Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Birthday eCard

A little less than 24 hours until what would have been Leslie's 33rd birthday. I would have given her a hard time about being TWO YEARS older than me, as I always did on that day, and that nonsense would continue for the next couple of weeks or so until I could no loner claim such a thing. It's been on my mind, to be sure. But every "first" that passes becomes more manageable, as God continues to heal and unveil the blessings of the new life he's set before us. Peace abounds rather than emotional burden. Happy memories and smiles fill the quiet spaces of the day rather than tears and questions. (More on the smiles and memories in a minute...) But to be sure, this "birthday week" has been on our minds.

Not sure how or why, exactly-- I don't think anyone said anything to him-- but TJ asked me tonight, "Dad, when is my mom's next birthday going to be?" I stopped in my tracks. We were just putting away the drumset to clear the floor for our baseball game, and it was just spontaneous and rather matter-of-fact. I asked him if Mimi had mentioned something to him about Mommy's birthday. (My mom has been in town helping out since mid-last week, with Miss Liz on Spring Break, TJ being sick-- ear infection now that he's kicked the puke virus, and things pretty crazy for me at work.) He assured me that no one had told him about his Mom's birthday, and just seemed rather surprised and curious at my response. It just seemed to him like a normal question to ask me, after all.

I sat down on the basement stairs and had him sit on my lap. I told him that Mommy's birthday was in 2 days-- on Wednesday. "Oh, I think they're going to have a GREAT BIG party for her in HEAVEN!" He said. I agreed, and told him it would be an extra special one because it was her first birthday in Heaven. He got all excited and asked rhetorically if we could go to the party. I said, "TJ, you know that we can't go to Heaven until Jesus is ready to come get us, and it might be a very long time. We probably won't go this week. But when we do go, we'll have LOTS of birthday parties for Mommy to get caught up on all the ones we missed while she was there without us." He smiled and did an excited little dance, quite pleased with this explanation. Then, we began to plan our own little birthday party for Mommy, just TJ and me. We're going to Red Lobster. (It's been his favorite special treat lately-- yes, the kid LOVES lobster... I know... I'm creating some sort of monster... It will be his second trip there in a week. He suckered Mimi into taking him once when I was away on business last week.) We're going to eat lobster and we'll have them bring a birthday cake and sing happy birthday to Mommy with us. (Seriously, they'd be cold-hearted or just plain dumb not to, at such a request, right? I mean, the kid can be VERY persuasive!) I assured him that Mommy would be able to see our little party and it would make her very happy that we're having birthday cake with her, while she's having her party in Heaven.

So, that's how TJ and I are celebrating Leslie's 33rd birthday. Now, here's your opportunity to join the fun. I'm inviting every reader of this blog to post a comment. I seldom give a shout-out for comments. But I'd like to just honor Leslie in this way. Some of you have never met Leslie. But she means something to you... You know her story, you are living her legacy. Tell her (by clicking on "comments" below) what she means to you. Those of you that knew her, share a memory. Tell a story, or share something about her that you truly appreciate. I believe she can read-- or feel, or somehow know-- these comments as you share... carried up on the wings of angels, perhaps... like some sort of Heaven-bound birthday card or e-greeting or something.

Let me start by sharing a brief memory... Of when I first met Leslie...

She was a Psychology major at good ol' Taylor U. in Indiana. I was a Psych. minor, so we had a few classes together. She'd "caught my eye" as they say, and I got up the courage to ask her on a "study date" before a mid-term one semester. To say we hit it off would be... well... an outright lie. Oil and water. No chemistry. I thought she had a chip on her shoulder and was hard to get to know. She thought I was a cocky punk with an attitude problem. (She was probably not far off.) That was that. I'm not sure if we ever spoke again...

...Until a couple of years later, after we both graduated and happened to both move to Indianapolis... Where we bumped into each other at a party... And were married about 18 months later. My, how a little "coming-of-age" can change one's perspective! Or two people's perspective.

So... What's your "Leslie story"? Join with me in celebrating Leslie on her birthday.

PS. Just found out this morning that my book proposal for Leslie's Journey is being presented to publishers in the coming week(s). If you think of it, I could truly use some prayer, that God would open and shut doors and make His desires known as to which direction we should go with this. Let the adventure begin! Or continue, I guess...


Sarah said...

Happy Birthday, Leslie. Happy Leslie's Birthday, Tyson and TJ. I am a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend, and so I have no stories of Leslie to share, but I am touched by the fact that the story of how you met Leslie is so similar to how I met my husband. Girl meets boy in class, girl thinks boy is a "cocky punk," girl and boy lose touch and then reconnect years later at a party, girl and boy realize they are meant to be. I'm grateful that my and Dan's story continues with both of us here on Earth and am inspired that your and Leslie's story continues across the Great Divide. I am sending up prayer for a blessed day of celebration for all three of you.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Leslie!! We never met, but I know you were a wonderful friend, wife and mother. Tyson and TJ are true test testimonies to that. My prayers are going up for a special day for all three of you

Anonymous said...

I never met you Leslie, but I have been touched by you and your sweet family. You obvioulsy were an amazing woman who lived a life worthy of imitation. Your husband and son are both a testament to your love for God and others. Happy Happy Birthday!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Beautiful!! I've never met you, or your family face to face but I will one day! And until then-you & their testimonies and heartfelt moments will remain "Jesus in Skin" to me until that glorius day!

Anonymous said...

Hi Leslie, Happy Birthday. I was very ill myself when I started reading your blog through a friend of a friend. Your journey was very heart-rending, spiritually amazing, and up lifitng. Your boys are OK, you've nurtured them well.

MamaBird said...

My sister-in-law was a friend of Leslie's. She made me aware of her story and blog when I was in the hospital on bedrest with my twin boys. She was initially hesitant to mention the site since one of my sons had passed away and I was already emotional, to say the least. The night she sent me the link, I read every single entry from beginning to end, riveted at the story and powerful faith that sustained you (the same faith that sustained me as I fought to keep my second son healthy--Phil. 4:13!) As it turns out, the very night I read your blog was the night of Leslie's passing. And less than 24 hours later, at 31 weeks gestation, our sweet Jacob was born. After nearly 2 months in the NICU, he came home and is a happy, healthy BIG boy today. But during the dark times, and as we continue to mourn the son that we lost, I still draw strength from Leslie's faith-fueled battle and your subsequent "picking up the pieces" and moving forward. So thanks for sharing, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY LESLIE!

Kurt A. said...

I remember the few long drives to and from Minneapolis late two summers ago when I'd arrive at Tyson and Leslie's house late, with the door left open and a bed made up. I never woke up early enough to see my cousin before he went to work, but sure enough Leslie and TJ would be there playing, cleaning, making food. Those were some warm moments of hospitality and getting to know family more than just the see you around the holidays kind. So happy birthday to you Leslie, enjoy true Heavenly cake and ice cream.

Tami P said...

