Linda Pedro de Allander y Martínez was the only child of Ramona Martínez and James Allander, and the adopted daughter of Bertha and Vincent Groves. Her mind and heart were engaged in life, on life’s terms. On Good Fridays, she opened her home to the walkers headed to El Santuario, complementing the special day of fasting and prayer with a meatless meal that all could take part in. She blessed those heading out for the remaining three miles and asked them carry her prayers with them.
In retrospect, one could say that Linda was born with a special assignment: improve the quality of life for those perceived as the “weak link” of society—those who were disabled, like herself. With her keen mind and courageous heart, Linda challenged the federal legal system, recreating a standard of care that enabled everyone to pursue life, liberty and happiness in the safety and comfort of their own home. Linda knew there was prejudice toward disabled people. She countered this by greeting everyone with a warm smile and a genuine curiosity.
Because Linda cultivated a habit of saying “yes” to life, she insisted that those of us around her do the same. Good food, stimulating conversation, critical thinking and an appreciation of our traditional New Mexican lifestyle were the norm. Because of the severity of Linda’s injuries, she worked hard to maintain a comfort level. In order to avoid the side-effects that came with the use of prescription painkillers, Linda became a champion of meditation, massage and molecular healing practices. She was proud that, through her diligence, she had never developed bedsores in over 50 years of being disabled. Linda set the bar high, and while it was not always easy being her relative, friend, or assistant, it was certainly interesting. She was the consummate teacher.
Linda died on Jan. 13, 2015. In this year of remembrance, we invite you to join us as we pause to appreciate this amazing woman and the life she lived.