Sunday, August 24, 2008

Beautiful Weekend

We completed the first leg of the 3-part "memorial" relay on Saturday. What a beautiful time. Leslie was loved so perfectly by so many, and God was honored and worshiped. Leslie would have been so pleased. (And probably a little embarrassed.) :)

There was a heck of a thunderstorm that rolled through right as the formal service was beginning. It was kind of freaky- in an almost comical way. It was a beautiful morning. Sun shining. A little muggy, maybe, and then... right during the opening prayer for the ceremony...

BOOM!!

Thunder. 10 minutes later, torrential downpour. It made for quite the adventure, as the ceremony was in one of those tents-- the really fancy kind with windows and glass doors, typically seen being used at country clubs as additional seasonal banquet facilities. Nice, but not 100% waterproof. Some of the lightening strikes were so close the static popped the amps and speakers. But the attendees, participants, and $30,000 sound system I borrowed from my church for the occasion were spared. (PHEW!)

I shared a few words before I led the music/ worship time. There were a few convincing cracks of thunder, just as I was talking about the presence and power of God. I just looked out the window and at the audience and laughed.

"Anybody out there doubt He's present and mighty?" (or something along those lines...)

But then I really got a chuckle as the thought entered my mind...

"Or actually... maybe that was Leslie." Everybody really laughed at that one. Something about the spunk and perfect timing of that thunder that made the thought pretty believable.

And then, just before we closed the service... as we were finishing "Amazing Grace", to be followed by a rendition of TJ's and Leslie's favorite song to sing together ("Mighty to Save"), the rain stopped and the sun came out. Beautiful. Simply beautiful.

The reception was amazing. So many hugs from strangers, friends, family, and people I've not seen since our wedding. So many stories about Leslie that I'd never heard... some others re-told from the another perspective, bringing new life to stories she'd told me over the years. The time flew by. I'd expected to be absolutely drained by the end... but the whole experience was actually energizing for my spirit. I left for the drive back home completely in love with my wife... feeling closer to her than I have since she left me on July 26. In that place-- that ceremony, that gathering of friends-- Leslie lived. She was there. Her life was shared and celebrated. And I felt her smile and laugh filling my soul, just as it used to.

Praise God for the gift of life, and for love that He allows to endure even death.

Can't wait for the next two weekends!

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

The song "How Beautiful" came to mind as I read your entry. What an amazing gift to not only feel God's prescence and love surround you yesterday but Leslie's as well. God is good . . . ALL the time!

Jilli said...

I'm so glad you had a wonderful day - your words made me feel like I was there. I wish I could have been there in person. Sleep well tonight dear brother.

tammy said...

Tyson, I can testify that was the most amazing ceremony. A glory to God and Leslie. I told my husband there was no way you could of spoke of your beloved Leslie without the Holy Spirit being in you. I pray each tree service will give you a peace that passes all understanding. God Bless all the family, TJ is so adorable. When your minister had the service I saw TJ look at you and say He's talking about me. He is a bright little boy. I'm sure you will have some challenges like we all do with our children. But I believe TJ is God and Leslie's gift to you. I really dont have a lot of profound things to say. I just know I was blessed on August 23, 2008. P.S. Could you play and sing at my ceremony? God Be With You Always, Mark and Tammy Herrmann

Amy said...

tyson, i never knew you or leslie, but my husband tom holt went to high school with her older siblings chris and dana. we just heard the news from my sister in morton and i have been sitting here reading through leslie's journey of her life here on earth. i also have four boys and have had two of them with me as i read to them some of your recent blogs. my heart just aches and i am so tearful as you talk of your recent moments with tj....i will join your crowd of prayer warriors and lift you both up in the way that only Jesus Christ can do at this time. at some later point, i will forward you a site of a local (winnetka) man who also lost his wife. you might find a few words in his journal entries that will bring something to this oh so hard time. may you continue to feel God's grace and peace in the coming days. our love and prayers to you. amy

Anonymous said...