As an outsider "peeking in" I have been so moved by this faith journey the Father has allowed in your lives...and through you willingness to share, the journey has rippled out and touched so very many more!! I knew some of Leslie's family way back in high school / college days, but don't know that I ever had the privilege of meeting her. But I can say with all honesty I look forward to meeting her in Heaven someday and giving her a huge hug. Something tells me I may have to wait in line a while to get that hug in...no doubt there will be a huge crowd surrounding her, as her life has touched so many already (and WILL touch many more, when that book deal goes through!). Since we'll have forever to wait, I guess long lines won't matter one bit, will they?!? For today I'm sending up a Happy Birthday hug. And then it's off to hug my three very special kids and wonderful hubby. Your testimony has taught me not to take their presence for granted. Thanks for being a vessel God can use, Tyson. TJ is very blessed to have an amazing daddy!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Leslie. Although we did not meet here on earth, I feel sure that in Heaven we will share some cake and laugh together. Many Blessings to your wonderful family that is waiting to share more birthdays with you. God Bless!

Kim in Ohio

Jennifer said...

Happy Birthday, Leslie. I have no idea how I found your site BUT am so thankful that I did. Reading your journey is a true testimony of what LOVE is.

Believing & hoping that you are having the party of your life.

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday Leslie! Although I never met you, it's clear the impact you've had on so many. I can only imagine how amazing a birthday party in heaven will be! Praying for you, Tyson & TJ, this week and always.

Ashley in OH

Lindsay said...

We never met, but Leslie is a constant reminder to cherish every moment I have here with the people I love. Happy Birthday Leslie, may you dance in heavan on this day in joyous celebration with our king! Leslie also reminds me to make my treasure in heavan, to serve my king any way that I can, and be ready when He calls me home. Thank you Leslie, and Tyson for telling her story.

everydayMOM said...

Happy Birthday, Leslie.

I was just thinking about this time of year two years ago when I was getting to know you through the playgroup at CrossTown. We would have welcomed a warm day like this to go to the park!

Last March, I remember praying for you that you could spend your birthday at home.

It's so hard right now to believe that you are really gone. I'm so glad I got to know you and wish I had time to get to know you better.
I miss your smile and your big laugh. I know you are in a perfect place now, but we definitely miss you here.

You taught me much about life through the short time I knew you.

The tears are flowing reading Tyson's post today.

Love, Emily

Anonymous said...

Happy 1st Heavenly Birthday, Leslie!! I never met you here on earth, but am in awe of how your story, your "Legacy" has taught me to live every minute of every day to the fullest and sing in glorious praise "How great is our God!!" May Tyson and TJ experience a very special day here on earth as you celebrate your very special day in Heaven!

Sarah said...

Happy 33rd Birthday, Leslie!

I was thinking of her this morning, when I couldn't help but notice her name in a place of honor on Emily's shirt and the thought occurred to me, "I think her birthday is about here!"

I remember the last morning I saw her. It was in the auditorium where our church meets. Her arms were lifted high, and her eyes closed, just worshiping our Lord. I don't know if that took a lot out of her, or if she was fed by that, but watching her worship was a blessing to me. We had a nice chat when the service was over and I had no idea that the end of her life with us now was that near for her. I remember giving her a hug while trying not to hurt her in the process.

I remember her laugh. I could always tell if she was nearby by her laugh...I found it contagious.

Happy Birthday, Leslie! I hope your party is like none ever before. :)

Luke said...

Leslie: I never had the opportunity to get to know you, and I only know your husband and son now through this blog.

I'm thankful that you helped to shape Tyson into the kind of Godly man that can be vulnerable to a world that often isn't very understanding. Know that his/your story is continuing to encourage and uplift souls.

Bekah said...

Tyson and TJ, I only had the blessing of being around Leslie a few times in this life but it was always a joy. My favorite memory is of Drew and I sitting across the table from you guys at Tad's rehearsal dinner. We shared lots of laughter and lots of good food and lots of talk about Archbold. I distinctly remember that Leslie came in after we were all seated because she didn't go to the rehearsal and how beautiful she looked when she walked in and how Tyson's face literally glowed when he greeted her. I remember thinking how beautiful and evident a love you shared.

Leslie, have an amazing first birthday in heaven. We celebrate your life and the way you poured yourself so beautiful into your husband and son and so many others.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Leslie!! I never met you like so many that have posted today, but want you to know how drawn I am still to your amazing journey and the wonderful legacy that you have left behind. Wishing a Happy Birthday to you in heaven and a very special day for Tyson and TJ! God Bless!!

Jenny said...

What a beautiful and feeling post. Thank you for sharing.

Abby said...

Happy Birthday Leslie! I remember your quick, bright smile and how everyone who knew you automatically just LOVED you.
When I would come over to see your housemates at Taylor (or your roommate at your first apt in indianapolis) - you were always so very gracious and kind.
I hope you have a fabulous, sparkling birthday party ... just think! you get to hang with Peter, Paul, John, Barnabas, Ruth, and Moses! and I hear that David spins a mad set of birthday tunes!

Anonymous said...

You are missed here in Bolingbrook. I think about you a lot as I look out of my kitchen window at your house! One of my favorite memories of you was when you would walk TJ and Jack and you would stop by our house unannounced just to say "hi". No one does that anymore in our busy-make-sure-you-call-ahead-so-I-can-clean-my-house lifestyles! I really loved that.
Oh-could you please do my girls a favor and take a swim in the frosting pool for your birthday? They have been talking about Heaven a lot lately and this is something they are really looking forward to! And eat a Krispy Kreme doughnut while you are at it; we cannot seem to find them here on earth anymore! :-)
Love, Michele

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Leslie. Praise to you on your first birthday in Heaven. Your story is such an inspiration to me.

Tyson I am also sending prayer your way in hopes that your Journey does continue through the book.

May you and TJ enjoy your special Birthday dinner.

Busy Mom said...

Happy Birthday Leslie--I've followed the blog for a long time and have been so encouraged with Tyson and how he's stayed so strong in his faith. God has special plans and we don't always understand them here on earth but I know some grand day in Heaven it will all make perfect sense because we will not question the Lord at all! I'm sure my sister, grandma and nephew will join ya in Heaven celebrating with Jesus! Blessings to you and TJ, Tyson--
May you be blessed for being that vessel the Lord is using to touch so many lives. Praying for your book also.
Your least in faith,
Marie and family

Carrie S said...

Leslie, I met you on the blog when you were sick and I became a "fan" a friend of you ever since. Leslie you are one of the strongest Mom/Wife I have ever come to know. You battled, struggled, rejoiced, and fulfilled your purpose and example in God for God and shared it with so many. What a blessing you are! Your husband and son honor you and love you as you know, and are forever showing how your life is still part of them and shaping them as a family. You were a person who would have rather kept private your journey but knew God was calling you to this purpose. God blessed you with strength and love beyond measure and I thank you for sharing that and leaving that with your Tyson and TJ.
Happy Birthday sweet daughter of God!

Cindy Pratt said...

Leslie, I never had the chance to meet you, but I know your sister Dana through The Greenhouse--we have boys in class together. She asked prayer for you and I started reading the updates from Tyson and prayed often as I followed your story. I attended the IL memorial service and continue to pray for your family. You are a very well-loved woman, and your strong faith in God was evident even in your toughest moments at the end of your life. You left a wonderful and caring husband to raise little TJ and Tyson is doing an amazing job! Though he would much prefer to have you here by his side, he trusts God and His perfect plan with all his heart.
I am confident we will meet someday in heaven! Happy Birthday!

