My mom was a giver. All the time. Not every once in a while, but really always. She gave of her time to hundreds of people through acts of kindness in every way you can imagine. She gave her talents all the time by watching kids for next to nothing (in cost), by teaching sunday school at church for all of my lifetime, by baking for sick people or for someone who needed it. My mom spent hours praying for others. One memory I have is of us always having the widows over for Sunday lunch. There were a group of them, who were of course older, and whose husbands had passed. There was Grandma Murdoch (she was the closest to our family), Mrs. Duddleston (She was kind of the most crazy one, and her daughter happened to be my school principal), Mrs. Olsen (the most quiet one), Mrs. Richhard (the one who said the silliest things) , and Aunt Irma. Those women came over countless Sundays because my mom wanted to treat them with kindness, love, and a good meal. And of course we played games too. Games were always part of our household. There is a verse in James 1:27 that says visiting the widows in their trouble is true religion.(paraphrased of course). There could be more said on that, but what I'm trying to say is that my mom was always giving-to all ages. There was never a lot of money growing up, but mom always found a way to be giving. The last gift I ever got from my mom that I can recall is a beautiful heart necklace. I wear it almost every day and I get a lot of comments on it. It was not a costly gift, but it was one of the most meaningful. Maybe because it was the last;maybe because it displayed love in every aspect; maybe, and most likely, simply because it was a gift from her heart.
I say all this to share partly about the 5K that I hold in her memory. It's approaching to happen in October (October 13 to be exact). Because of that, and planning that full force right now, my mom's desire to give constantly is often on my heart. When my mom died, a good friend of hers gave money to go to a scholarship fund, rather than giving flowers. It was a very generous gift, and a beautiful reflection of my mom and the part she played in this woman's life. When dad and I learned about this gift, we wanted to build on it, and we wanted to make the scholarship be available annually. The designation was to be for a nursing student, studying to be in the field of oncology (a cancer nurse.). A lot of people ask me, "was your mom a nurse?" The answer is no. My mom was a teacher. However, nurses played a huge part in my mom's life of course, in the last few years, and this was one simple way of giving back to nurses. (Thus prompting some of my thoughts on mom always giving). Mom did not like attention. She was the most humble person I have ever known. She did everything for God's glory and never ever wanted that to be given to her. She would probably roll her eyes over there being a scholarship in her name. However, in my efforts of wanting the scholarship to grow, and in a sense, keep mom's memory and efforts of always giving, alive, I started a 5K in her memory. We call it the Linda A. Ferguson Memorial 5K. Last year, of course, was the first year for it. We had gorgeous weather and a beautiful turnout. (See my posts October 6 & 8,2011 to read more details). This year, as it approaches, it is growing rapidly. I am working on a website for it and will hopefully have that up by my next post so you can check it out. I have bigger dreams with it. It is going to be fantastic.I want my mom's legacy to keep on giving. I want to be a giver like my mom was. I have been missing her more deeply lately. But her memory is fully alive. Mom always supported my running-i've said that in previous posts more than once. 2 weeks after my mom died, I ran a half marathon. I had signed up for it months before, having no idea that it would fall on the heels of her death. It was a tough race to run, but i did it in memory of her. Just as we do this 5K in her memory. And even more so, for God's glory. May her memory stay vibrant through this, but as I said, even more so, may God receive bounds of glory and praise through it. And may more students be reached. Here are a few pictures from last year's.