September 2015

A Tribute to Linda Pedro

Judith K. Moore

The deep bond my cousin, Linda Pedro, and I shared was through our commitment to the welfare of humanity; we both felt it ran in our blood. Our parents were human-rights activists, and throughout their lives they taught us to be committed to the causes of justice and freedom. Jim Allander, Linda’s father, smuggled money into France during World War II to help Jewish people escape Hitler. Our grandparents emigrated from Scotland and were union organizers in the coal mines. Our Grandma Genie was a midwife in the coal-mining camps of southern Colorado. They were people who had courage to stand up for what is right and to not be afraid to face oppressive organizations, doing so with sheer courage and pure spirit. Linda’s life speaks to that legacy. Her own legacy inspires all of us who desire to make a difference in the world with our lives.
Memories flood into my heart as I write this. We are sitting at the sacred grounds of a tipi, and Linda is rolling a prayer smoke. She has called me to pray with her because she is concerned for her son and grandson. Her love for her family shows in the depth of her being as she prays. Another memory surfaces. We are in a peace march in Chimayó, led by the carriers of a peace torch. There, at the sacred sanctuary of Chimayó, at the river, we share bread with a spiritual gathering of many religions and then proceed to Los Alamos, bringing the torches of peace to the little pond in the city. The speakers’ inspiring talks fill me with the power of Linda’s promise to serve peace with her life.
Thoughts of Linda flow like a river as my heart feels the love she gave every moment of her life. One day, the phone rang and Linda was on the other end. She had been at an anti-nuclear demonstration in Los Alamos and dared the police to arrest her when she crossed the line they set for protesters. They wisely refused. I wonder how many times she faced injustice with such resolve, daring authorities to arrest her and, in doing so, bringing publicity to the righteousness of the protest. When she spoke at the Democratic Convention, in 1984, she was more than a symbol of freedom; she was an icon of hope for all who listened.
The sacred force that is the power of the Great Mother we call the Virgin of Guadalupe guided Linda every step of the way. I recall a pilgrimage for La Virgen to a holy mountain near Las Cruces. We were brought up to the top and, there, she prayed with the pilgrims. In the early morning light, the gift of faith for the people, given by Guadalupe, flowed through Linda. I felt a miraculous power moving us the day we went to the St. Francis Cathedral to visit the relic of her patron saint, Little Theresa of the Roses. Another time, we were embraced by the beloved Blessed Mother, Amma, whose love surrounded us.
There is no way to really comprehend the miracle of Linda’s life or the power of the gift she gave us through her vision. I know that her legacy of love, eternal and blessed, lives.
Judith K. Moore served for 20 years as a child advocate and educator for adoptive parents. She is the former chairman of the Citizens Review Board in New Mexico.

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