Karrie said...

Happy Birthday, Leslie! Your birthday is marked on my calendar. There are too many stories buried in my heart and oh so many ways you made me a better person. Lots of drives to and from TU to Central IL; lots of times you dyed my grey hair (to this day I won't use any other formula than the one you developed); introducing me to Aldi in Indy :); and befriending me when you didn't have to.
Josh and I credit you for giving us our sanity back after Will was born. You walked into my house with your matter-of-fact way and helped me to calm my colicky, fussy baby (you said you had experience) and then you gave me tons of encouragement that helped me to put your advice into practice. And, it all worked!
Mostly I just love how you accepted people for who they were and you loved very well. What a gift your friendship was, and still is, to me.
Love to you in Heaven,

Anonymous said...

Leslie Jo,
Happy Birthday! I remember being connected at the hip with you, Jake, and DeLene the first two years of high school, I remember hanging out in Jake's room talking for hours and then driving around in DeLene's car singing Mr. Big at the top of our lungs, I remember your convertible "DA BUC" and how the top always leaked when it rained, I remember our trip to Florida and flirting with Todd and Aaron (sorry Tyson), I remember your dog, Sammy, peeing on my leg, I remember Hardee's parking lot, I remember going to visit you working at Rax, I remember being mad when people would always say, "Wow, your friends are so pretty", I remember you showing me how you would open the Bible up randomly when you were having a hard time and always find the answer you needed, I remember you being nominated for Homecoming Queen, I remember having a wonderful group of 7 friends from high school that have withstood the test of time. I remember all these things and I'll never forget.


Sara Tennyson Blakely

Erin said...

Happy Birthday to both Leslie and Tyson and TJ from a fellow TU grad. I was there before you both, but your story has been an inspiration to me. I just keep reading because I think it screams of God and His love for you all and your family. His Blessings to you all!

hellolittlepeepers said...

Leslie- I remember walking into my baby shower and seeing you sitting by the window. I was pleasantly surprised that you were there, since I had no idea who was coming or who had been invited. Everyone had to give their birth stories and you got very serious and asked me if Justin traveled for work. Once you found out he didn't, you went on happily with your story. I thought of it many times when Justin was supposed to be at an "out of town" two day meeting the two days before my due date.

The Haughs said...

Happy Birthday, Leslie! I only met you a few times. . . our husbands played basketball together at Grace and then we did a few small group studies together with the basketball group. I always thought you looked familiar, and then I finally figured out that you were the TYSON and LESLIE who were in my cousin Jay's wedding. I remember sitting with you for a time at Christen's baby shower, swapping stories about our boys (TJ and Isaac) who are just a few months apart. I have been touched by your story and Tyson's words many times. I know you will be celebrated by many tomorrow.

Katy Haugh

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Leslie!! Can't wait to meet you someday in heaven..oh, the celebrating we all will have. Thank you for your story and your testimony

Mitch & Dana said...

Happy Birthday, Leslie. We miss you and think of you often. You were such a wonderful cousin and friend, and we are thankful for the time that we had with you. All the Asch Bash's and family get togethers created wonderful memories! May the angels sing to you on your blessed day! We love you so much!
Ty and TJ...enjoy the Birthday celebration together!

Anonymous said...

I have never met you, but I know that you were an incredible woman! My heart ached for you through all the suffering and rejoiced through the victory! Happy Birthday!

Claire said...

It's so hard to choose just one memory of Leslie so I'll give a few.
I remember meeting her at a WCHS basketball game freshman year very clearly. I remember commiserating with her about our high school car license plates---Da Buc and Pet 11. I remember Leslie & Kerri working at Rax, and later traveling to Rax in Decatur. When Leslie was pregnant with TJ, I took her to Rax n Joliet, since it was only about 10 miles from her new house!
More recent memories are from the weddings we always made a good effort to get to---even Leslie & Tyson's when we drove home through an ice storm!
One memory I'll cherish is stopping by to visit her last February. I was so happy that Mckinley got to meet her (as a 3 month old) and she was doing so well and had such a positive outlook.
I miss my friend but I look forward to celebrating her 33rd birthday tomorrow.
Love you Leslie!

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday, Leslie! We never really knew each other, but you were friends with my cousin. I always thought of you as "the beautiful Leslie Bucher," but it has been so gratifying to read your journey and know just how beautiful you really were on the inside! What an amazing legacy you leave behind and an incredible, sweet little boy! I can't wait for your family to see each other again!

Anonymous said...

Leslie, Happy Birthday! I hope you get to walk on water and slide down a rainbow and create something amazingly beautiful just you and Jesus...and play the drums in the band just for TJ! I've gotten to know you and Tyson and TJ remotely through my sister-in-law, Kristin...and through your blogging. I'm a children's pastor and this year your story has been a comfort to me and to those that I pastor as I walk with a couple of families full of kids whose mommies also are celebrating their first birthday in heaven. Thank you for opening your heart and your life as your ministry. I can't wait to meet you in person and snuggle down with something delicious to drink on a beautiful day and hear all about your life here and in heaven. :)
Christina Zeeb

beukelman blog said...

What a great birthday you will have this year, Leslie! Thank you for your testimony and the impact your life story continues to have on others!

Anonymous said...

I only have met you and your special family by Joy R. as she mentioned to pray for you days before you went to be with our Lord. As a Taylor grad & also having a daughter @ TU now, I couldn't help but think of how Tyson really has had a servant's heart throughout this whole process. It would be great to have your story published because God has been so glorified through your family. As you see God face to face this earthly birthday, I am grateful that we have been reminded here to stop our daily lives and think of eternity and the peace that comes from the holy spirit's comfort knowing that someday we will see our Lord face to face---Happy Birthday

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Leslie.

Tricia said...

You have experienced my worst fears in life. Seeing how God as provided along the way for you and for your boys has calmed my anxious heart when my fears and "what if's" overwhelm me.

I remember sitting by you at ACYF's as our churches sang together.. and we would whisper and talk through all the other performances. We were both trying to decide between Psychology and Cosmetology and it was fun to have someone to discuss it with. Fast Forward 15 years.. I was watching a movie about a litle girl and a horse and it reminded me of you. I sat and thought about you for a bit and wondered where you were and what your life was like. A few days later I got an email from Kim Plattner linking me to your story. It is hard to imagine that you are not pining for your son and husband... but I know in my heart that Heaven does not leave gaping holes in your heart. Know that you are missed, loved and have inspired us all. Tricia (Metzger) Zaugg

Jen Sass said...

Happy Birthday Les! I have a found memory of you and I eating Thai food in downtown Naperville. You were due to have TJ ANY DAY and ordered the spiciest dish you could find on the menu. Two pregnant gals chowing down on Thai...what a sight! We had just reunited after several years, finding out we lived only 15 minutes apart. I miss our strolls along the River Walk and getting the boys together to play. However, i know your strolls along the streets of gold are more glorious than anything you experienced here. Luv and miss you tons.


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, my dear friend Leslie Jo! Wow do I miss you. I am flooded with memories right now. I am so thankful we grew up a walk away from each other.

