. However, it's hard to deny that spending time with Linda doodling and talking allows everyone to feel better than when they came in.
Linda's diagnosis has been life-changing. "An important part of that journey for me was to be able to share my experiences with others in a meaningful way, and for others to not fear sharing their own emotions in return." Linda has been writing a book about her experience. She also journals and shares some of what she writes with friends on Facebook. Her poem, "Leaving Behind," is one of many Linda posted as a way to " ...just write what is going through my heart." Linda's cousin, Randy Trummer, put those words to music. Randy returned Linda's words back to her with images and set to music he wrote and performed, giving Linda's experiences an even greater impact to those near her.
As a poet, song-writer, or fellow doodler, Linda has found a way to continue giving to others with her greatest lesson: "Spend more time appreciating all that surrounds us, write love letters and thank you notes. Say 'I love you,' and share hugs. Make every moment matter. Write a poem and make it a song, and sing it every day. Even if you can't sing. Then laugh out loud, and start all over!"