To God be the Glory...and what an amazing celebration of your darling Leslie. I too can honestly say, it was a perfect way to honor Leslie's memory. Each and every part of the service was so special. It was evident that the Holy Spirit was there to help you, Steve and Dana along with the rest of the family.

Thankyou for letting us be a part of your celebration. I will be praying for all of you as you plant the second tree and then the third tree.

Tyson, I just wanted to tell you that I purchased the book "The Tale of Three Trees" a few weeks ago for my grandchildren and I dedicated it to the memory of Leslie. I can't wait to read it with them.

May God continue to bless you and T.J.

Valerie (Oliver) Irions said...

Hello! I knew Leslie in high school, but lost touch over the years. I had recently run into a mutual friend who shared with me about Leslie's battle and shortly after that I saw her obituary in the paper. From there, I have read your blog and am just amazed at her and your testimony to our good God! I also appreciate your openness and honesty here. Keep holding tightly to Jesus. He won't ever let go of you!

Chelle said...

Sounds absolutely perfect. Hope you and TJ are finding moments of joy and laughter in spite of your hurting hearts.

Anonymous said...

What an awesome service on Saturday! I was so blessed to finally meet you face to face. T.J. is an absolute blessing from God for you and the Bucher family! I was in awe of the presence of God and Leslie. From the reading of book,the powerful weather,to the worship, it was obvious that God was in control of the service. As hard as it seemed at the time to come to grips with the fact that my friend was truly gone, what a blessing it was to share that very intimate time with you, the Bucher family, Leslie's friends, and most importantly God. It was an answer to my prayer for the day that God would be glorified once again by Leslie's life and that you would be blessed and sustained by the love of Christ & Leslie's family and friends love for her and your family. I pray the next 2 services will be just as powerful for you! Can't wait to read what God does next! Blessings, grace, and God's peace and comfort be yours in the time to come. Rhonda

Jeff and Abby said...

Saturday was incredible. Absolutely amazing. You really will never know how many lives you've touched...you and Leslie. Praying the next few weeks are just as powerful as this past one.

kim p said...

You're still in our thoughts and prayers, Tyson, as you're home now and adjusting to a new life. I'm thankful to hear that Saturday's service was a beautiful rememberance of Leslie, a blessing to your soul, and a glory to God. Keep pressing on each day in the strength, comfort, and joy of the Lord!

Wonderfully Made..... Psalm 139:14 said...

I don't even know you or your family, but I am glad I have kept up with your journey through Jeff and Abby's blog. It truly has made me speechless. I take life and family for granted a lot and don't realize that every minute of my day should be to glorify God. That is the ONLY reason we are here. I will think about and pray for you all often. What a witness you were to me and I am sure you are to others as you continue to heal.

Auntie Gayle said...

Hi,Ty, Saturday was truly amazing. It was so hard to see all of the pictures and video of our dear niece. We have so many wonderful memories of her from babyhood to young womanhood. Our loss is so great and yet we also have joy in knowing that she awaits our arrival----we will be celebrating with her soon! Joy can co-exist with pain.
I Peter 1:3-6 talks about this ending with "In this (our salvation) you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials." Our love and prayers are with you every day! Auntie Gayle

Anonymous said...

Tyson:
I am continuing to pray for you and TJ as life continues on. I ask God to give you the strength to take on this new role that He has given to you. What a great thought from Gayle that Leslie is excitedly waiting for her husband and son to meet her again!

Marisa said...

Tyson,

It sounds like you had a wonderful weekend! What a blessing! I so wish I could attend the ceremony in Archibold this weekend! (I grew up in Hillsdale, MI and my parents still live there) but I won't be able to make it. Your transparency during Leslie's fight and after her "victory" have been so moving and have encouraged my walk with the Lord! He is using your and Leslie's journey mightily! You and TJ are being bathed in prayer! Thank you again for allowing your sisters and brothers to join you in this battle!