In loving Memory of Leslie

June 19, 2005

Today we buried a Siren, Leslie. For those of you who were not blessed to know her, let me tell you a bit about Leslie. She came to us about seven years ago in the fall. Sitting alone in the Sirens meeting room when I walked in, we struck up a conversation before anyone else arrived. I found out she rode a Honda Shadow 1100 and was looking for a womens' club to join.

She came to the meetings, rode with us and became a pledge. Gigi and I hosted a club pot luck that winter and Leslie came. We discovered we had several things in common: a few similar antiques, a red-lured parrot, we were both married to our partners, we each had a Honda Shadow, and were employed in the education system. Leslie worked for the city school system as a guidance counselor and teacher.

As we came to know her over the years, we discovered Leslie to be a true Renaissance woman. She was an excellent cook and loved nothing more that cooking for her friends and family. She loved antiques and had a wonderful collection of music boxes. She had a motorhome for camping trips, and enjoyed packing up the parrot and traveling the country. She held a captain's license for power boats. She was intelligent, well read and had a well thought out opinion if she was asked for one. She respected a person's right to have a different viewpoint than her's but was willing to argue and try to change your mind. She had a tremendous sense of justice and equality for all...but most of all, she loved her family, her God and her friends. I never heard Leslie say a bad thing about anybody.

She fell in love with a red and white Valkyrie and soon added it to the garage. She looked good on her bike and it fit her like a glove. In 2002 Leslie retired and built a home in Key Largo, sold the house in Long Beach, packed and moved to Florida. Leslie liked to call her new home "The Sirens' Southern Club House"... there was a standing invitation for any Siren to come on down and enjoy their hospitality. An accident resulted in Leslie getting a broken wrist and ultimately having to sell the Valkyrie. I visited in early spring of 2004. We had a wonderful time seeing the sights, eating out and just being together. She headed north in the motorhome come June and, we got to spend some quality time with them while they were here before they headed off to Key Largo cleaning up after the hurricanes when Leslie fell and broke her foot. I often felt my friend was like Job, always being tested... but even when things seemed their darkest, she had her love of God and family to help her through. Things weren't easy for her and she struggled with many issues. This past spring, Gigi and I went down to visit. Leslie had signed up to become volunteers for the Everglades National Park. She proudly showed us around "her" park and took us out in the new boat. Then it was off to Key West because Gigi had never been there. They wined and dined us and let us share their joy and some of their sorrows. She had just closed the house and were heading to Colorado when Leslie fell sick in Kentucky...Septicemia, resulting from an undetected infection, ended her life...Leslie was the most courageous woman I have ever been privileged to know and it was my joy and blessing to have been her friend... I miss her already.