I decided to post one of my first memories of you. 7th grade I had just moved to Washington and started attending Pleasant View. We were in the lunchroom and you bet me that Janel could hold a popsicle in her two front teeth longer than I could. Of course, I took the bet and of course if you knew Janel well you would know I lost because Janel's front two teeth were fake. But that's where our friendship started. It was 20 years ago and I remember it like it was yesterday. I am so appreciative of the honest, supportive and fun friendship I have had with you. I continue to learn from you every day. And I continue to see your beautiful face smiling through the pictures Tyson posts of your son.

I love you lots,

~*~Megan~*~ said...

Happy Birthday Leslie! I never met you---actually live a long ways from you-- I am from Louisiana! I honestly cannot even tell you how I stumbled across this site but, I am so thankful I did! I have learned so much through your journey! I really do stop and enjoy the small moments now and never take for granted the time I have with friends and family! I hope you have a WONDERFUL Birthday in Heaven! I cannot begin to imagine what it will be like!! God Bless!!

Cara A. said...

You always made Aschliman family get- togethers so much fun for me. Somehow we always seemed to sit and have a good conversation. The last time we talked, I was pregnant with Abree. You gave me some great advice about parenting and what you had been learning with TJ. I tend to stop and smile when I find myself using the advice you gave me. Happy Birthday Leslie! TJ and Tyson...enjoy your celebration!

Kami said...

Oh, Les, I've always cringed at the thought of posting a comment in such a public place. You know I would only email reply to you and Tyson about the blog, but today I'm taking the plunge through big tears in my eyes, a pile of snotty Kleenex beside me, and sweaty palms because Tyson has asked for memories of our little Stubby. I wish I had more childhood memories to share but I think Chris, Dana, Kara, and I probably spent most of our time trying to keep you out of our toys and business. As adults (you finally grew up!), I remember 2 powerful ways you ministered to me in my illness: one was by sending me healthy recipes (I just ran across the coconut soup one last night and had to smile remembering who sent it to me) and the other was by cutting my hair. They may sound pretty silly and trivial, but I was operating completely in survival mode and food and hair (for a woman!) are critical "needs." I'm not sure which is more important. :) So thanks, dear cuz, for your tangible acts of service. Your mom told us last weekend you were probably up in heaven calling us all MORONS for being so sad and weirded out by looking at your things, so I'm hearing you say that to me now. "Kam, you moron. I was glad to do it..." Thanks. I love and miss you!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Leslie! May God bless your "boys" with a day of celebration!

Julie said...

Happy Birthday Leslie Jo,
With this beautiful spring weather, it is hard not to remember riding around in your convertibe for hours and hours - man were those the days?! And birthdays always involved homemade cakes decorated by each one of the 7 of us girls to celebrate the day. (Not the prettiest but it was the thought- right? They would resemble something TJ would make these days). And my favorite memory is you glowing when you told me you were pregnant - it would have been impossible to hide your happiness!
Leslie - you are forever missed and forever loved by your dear friends. Happy Birthday

Marsha said...

Happy Birthday, Leslie! I often remember our Bucher Christmas gatherings at Grandma & Grandpa's when we were kids. Since that house is now our house, I marvel that we all managed to pack ourselves in here without driving the adults crazy. No wonder Grandpa napped under the dining room table! My memories of you those days are not vivid, but always include a song and a smile, plus a little hamming-it-up. I trust that your song and smile are even broader now than ever! And I am praying for more and more songs and smiles for your family left here. Love you!

Nicole said...

Memories and appreciations on Leslies' Birthday:

Talking in the living room at the condo...just the two of us...about fears of getting married. Sharing what Tyson thought of you and my confidence in you as a couple.

Alec singing "Have you ever seen a Leslie, a Leslie, a Leslie...go this way and that?"

Your great eye for color

The birthday that you took us both out for manicures and to dinner at Cheesecake...while Tyson took my boys to see "Chuck E. Cheeses House"

The finger incident.

The way you could call Tyson out while still letting him maintain his dignity. (It was all in "the look").

The email you wrote me while you were so weak, telling me that you weren't surprised that I had landed the job. And the time you encouraged me by just saying you wished you could sit in on my classroom. You can now!

The way I can see your face when I look at T.J.

The way you made my little brother into a man. Thank you.

We are going to the zoo today to celebrate your first birthday. Thanks for the reminder to embrace the moment with my kids, even when the "list" looms in the background!

Love ya

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Leslie! Your amazing story has been such an inspiration to me and so many others. Your husband is a very awesome man and father and I beleive you probably had so much to do with that:) I cry everytime i read his blog mainly because you cannot be here on earth with TJ. It truly touches my heart. I do know that God knows what he is doing and your boys will be just fine. Tell Jesus hello for me you sweet precious angel!

Jill said...

Happy Birthday, Leslie! I remember your bright spirit and beautiful laugh. If I close my eyes I can see your smile and hear that laugh perfectly--it will be with me always. I loved cruising around good ol' Washington as teenagers with you and the other girls, our trip to Mexico, our lunches and library chats at ICC, Cheddars, you missing the stop sign at the "T" section and driving straight into the cornfield (you parents might not know about that!! :)), taking my brother's mustang and driving it around town, working out at Village Courts! ha! Remember when we did that!? Step class was torture.

You touched everyone you ever met, Leslie, and now even those you never met. I cherish the times I had with you and am thankful we kept in touch through our separate journeys. You always made me laugh--we had such a good time catching up at Elisa's wedding, a memory I am so thankful for today. I love you, Leslie. Thank you for being in my life.

Jill Evans

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Leslie! If you were here I would be up in Bolingbrook today and we would be celebrating your big day with Dana and the boys. I can't tell you how much I miss you. I miss your phone calls, your smile, your opinions, your I love you, mom, you're the best mom around, your encouragement, just watching you be a mom (you were awesome at that), your hugs, your laugh, going to church with you, shopping with you, my hair appointments with you, dare I say playing tennis with you, I guess I could go on and on. I am just so incredibly thankful for the 32 years God allowed you to be in our lives. We will be celebrating you today, lighting a candle for you and remembering your life here on earth. We are so blessed to have Tyson and TJ in our family...they are such an encouragement and have been so vital in the healing process. Thank you for the legacy of love and hope you left for us and we are excited to meet you on the other side someday. Daylight is coming! Happy Birthday!
Love you and miss you,

Blessings to you........ said...

Happy Birthday, Leslie

I walked in the door at noon - lit a candle and thought about her laugh and the soft smile!

I decided today would be a good day to update the analytics count on the forleslie blog.
80 countries / 113,119 people since the blog start on October 20,2007. People still read and pray.

WOW, little lady you sure did warm our hearts and leave a legacy.

Kristi said...

Happy Birthday Leslie! I never had the pleasure of meeting you in person but got to know a portion of you from this blog. I know Ty from our glory days at dear old Archbold high. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. For ministering to us, for teaching us to appreciate the people who we are blessed to have in our lives.

Ty & T.J. - I hope you have a great time together, celebrating Leslie's birthday! Take care.

Jill Foley said...

Happy Birthday Leslie...I have never met you, but I have enjoyed "getting to know you" and your incredible spirit through your story.

Have a wonderful birthday in Heaven - partying it up with Jesus!

