I first ‘met’ Leslie third-hand. Jess was going out with her son. As their relationship continued and began taking on the markings of a serious long-term connection, Leslie invited us up to dinner at their house so we could start getting acquainted as “almost-in-laws.” We brought a bottle of wine, and a bunch of flowers, I think. Both were like bringing coals to Newcastle. It was a good thing we didn’t try to bring food! Leslie doesn’t do anything by halves and her cooking was beyond amazing in deliciousness, presentation, AND volume. China! Crystal!

I felt thoroughly cowed by her proficiency. Intimidated, even. Those were MY issues, because Leslie, in never doing anything by halves, also went out of her way to make everyone (I was but one of so very many in her life) feel welcome and welcomed. How could you not relax when charmed by those amazingly-blue eyes and wide smile? Right from the get-go she included us in her family-and-friends holidays and parties. Her parties are THE BEST with a grand mix of people and fun party games ranging from cards to Beirut to Cranium.

Leslie Laughs with Curt

I had always wanted to get a tattoo. Leslie said she had been thinking of getting one, too. We talked about where to put them, and what we thought our tats might look like. Being more adventurous than I, she got hers first. She showed us her new, colorful tat placed low on her back and assured me that I would be fine. As usual, she was right. I finally got a dragon inked on my right ankle. Mine is smaller than hers, but I get to see it more than she could see hers.

Her down-to-earth attitude and cheerful demeanor touched everyone who came in contact with her. And the best part? You could learn an awful lot about how to play with Leslie around. Need a party hat? Try a turban of bubble wrap. Want to dance until you laugh so hard you fall down giggling? She and her grandson Liam did that lots. Then Liam showed me (and anyone else within earshot) how to dance to the chicken music and other famous tunes. I remember some parties at her house where I laughed so hard I got the hiccups.

Ah, yes. So many Good Times.

I learned quite a bit about what Love Is from Leslie. If you bottled 1 Corinthians chapter 13 and drank it every day until it oozed from your pores, you might, if you’re lucky, love like Leslie. In love as in everything else, Leslie does nothing by halves, only wholeheartedly. Those she loved were blessed indeed.

I learned a lot about dying from Leslie, too. The cancer was relatively quick but ever so painful near the end. Yet she never snapped at anyone or whined about her illness. Everyone who came to visit got a welcoming smile and a happy past memory re-shared. No sour faces allowed.

Leslie's Wedding was all about the LoveEvery time I see Aidan’s bright blue eyes and copper-bright red hair I feel her nearby. Every wild and wicked grin of Liam will bring her memory closer and warm my heart. Watching her son Conor with his children, I can see her love in his gentle yet firm touches. Thank you, BoBo for being in my lifetime. And thank you for the wonderful legacy of love you left in the people who love you always.

“So much of me is what I learned from you.
You’ll be with me, like a hand print on my heart.
Now whatever way our stories end,
I know you have rewritten mine by being my friend.
Because I knew you
I have been changed
For Good.”
Wicked, the musical