Courage – The quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear: bravery

Yesterday I witnessed courage.  

I had been dreading Saturday all week. My dear friend Leslie lost her fight with cancer and this Saturday was going to be the service to celebrate her life and send her off to the next place, heaven for sure. Oh, these are the things life gives us – the relief that she is not in pain any longer followed by the sadness that she is gone. 

Amazing how we really understand love and friendship when someone is gone. Leslie has been in my life for over 16 years. She was a dear friend. We were neighbors, mothers, wine drinkers, and doing our best to raise our children in this new time. Leslie held strong to her convictions and her values. She kept her feet grounded at all times and did not sway with trends or the pressure to do things that were “popular” by today’s version of parents. She kept her standards high and her values were strong.

She has a wonderful husband and three amazing children. Leslie showed them courage throughout her life, but on Saturday I saw the courage she has instilled in her children and that was beautiful. Her husband John and her three children were filled with grace and courage as they hugged the hundreds of visitors. The Pastor performed a warm and celebratory service to express all of the joy and gifts that Leslie had brought to all of our lives. And then, her daughter Katherine walked up to the microphone.  

Her courage to tell the truth, make jokes, admit that it is not “fair” to lose a grandmother and a mother three years later both to cancer. She spoke from her heart, she giggled, she smiled, and her heart was broken. But, she did all of this with the courage of a woman that had experienced love, loss, pain and great suffering and she had no fear. 

Because of her great love for her mother – she showered courage over all of us, and with that we will all follow her lead and begin to heal. It is going to be hard and our hearts are broken. But, Leslie left us her husband and three wonderful children to remind the world that her love lives on forever.  

Leslie, I will miss you and I love you. I know you are at peace and will be with all of us from a better place. We will keep your family in our lives and hearts and keep seeing you shine through their lives and actions.


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