Christin said...

Dearest Leslie!
Like alot of people I never met you, but somehow I felt very close to your life.
I heard from you over old friends from Tyson (we graduated in High School). I followed your story. Your family life and how hard your life has been made me really think about my life and my relation to my boys and my husband.

Ever since I am thinking of you when I see Oak-Trees. We planted one for you in our yard and will continue "seeing" you&TJ&Tyson in this tree.

Happy Birthday Leslie!

Christin (from Germany)

Yvonne said...

Happy Birthday, Leslie - we never met, but I learned of your journey from Emily and Justin, and followed your blog - and Tyson's, as well. Your story touched me, and I kept you in my prayers, and still keep Tyson and TJ in my prayers. You will be greatly missed by those who knew you, as well as those who never had the honor. Your story and faith has been an inspiration to many.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Les! Your ability to bring out the best in me was one of my favorite things about you. And your contagious laugh and awesome sense of humor. I miss you every day more than you can imagine!

Auntie Gayle said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DEAR LESLIE! I'm sitting here at my desk gazing at the lit candle in front of your picture. Ah, sweetie, we miss you more than you can imagine! One sweet memory I have is when we stopped by your apartment to SQUEEZE you into our overloaded van on a roadtrip to Hilton Head. We were packed like sardines but it was worth it! And then the time we took the girls' only trip to HH. Both my ears were completely plugged from infection so I was more deaf than usual. Your mom and I "navigated" our way...including an illegal U-turn while you and Jess laughed and whined about my terrible driving! We had lots of fun together. You were also there for us through several family "dramas"---thanks! for being YOU! Looking forward to being with you very soon! Auntie Gayle

Anonymous said...

I remember the wonderful times we had going to Panama City, Florida over Spring Break. The long ride in the car, all of us anxious to get there. Your convertible sitting in our driveway, your laugh, your smile, and the wonderful way you treated everyone. You always had time to listen and care. You are missed by so many people. Seeing pictures of TJ are such a beautiful reminder of you.
I've lit a candle today in your honor and memory. Happy Birthday

Minders said...

Happy Birthday Leslie! I never had the opportunity to meet you in person but found your journey through my sister in law. Every time I visit this blog I am reminded of what truly matters. Everything is put into perspective for me and I rarely leave your site without crying. Your story has been such an inspiration to me!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Leslie! One of my favorite memories of you was when Missy, Mike, and myself convinced you to skip class and go to McDonald's in East Peoria for breakfast. You werent one for skipping classes (although I think you were doing office help that hour...so I dont believe you were missing out on crucial learning..), but the fact that we talked you in to it was so funny..sneaking the car around to pick you up, and listening to you laugh about it the whole way there! I wont ever forget that memory, nor your laugh and beautiful smile! Have a wonderful birthday and know there is a world of people thinking of you today!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Leslie! I miss you so much and talking to you about everything! I could always come to you for help and advice. I loved serving alongside you.
You were a wonderful friend and I can't wait to see you again one day soon in Heaven.
Thank you, thank you for sharing your insight and depth and your wonderful laugh and smile with us.

Love you Always!
Erin Gilligan

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Leslie, We are so thankful that you were able to be with us for our reunion last summer. We continue to pray for Tyson and TJ as they continue on this journey and that we will all be together some day for all eternity

Pieces of Heaven said...

Tyson-I sent that message today to you not even reading this entry! What a great way to celebrate this special day. Thanks for doing this!
Happy Birthday Leslie! There are so many memories that come to mind...getting to know you on Begwall's retreat weekend and knowing we would be good friends, living in the Church, spring break in Florida, and who can forget me setting you up with JJ (now my husband) for a date. I wish I had a picture of us stuffing our faces at California Pizza while both huge and pregnant. What a sight that must have been! But the memories I enjoy the most are all the talks we had. You were a wonderful listener and you gave great spiritual advice. I went through a few rough times and you helped me get through them! You were such a good friend. You are missed and thought of often. I know you are enjoying celebrating with the one who created you! I can hear you laughing now. I miss that laugh.
Jennie Iagulli

Lynn said...


I have read and re-read so many of these comments and find myself missing the days of our small group. What a blessing you were in my life during that time...though I didn't keep in touch when you moved your influence was never far from me. I so miss your inviting smile, your laugh, the way you always found the best in people. What a legacy you left...thank you for pouring out the gifts that God gave you. We are all better for it.

Happy Birthday.


bvreimer1 said...

Happy Birthday Leslie!
We were what I would call Mommy friends. I remember my few interactions/conversations with you had to do with babies, hairstyles, cute kids, and church related stuff. Your life since those earthly conversations, your legacy, and the fact that I see you in your beautiful son's face almost every Sunday reminds me of the beautiful and amazing person I was beginning to get to know and the good friends that we could have been. Leslie you are a friend of my heart and have taught me so much through your faith and strength to the end. I cant wait to converse at the play group in Heaven. ;-)

Erica said...

Happy Birthday, Leslie! I have several memories of our cosmetology school days....but the one that always stands out can still make me erupt in spontaneous fits of laughter. One of our fellow students (who really could have used some assistance from a teacher) gave a lady (who was brave enough to let a student cut her hair short) the worst haircut we have ever seen. The back of her head was shaved and the sides sloped forward at such an unnaturally severe angle that when Leslie and I laid our eyes on it, we could do nothing but walk away and try to regain our composure from our laughing. We did a lot of laughing in beauty school....it was the only way we could get through some of our days there!
I know that Leslie is doing a lot of smiling and laughing in heaven.

Jilli said...

Happy Birthday Leslie. I would have been honored to be called one of your friends. I look forward to meeting you in paradise one day. What an amazing story you have in just your 32 years... it has touched SO many lives, including my own. You have a beautiful family and I'm sure you are very proud of them. Kiss Jesus on the cheek for me - and if you have a free moment from rejoicing on streets of gold - find Johnny Puckett for me and give him a great big hug.

Angie said...

Dearest Leslie,
Happy Birthday, my dear friend! You get to celebrate this year with Jesus- seeing His face, in a perfect place... I am sure it is the best birthday ever!
I have a couple of pictures of you up on my fridge- and when I look at your face, I think of where you are, and I have to I tell you--heaven seems so much more real and close now that you are there. Thank you for pointing my eyes to heaven and to Jesus- you are that "tree" for me. Thinking of you also reminds me to enjoy and cherish the moments I have with my husband and children, as each day is a gift.
I love you and miss your face, your voice, your laugh, your honesty...you were truly one of my favorite people in the whole world.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Leslie

dana said...

Little Sister,
Well, it's the end of a busy and highly emotional day. I've wiped a lot of runny noses, changed a lot of diapers, played a lot of baseball (TJ is an amazing hitter...real Cubbie potential!), and lit a candle just for you.
I woke up this morning with a sad heart and an amazing peace--peace in knowing that you are perfectly complete today. There is nothing that you lack. There is nothing you would change. There is nothing that you need in order to have the most beautiful birthday any of us could ever imagine. I'm very aware that the tears that I cry today are for ME, mostly. I would have loved to have spent the day together with our boys at the zoo, stopping for Oberweis ice cream on the way home. I would have brought you Gerbera daisies (did you see the beautiful daisies your friends sent me, Les? Thank you, Steph and Brenna. What a precious gift!) and taken you over to Oakbrook for Thai. I would have cherished this day with you, Les...just like always.
The truth is that I miss you, sweetie. I long to see you again and to hear about all the amazing things that have transpired in your life since we last talked. I'm sure it's everything you hoped it would be, and so much more than either of us imagined!
Although it seems long, I know I will see you soon. Until that great day, I cherish all of our sister memories together and hold them in my heart. You are such a huge part of who I am, and I will never cease to thank God for giving me my sister, my friend!
I love you, sweetie.

