The Linda Ferguson Legacy Fund
Linda Ferguson was an exceptional woman. Her spirit was infectious. Her laugh was contagious. It was almost impossible to find her without a smile on her face. Her loyalty was a lifestyle. Her integrity a ritual. She loved fiercely and without condition. She wore so many hats Queen Elizabeth would be envious. She was a friend, colleague, mentor, outdoor enthusiast, athlete, cousin, sister, aunt, grandma, and beloved mother. Of all of them, “grandma” was by far her favorite. Linda spoiled her four grandchildren every chance she could get, especially with ice cream. She never said no to their games, whether playing dress up, running around, swimming, or just reading a book.
The family was everything to Linda. She was a contented mother, proud of her three kids who she raised on her own. Throughout their growing years, she filled the house with family and laughter. Next to her family, Linda loved being active. Linda’s weekends and free times were spent on the golf course or in a kayak or bicycle. Once all her kids went on to college, she seemed to occupy her newfound free time with the outdoors and began participating in 5k runs and triathlons. She earned more medals in the last ten years of her life than all the years prior. She would have earned many more had her body allow it.
In 2016, Linda’s functionality began to change. It started subtly; her speech became quicker and repetitious. Soon after, she began shuffling her feet and had moments of instability. This prompted a 2-year process of diagnosis – she visited multiple neurologists, who ordered MRI’s and cognitive exams, and performed countless physicals, all without answers to her condition. Mid-2018, she was finally diagnosed – a disease without treatment or hope. Everyone, especially Linda, was confused, anxious, frustrated, and unsure how to proceed.
Linda continued to progressively lose motor function, speech capabilities, finger dexterity, and cognitive function. She lost her ability to drive and walk independently without using a walker or wheelchair. The rapidity at which the losses occurred was almost too fast for us to accommodate. For Linda, it wasn’t the need for assistance that was difficult; it was not being able to swing a golf club, or ride a bike, or paddle a kayak, and mostly, not being able to communicate.
Through every decline in function, however, Linda remained strong. She kept her smile on, always excited to see friends, always ready for an adventure, always fighting through each day. On February 10, 2020, however, she lost the fight. Still, she was courageous to the end. She enjoyed every moment spent with friends and family, even in her last days. From the first moment we met Linda, the infectious spirit that we all loved never was taken from her – even when so much else was. Linda Ferguson was indeed an exceptional woman.
Mom – we couldn’t begin to count the times you tolerated our moods, consoled our heartbreaks and disappointments, endured our ups and downs, listened to words confused by tears, and just simply understood – for no other reason than you loved us. The years hold precious memories, but most of all, they hold growth. In a way, we grew up together. You are the definition of a special person….fantastic…unique…enduring…exceptional! You filled our lives with happiness and sweet feelings that we will carry in our hearts forever.