To help you to understand who my sister Leslee was this is the beautiful Eulogy that her dear friend wrote:
FOR MY EARTH MOTHER SISTER, LESLEE
When I was asked to do the eulogy, a remembrance of Leslee…I was honored and taken aback with this enormous task ... for how do you describe a current
of wind, or the light from a star, the majesty of a whale or iridescence on a dragonfly’s wing?
You can feel them, see them, sense them, be touched by them, and reflect on them. But how do you capture in words such a presence?
In my attempt, I will tell you that Leslee was/is a force
of Divine nature; a huge drop of God infused with gentleness and power and I know in my effort to describe her spirit through words I run the terrible risk of losing precious drops of who she was.
I have often said when someone dies we create what I call a memory soup. We season our remembrance with who the person truly was, with who we wished they were, with parts of who they never were but we fill things in to smooth out their rough edges. Leslee’s life was such, that no editions, deletions, alterations or modifications are necessary. She was a masterpiece; a jewel whose many facets took the form of wife, friend, daughter, sister, mentor, sage, counselor, listener, healer.
Her skill in all these arenas only left us wanting more time with her. My Friday talks with Les are and will be some of my finest life’s treasures.
The Iron chef or Rachel Ray or Paula Dean or Bobby Flay would be hard pressed to deliver the culinary expertise of Leslee’s freshly brewed espresso infused with sambuca which guided our talks to the highest level of insight and humor and enjoyment ... our conversations became journeys. Accompanied by toasted small breads drizzled with olive oil, fresh basil, sun dried tomatoes, topped with goat cheese ... my stomach and my mind wanted every day to be Friday.
We talked about nature, animals, God, love, blessings, family, politics, and challenges in this human form.
She could deliver answers that made you go deeper with your own question or deliver an “I don’t know” with such peace that you felt you had found an answer.
But without fail, at some point in our conversation, her eyes would fill and then there’d come sweet tears ... of love or pride or joy or gratitude or all of these and into the conversation would come the name of someone she loved.
Friends like: Linda, Robin, Brian and Charlene, Skeets and so many others whose names over the years I can’t remember, but three people were always mentioned regularly.
There was Tory with what she was doing at the bank, or her devotion and love for horses or “did I tell you what an excellent photographer she is” and “oh I am blessed to have her as my sister”.
Or Seth ... Dear Seth ... I would make her tell me over and over again the mountain story because she told it with such relish and such cherish.
How Ed and she took you up the mountain as a little baby just as the sun was waking from the night and they held you up to the heavens as an offering to the Divine. And did I tell you that Seth is studying Arabic, or Japanese or whatever language, my memory may be confusing the names of those languages, but I am not confused about how amazed she was by you Seth, and how she held you so completely in her heart that I could close my eyes and see you. Or “Cha-lee did you know that only a handful of students were chosen for this school on bookbinding and Seth got in or Seth got a job with a start up company or Seth is in love and I am so happy for him.”
And then there’s Ed. It would take over an hour to condense all that Leslee shared. She cherished and adored you. Her words were as gifted in speaking of you as your hands are to wood and metal.
“He is such a spirit Cha-lee. He is such a soul and so generous.”
If there was any wavering in her joy when she talked about you, it was occasionally when she would say with some sadness “Oh Cha-lee, if only Ed could see in himself what I can see in him, around him and through him. I am so blessed.”
The outside patio that you made with the water falls and lily ponds, which drew fishes and frogs, dragonflies and butterflies, squirrels, chipmunks and raccoons ...Les would say,” why would I need a vacation when I have all this?”
And then the bowls, or the wands, or the plates that you’d make, she would always show me the latest carving and tell me from what wood or the latest scrap of metal that would be part of a new sculpture or “I’m going to help Ed paint this one or he will be written up next month featuring his work or he’ll be showing his work at such and such a show or Paul Newman bought some of his pieces” or ... and on she’d go.
Ed, Seth and Tory ... you three were her holy trinity.
Oprah Winfrey once had on her show a boy by the name of Mattie Steppaneck who was crippled with muscular dystrophy and died before his teens. When he passed away, Oprah did the eulogy and at one point she said…. all my life I have believed in angels.
I have felt their guidance, heard their whispers and seen miracles in people’s lives, but I’ve never had the opportunity to meet an angel face to face. Truly, she said, I did the day I met Mattie who has forever changed who I am.
I won’t put a title on Leslee as angel or evolved soul other than to say she was a Mighty Blessing from the Universe for all of us fortunate enough to have known her and will continue to know her in her changed form. I would urge us all to listen to the current of the wind, look for the light from a star, the iridescence of the dragonfly’s wing, the sighting of a whale because ... she’s there, ... she’s there..
Before Leslee died, I went downstairs knowing that her time here on earth was quickly vanishing and asked the Divine to help me write my fondest wish for my earth mother sister.........
“May the moon dance for all the light you have brought.
May the sun reflect more brilliance for drinking your radiance.
May winds blow stronger to carry my sister back home.
May oceans quiet in reverence for your journey.
May there be stillness to hear you.
May birds pick their finest plumes to cover your eyes.
May whales sing a song to you.
May the great owl guide you to the next world.
May all the blessings your have brought be the chariot that carries you.
May our prayers invoke kisses from the Divine.
May all our love provide a blanket of peace.
I will close by saying, that the Bravo channel hosts one
of my favorite shows called the Actors Studio with
James Lipton where he interviews individual actors and actresses before a live audience of students. Towards the end of the interview, he always asks the same question.
What would you want to hear God say when you arrive?
I can only imagine Leslee would want to hear ...
“Hi ya glad you could come.”