Anonymous said...

I never met you Leslie, but our baby Sarah is sure to enjoy your heavenly birthday cake with you. I'm sure she wants one with all the frosting--why not? No cavities in heaven. You have inspired me as a mother and wife.

Anonymous said...

Thoughts of Leslie on this, her first birthday.....in Heaven.

We share these as TJ and Tyson are at Red Lobster, probably singing Happy Birthday to Mommy, at this very moment. Though, 225 miles away, we feel we are right there and can just see the illumination on TJ's face as he sees the birthday cake coming to the table. And the look on Tyson's face....his eyes softly gazing through his son to all the richness and blessings of birthdays past. The two, a picture of joy and a product of a relationship made in Heaven, and now in part, in Heaven.

We will never forget the first time we "officially" met Leslie....when Tyson introduced her to us at a dinner at the Cheesecake Factory in Indy. The chemistry was there and it became quite apparent we were having dinner with our future Daughter-in-law.

Over the years that followed, it has been fun to watch the relationship grow. Leslie had a special way with Tyson. She could communicate more with him in a look, a gesture, a smile or a soft word than we could with a one hour "discussion."

Family vacations were always a special time, a time when we laughed, reminisced and shared good time together. New Smyrna Beach became a favorite destination, where memories were shared and created....

Watching the joy TJ brought to the house and Leslie's love for him be demonstrated in the very way she cared for him....even when he had different ideas of how things should be done. And the way she instructed and coached Tyson on the most effective ways to handle TJ when she was too weak deliver the care first hand.

We are forever changed from what Leslie taught us through her ministry of joy and peace in suffering. To observe Leslie and Tyson's love relationship explode into full bloom and completeness has been an inspiration personally and a joy as parents.

May this day ring with peace to Mom and Dad Bucher along with the whole family....and to a grandson and a son.

Thank you for who you are....we love you.

Mom & Dad Aschliman

Melinda said...

Happy Birthday Leslie! Loved being in community with you here in Indianapolis, loved your laugh (it was contagious as someone else said), loved how you cut my hair and the conversation was always good (never found a haridresser yet who I enjoy talking to as much) I look out our back window and can see your old house on Pleasant View. Every day during your battle I would look out my bathroom window as I was doing my hair and pray for you. Now, I praise God for your wholeness, the hope we have in Jesus and for TJ and Tyson. Until we meet again........

the Bowerman's said...

Happy Birthday Leslie! I know you're having the BEST birthday party ever this year! I never met you, but I did grow up knowing Tyson. I heard about your blog through the Archbold community- good ol' Mennonite grapevine. I was pregnant with my son, and sat up one night reading your blog, every entry. I was struggling with the uncertanties of pregnancy and the worry of the "what ifs". Your faith through trials much more difficult than mine, helped me to dive into the Bible more and really rely on my faith and on the promises of Jesus, instead of allowing myself to succumb to the worry. Because of your, and Tyson's faith, I feel that I grew into a stronger Christian. Thank you for sharing your story with us all, and for the legacy that you've left! Happy Birthday!

Pam said...

Leslie, you were in the second grade and in my Sunday School class the first time I ever taught. Those of you in that class have always had a special memories spot in my heart. I specifically remember one Sunday in the bathroom at church, listening to you talk to your little friend. You were wishing you were pretty, like Crystal Elsasser. I remember thinking, "You silly little girl, you are adorable!" Happy Birthday! I can only imagine what Heavenly celebrations must be like!

Bri said...

Happy Birthday, Leslie! You have changed so many lives by the life you lived. I wish I could've met you this side of Heaven.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Leslie! I am so thankful for your friendship. I too am looking forward to "playgroup" in heaven. And breakfast club too :) Every playdate, breakfast, email from you was so significant -- you were who you are and I loved that about you. After reading all of these comments I am struck by how many people you have been such a precious friend too -- and so many more that you have never met who have been impacted by your life and faith. Thank you for being who God made you to be, to the utmost, and for being a such a good friend to me. I have learned so much from you. I miss talking to you and sending you crazy emails because I knew you would listen and somehow understand me. I guess this is the closest I will get to a crazy email until I see you again in heaven. :)


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Leslie...the specific memory that always comes to mind...stopping in to visit you and Tyson on a visit to Chi-town and enjoying some bbq (ribs..I think...real tasty but never as good as your father-in-law's recipe for ribs) at a favorite bbq restaurant/watering hole. The Rockets were on the big screen playing in a bowl game and you seemed not to really care...but I know you were glued to your seat with intense excitement for the fact that the Rockets were even on TV!!! What fun and an honor that two young "whipper-snappers" would hang out with an old guy for a couple hours.

Thanks for sharing your life with us and the legacy that remains and for that infectious fun loving smile that is forever branded in our memories...Happy 1st Birthday!

Uncle Keif

Anonymous said...

This has been absolutely beautiful and a wonderful idea -- a wonderful tribute to Leslie, someone I never knew. My sister and Leslie had very similar stories -- defeating cancer at a young age, leaving behind a husband and son/s, parents, sisters, brothers, extended family and friends. Though stangers on earth, I'm sure my sister was also at Leslie's birthday celebration! My heart also goes out to Leslie's family on this, her first birthday in Heaven. Blessings to you all!

Lady Why said...

I have never met either of you and I don't even recall how I came to find Leslie's blog but I've been following her story from the beginning of her cancer journey. You are truly inspirational and I have prayed for you all often! I am so happy to see your healing process as it unfolds and I continue to pray for you, TJ and the future that the Lord has for you!

Margo said...

Tyson -
We've been praying for you and your family for the past year or so. Your blog (well your STORY, Leslie's STORY, GOD'S STORY!!) has brought me to tears so many times. Thank you for being open with all of us! May God continue to bless your family! You are a testimony of God's love and power in a Christian's life!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Leslie.

Rejoicing with you as you celebrate in Heaven, and continuing to lift your family and friends up in prayer for the void you have left. I know you are looking down and feeling peaceful and happy.

Your life as well as Tyson's and TJ's have made an impact on so many people. To God be the Glory!

Rosalie said...

belated birthday in honor of Leslie...altho I never knew you, I have learned to know you thru Tyson's blog. What a wonderful legacy you have left int he lives of Tyson and TJ.

Anonymous said...

Happy Belated Birthday Leslie! I first met Leslie at church when we were 12 and then I ended up transferring to good ole Pleasant View where Leslie and I became quite close. When I think of Leslie I am reminded of the movie Dirty Dancing where she and I would rent the VCR and the movie and we must have watched that movie a million times! She always could make you smile with her laugh and I will never forget her!!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Leslie! Your greatest birthday gift is to see the thriving family you planted the seeds for before you went home to your Lord. My prayers go with your family.

