The Words of the Shapiro Family
Father giving Linda Shapiro and William Truscott the WMA Ethics Award on behalf of Lee Shapiro and Jim Lindelof.
So much has transpired in my life since my husband Lee's death. Father asked me to work with Dr. Pak and brothers and sisters at CAUSA International. They've been helping me a lot. Basically, I was thrown into a group of people I never really knew before. I began to live with Lee's secretary, Ellen, and her husband in a beautiful townhouse we had previously rented for Lee and I and them.
In a way, God put me through the most difficult situation so that I could change some of my fundamental shortcomings quickly. I was in shock at first and couldn't believe this was happening to me, but it was. Father encouraged me to be strong and go actively public to keep the issues alive. That gave me lots of strength, but honestly there were times when I just wanted a "mom" to hold me and love me and cry with me. My own mom wasn't there, and there weren't any sisters around that I knew well enough to share my pain with -- so I went to God. He was my only Mom to comfort me. But, now I have grown more strong. Still there's lots of pain as I sit here typing, tears rolling down my cheeks. Everyone has a lot of words to say, and they mean a lot to be heard, but you just need a companion around in these times, to love and support you. I hope I can apply all that I've learned in order to help someone else when he or she is suffering. I'm still the same bright, young-hearted me, but I'm much more serious about my life and mission and relationships than ever before. Actually, I've become a lot more like Lee in many ways now. I've inherited his strengths, his good qualities.
It was just one day before I received the news about Lee's death that I had a beautiful dream that Lee was coming home; he came into the room where I was sleeping in Washington, D.C., and walked over and hugged me so gently and with such pure love (end of dream). Then I woke up and was to teach the Principle that day. That evening at 1:30 a.m. I received a call from the U.S. Consulate in Pakistan informing me of Lee's death. It was just two days before this in Boston that I had prayed and told God, once again, to put me through the most difficult situation so I could grow closer to Him and do His Will. Well, God always seems to answer my prayers but not in the ways I expect! Anyhow, a day after the news, a half hour after I went to bed, I had a spiritual experience with a snake-like spirit that tried to strangle me. I knew it was Satan, so I prayed powerfully and finally when I could sit up I got Holy Salt and prayed out loud strongly. Then I received that this would be my test at the Ford of Jabbok, like Jacob wrestling with the angel.
Linda with husband Lee
I knew the days ahead would be my big test of faith in Him. Well, they have been and I'm still here and love God and True Parents even more. I'm also doing all the things Lee was always bugging me to learn and do. He must be laughing in the spirit world. I'm now speaking to top level people in the government, professional business people, ministers, lawyers, Christian leaders, the media and a whole range of people that I was always shy about approaching. I've also learned to use a word- processor, which Lee would tell me I must learn. The two things I hated the most were politics and the media but now I've found out that the people involved are not such bad people after all. I must sound like a child discovering a new toy, but it's true.
So in a nutshell, I can only be grateful to God for the change in my life. There is always some good to come out of every tragedy. My faith went through some real tests and I didn't even want to talk to God for a while or have anything to do with the spirit world, because so many people would tell me of different experiences they had had with Lee. But now, I'm back to God again and even talk with Lee at times through my original mind, and I don't mind it if people share their experiences with me. Lee told me that I'm not ready to see the spirit world yet, that I must be patient. He told me that my spirit is too gentle and that I might get hurt.
Practically speaking, I've been trying to obtain funds through newspapers, magazines, and speaking all over the country in order to help sponsor the Afghan documentary film which we're now finishing for Lee. Also, I've made several ads to fundraise for the Afghan refugees which will be shown on cable TV. Andrew Kessler and I were also supporting the efforts of several congressmen and senators urging President Reagan to award Lee, Jim Lindelof, and one other the Presidential Medal of Freedom. There are many obstacles on the way, but I'm just so grateful that Father asked me to take Lee's project to the public and expose the atrocities perpetrated by communism in Afghanistan.
Anyhow, I don't know the details of my future -- family, children, mission, and so on, but for now it's all in God's hands, and I'm walking forward with my head high and my feet on the ground to discover soon what else He is going to put me through! We never have to worry because God and True Parents are there with us. We must just have faith and act. I'm sure someday we'll all be sharing our stories and laughing as we realize our mistakes and victories.
Since this letter was written, Linda has joined the education team with Rev. Kevin McCarthy and Dr. Hugh Spurgin, where she is helping to develop 21 day workshops for new members. She also continues her work with the Lee Shapiro Memorial Foundation and does guest lecturing to support the cause of freedom for the Afghan people and all peoples of the world seeking freedom.