Michelle said...

Happy 33rd birthday, Leslie. I knew you briefly through your brother Chris at U of I. I'm keeping up on the journey of your family, now, through Tyson's blog. Your life and death have made a difference for thousands of people. What a birthday blessing!

Anonymous said...

Happy belate birthday Leslie!I didn't forget your birthday, but this was the first time I have read the blog since Tyson asked for comments. I have so many memories of you and my friendship. It all started at good ole P.V. I was the new girl. You were such a little mother hen even way back then. You were always so kind, funny, and just plain adorable! We had so much fun together. Too many memories to share in this post. Volleyball, cheerleading, rollerskating at the Washington Skateland, watching Dirty Dancing, horse shows, and so much more. I don't know what to call my favorite times! Some that come to mind are 3rd place in state, volleyball camp at Eureka college, playing "I'll be there for you" by Bon Jovi over the phone when you a and Cory S "broke up". We were the best of buds! When DeLene came to P.V. we became the 3 amigos! So many stories. Some of which we will keep as secrets, just between us. I remember the move to the big class at WCHS. This was the first time it wasn't really just us. Even though our friendship changed at that point, you always tried to make me feel apart of you. Thanks for your friendship and everything you taught me here on Earth. I am so grateful for the time I had with you. I wish I could have talked to you or hugged you 1 last time before you went to heaven, but that was not in the plan. Even though we had not talked or seen each other since the ICC days,I still felt like a piece of me was taken when you went to heaven. Like your mom told me, when 2 people care for each other and spent as much time togeter as we did growing up,you can never change those feelings. I hope you know that you will always be my best friend. My life and heart will be forever blessed because of my friendship with you. So many things remind me of you and it's hard to know that I was never able to thank you for your friendship and kindness. Sometimes it is song, a picture, or reading Tyson's blogs. My kids just say, "You are thinking of Leslie, aren't you mom?" All I can do is say with a smile and teary eyes, "Yes, I'm thinking of my friend Leslie." God continues to teach me through you and Tyson. Thank you for being such a good example for all of us! Thank you for being you. I will treasure our memories always. I love following "your boys" as it makes me feel close to you. Tyson is doing an amazing job! What a great man of God, God choose to give you and TJ. I will one day get to see you face to face in heaven and give you that hug! Until then, I miss you and I love you. You are an amazing women of God & have touched and taught many through your life. Happy birthday in heaven. I bet your crown is an amazing sight to see!
Forever your P.V. best friend,
Rhonda Schrock Wudtke

Anne said...

Wow - I am number 89. That's alot of Birthday wishes.
I only met you once and very briefly - at your Aunt Gayle's and that was shortly before you found out about your cancer. In retrospect it seems like some part of you knew at that time that something difficult was on the horizon.
Since then I came to know you by way of my friendship with Gayle and Clint and the Bucher family. Walking alongside them in their journey of prayer, hope, sorrow, loss, grief, surrender, and renewed hope has given me glimpses of who you were and are. You truly do live on in the hearts of those whom you touched as does the God with whom you now share eternal glory. I look forward to getting to know you personally in Heaven.
God Bless you - (Oh yeah - He already has - forever!!)

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Leslie! I have not met you yet but looking forward to in heaven. I have been blessed many times by your story. What an awesome legacy you left in Tyson and TJ!! How proud you must be. I will continue to pray for your guys! :)

Ben, Michele, Claire, Anna said...

I don't know Leslie, but I have been reading your blog since December 2007. I am friends with Ben & Jenny Clafee and they posted a link to your blog on their family blog.
I think what I have learned, as a young mother, is that time with our children is precious. None of us know how long we have to live. Every day, every minute, every second for that matter with our family is so special and a gift from God. I hold my girls a little tighter, tell them that I love them more often, smell their hair, rock them, read to them more because of Leslie. She has truly touched my soul and I think... NO, I know, that I am a better mother and wife because of her.
Thank you Leslie and thank you Ty for allowing "us" to see and learn from your life experiences. I know so many people have been touched.
Happy Belated Birthday, Leslie!
(Praying for your book deal as well!)

Anonymous said...


Happy Birthday! I never knew you personally however I have followed your story for some time now. I found your blog from a friend of a friend of a friend. (or something like that)Your journey has been so inspiring.The love you had for the Lord and your family was amazing and abundantly clear. I am thankful that today you are celebrating YOU and your birth with our all mighty God!

Anonymous said...

Well Tyson you finally got me to post. Jamie and I have been dedicated readers, prayers, silent cheerleaders (whatever else you can think of). We have known each other since diapers, went to the same college, and have lived seperate lives since. However, I feel we will still always have that "Streak" connection. Happy belated birthday Leslie. Got the great opportunity Leslie to live next door to you in college. You served as the mother hen for my roommates and I. Fitting memory for me is that you lived in the "church" (the name for the house you lived in next door to us). We always wanted an excuse to grill out between our 2 houses, and birthday parties were sure one of them. It is just great to know of the connection; life; family; that both Tyson and Leslie have shared. Happy Birthday Leslie!!! Chris and Jamie S.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Leslie!! Tyson, I grew up in the same neighborhood with the Buchers. I have so many memories as a child of playing in their basement with Leslie. I remember roller skating in their storage room, playing volleyball with a balloon, playing games like Life and Mystery Date. I had two older brothers and I was a couple years older than Leslie. She was like a sister to play with and I will always cherish those memories. I only wish that I could have known her as an adult....it is wonderful to see what an amazing woman, wife, and mother she became. Thank you so much for sharing with everyone. I wish you and TJ (along with the rest of your families)the best.

Michelle (Biggs) Murray

Krista said...

I know I'm really late to the party, but I hope you had a fantastic birthday party at Red Lobster.
Thanks for sharing with all of us, it's always so encouraging to me to read what you write. Leslie's story through you is a blessing.

Crazibliss said...

Leslie, My cousin. The Bucher family has a special place in my heart. My earliest memories of you are from McCormick's Creek every Memorial Day. Then my more current memories of being a camp counselor at camp need-2-b-younger-2-remember-the-name, and of white water rafting with the Wheeler Mission group. Then I remember Chris telling me about this guy...What a legacy you have left dear Leslie. If only I will accomplish as much as you. You have forever impacted me.
Jenni Bliss

Anonymous said...

Oh, and one more thing....not only was I incredibly blessed to have you as a daughter, you were one of my best friends. Thank you, God, for that honor.
I love you more,

Anonymous said...

Last week we thought about and celebrated Leslie's first birthday in Heaven. Today as I was driving home from work I heard a song that was sang and written by Alan Jackson called "Sissy's Song." It is so fitting for Leslie. It talks about her (sissy) being too young to go and being a wife, mother and daughter and how she went to Heaven on the wings of an Angel. We know too that Leslie also went on the wings of an Angel. And oh how she must have celebrated her birthday hand in hand with Jesus walking the streets of gold. "When we all get to Heaven what a day of rejoicing that will be!"

Anonymous said...

It is amazing to me that this is your 100th Birthday Wish....at least that is the 100th that was actually posted. So many others were praying for TJ and Tyson last Wed. and remembering our sweet, one-of-a kind friend Leslie. That truly is my memory of you...that you were "Leslie"...and as I read these many posts, I see that with everyone you were always yourself. And that is what we all loved so much about you. If you were reading this, you would see that this is a week late...and you would just laugh at me and say "Steph....you are still too busy! When will it end!" (And that second you would offer to bring my family a meal...or offer my husband and me a date night!) Now this time, it was not busy-ness that prevented me to write. I would plan to write and then read the other posts, and would often end up with tears in my eyes. I just couldn't write after reading all these wonderful stories of how God used you in SO MANY lives. My children also realize that when my eyes are wet, which is often...(but is getting better)...they know I am thinking of Leslie. And my son, who prayed often for 'Miss Leslie', reminded me that his prayers were answered. You are healed and in heaven, the best place to be!

I only had the privilege of knowing you for a few years and I truly cherish the memories of great talks while you cut my hair, or as she shared some Trader Joe's healthy food. Each talk with you was meaningful...not just on the surface...and from the first time we met, I was able to share my heart, easily. Thanks for listening to me talk...and then my sister talk as she and I often called or emailed you on the same day.

I could go on and on...but I know that is not what you would have wanted. So I will say "Thanks' one more time..and save the rest for another birthday:)

We all miss you, precious Leslie, and have been forever changed by your life and faith. Thanks for sharing your life with us and for showing us all how to truly care for others.

love, steph

Nichole said...

I am a little late, but happy birthday, Leslie!! I am sure you had a joyous day. I remember living in the church and just being goofy girls. I remember going to the mall and dressing up funny and taking pictures of it, I still have them. Those were the good old days.

Kathy said...

Happy First Birthday with the Lord, Leslie. I do wonder what the parties are like up there - the banquet tables... the decorations... I always love a good "theme" - think God gets into those as well? I think a good theme for Leslie would be that of running the race WELL.

1 Corinthians 9:23-25 NIV says:
I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

I see Leslie at the banquet table, a medal around her neck, a crown on her head, and a smile on her face... having run her race well... having won the ultimate prize of being with her Lord and leaving a legacy of faith for her husband, her son, and so many people on earth - many of whom she had never even met.

Tyson and T.J., I hope that your birthday party for Leslie was really fun and that the lobster dinner was GREAT. Thank you so much for sharing Leslie with me. She has touched my life and I pray that her story will continue to reach many for Christ in the future as well. God bless!

Kathy (Anderson '97) Fields

Jessica Frye said...

Oh I have so many millions of memories of Les. How grandma would always call both of us Les Jess because they would mix up our names, the time she got car sick when we were like 8 and 11 and we stopped at Bob Evans. She only made it right inside the door where everyone waits and vomited on the floor. And it was Sunday morning! The time we were in her car driving up to Bluffton and she told me she wanted me to be in her wedding, and how she did my hair for my wedding. How before she walked down the isle to marry Tyson she almost vomited because she was so nervous. When we had matching bathing suits in Hilton Head when we were like 3 and 6.All the videos from Christmases where she is so goofy. Her being with us when we drove down to Hilton Head when I was like 8 months pregnant and I was miserable, but she always made me laugh. Her coming to my house time after time to do my hair and we would catch up on our busy lives. I remember her 30th Birthday party at the Fox and the Hound when Tyson suprised her with a car and she was so excited! The time we were in the kitchen at my mom and dads and pregnant and she made me laugh so hard that I started crying hysterically. And my very favorite memory was the very last time I saw her, at the Bucher family reunion We were sitting outside on the step and I made her laugh by asking her if she had lost weight. Oh my gosh, I want a million more. I want to remember every moment with her. I don't want to forget all her many different hairdos and different colors. The way she would complain about the pimples on her chin that I could never even see. Her amazing smile. How cute she looked when she was pregnant with TJ, but how miserable she felt. Oh, and how much fun we had when we went to the N Sync concert together and we sat in the 9th row. And how really her and I were the only ones that thought that was so cool. I knew that I could go to her for anything. that even though she was my older cousin I could tell her anything without being judged. Leslie was one amazing person and I can't wait to see her again! Happy Birthday Les!! I love you! -Jess

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Leslie! I realize it is over, but I was drawn to read Tyson's blog tonight and thought I'd still write a comment. We never met (yet), but I have been encouraged and inspired by your life.

6671 said...

I know this is late, Les, but happy birthday. I can still see you girls (Julie, Sarah, etc) walking across the meadow to our back yard. You must have walked 2miles through that revine! What a sight. You all just hung out for awhile, I can't remember if Todd took you all home or you walked home. How about the time you and Todd missed ACYF because you just couldn't find Gridley church. Yeah, we believed that! You were always such a good friend to Todd as you both grew up. what a blessing you were to Tom as well, encouraging him to "get on with it" when he was struggeling with his new life in Christ. I can see you, the little girl, in TJ's face, even hear you in his little voice. I have learned a lot from your mom about just keeping eyes focused on Heaven. She's been a blessing to many of us.

Anonymous said...

You have left your legacy. It wasn't easy for you, but by the incredible grace of Jesus, He used you in so many ways to touch so many people. As Christians we are told we will suffer often in ways that are different for each one, your suffering was not in vain, it has glorified Christ. I have learned so much more about you. Your earthly struggles that so many of us never realized. It reminds me that no matter who a person is or what their status, everyone has a burden to bear. Your life has been an encouragement to me....as I too want my life to reflect Jesus, and understand that there may be a cost. Happy Birthday.
Tyson-thanks for allowing God to work in your life and share your experiences. To God be the Glory for great things He has done and continues to do.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Leslie! Tyson, I love your spontaneous responses to TJ. You are such a loving father and it is heart warming to hear how you resond to his questions. I will be praying for the book to come to fruition, what a legacy Leslie is leaving through you for TJ. blessings

Becky said...

I am typically late in sending birthday cards, and this one is no different. Happy Birthday, Leslie! I know that I am just one of many who follow your legacy but never had the priviledge to meet here on Earth...but I want to tell you how much your story, and Tyson's and TJ's, have touched my heart. You have inspired me to see my life in a different way and to appreciate all the gifts that God has given.

May you be forever blessed!

kim p said...

Thank you for your making yourself vulnerable and inviting others to see the glory of God as He worked in your life through your battle with cancer. Your life has been such an inspiration to me and countless others. Now, as you stand victorious through the blood of Jesus before His throne, we long for the day when we can stand with you singing His praises and proclaiming His glory! I know you have celebrated a birthday none of us can fathom!

Henny said...

Happy Birthday Leslie. I didn't know you at TU, but I was friends with Tyson (in his cocky punk attitude years I guess:). When a friend told me that Tyson Aschliman's wife passed away, I just cried. Then I found your blog and I cried a lot more. And pretty much ever since I have followed Tyson's blog and have shed a lot of tears. Thank you for sharing your life with the world. Thank you for sharing your battle, your courage, your motherhood, your faith and your love for Tyson and TJ for all to see. Your story has touched deep parts of me and has helped me interpret my own pain better. Thank you Leslie and Tyson for making me a better person just by reading your story. To live is Christ and to die is gain.