Posted By Mike&Leslie

Leslie Beach
I expect this to be the last blog post.  Please know that it brought Leslie so much happiness knowing you were reading and responding to her writings.  And as long as you keep Leslie's love for others alive in your heart and in your actions, Leslie will always be with us.




"It’s not the amount of years in a life, it’s the amount of life in those years". It’s the sort of thing we say when someone is taken from us too soon, but in Leslie’s case it was so very true. Leslie lived more in her 49 years than most people do in 100. Leslie loved to celebrate any occasion, she patented the "birth-MONTH" celebration. She loved the holidays, especially Christmas. Every year from the beginning of October to the end of December, our house would be wall-to-wall with decorations - "throwing up Christmas" she would say. The reason Leslie loved celebrations was because Leslie loved people. Holidays are for family and EVERYONE was family to Leslie. Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve were times for family and the house was always full. She always invited some "strays" too – people who didn’t have any family near.  Leslie always made everyone feel welcome. Serving others was one of her greatest joys.

Leslie was a wonderful mother to our children. She loved them and disciplined them. She taught them right from wrong, she instilled a strong work ethic in them. She attended every function they were in, often attending multiple performances of the same event. She was so proud of them in everything they did, so proud to see them grow into good and Godly adults. Jenna and Jeff were not finished needing their mother, but she equipped them to go on without her. Leslie LOVED being a "Nani" to her precious Tyler. As much as anything else, Tyler was the source of her eternal optimism. She gave him her love for learning and for books and she gave him an un-ending supply of love.

As hard as it is for me to say, cancer made Leslie a better person. It gave her a sense of urgency to encourage others, to foster relationships between people, and to share the love of God. Many of you read her Blog every day and felt her radiant optimism. That optimism was real, it was not just putting on a brave face for the world to see. That is not to say that were not hard times, but Leslie always held on to hope – she knew that God was in control and that He had a plan for her life. She was overjoyed to see the small and the large differences in people’s lives because of her experiences. She said that her tribulations were all worth it if it brought people closer to God and to each other. Leslie frequently told me how happy she was that God allowed her to see the "little miracles" that He brought about through her.

Leslie never lost hope. She slipped painlessly from this world knowing full well it was part of God’s plan. I have absolutely no doubt that Leslie is resting safely in the arms of Jesus, that He has given her a full explanation of why this had to happen, and she is completely satisfied with His reasons. Leslie was able to catch glimpses of truth before and now her understanding is complete, just as ours will be someday.

Leslie was my best friend - I was complete in her. It sounds cliché, but Leslie and I never argued. We learned very early in marriage that the secret to happiness was to put each other first. She made me the man I am today, she is my hero, my soulmate, my encourager, my PR agent, my beautiful angel. Leslie is the love of my life.

I love you Babe.


34 Comment(s):
Brenda Grose said...
Oh my Dear little friend.. Thinking of you today as you Celebrate your 50th Birthday in Heaven. You were taken from us way too young.. Although many of us miss you very much.. I have some peace in knowing you suffer no more. I pray for Peace for Mike, Jenna, Jeff & Tyler today and always. I know your doing it "Big" there because that's just how you did things! Hugs, Prayers & Hope, Brenda Grose
March 26, 2012 10:09:14
Peggy said...
Happy Heavenly Birthday Leslie, I love and miss you.
March 26, 2012 06:28:59
Cheryl said...
Hey Les, Happy opening ceremonies for your 50th!!! Miss ya and love ya lots, Cheryl
March 1, 2012 11:13:38
Christy from Atlanta said...
Mike, and family, I did not know Leslie or you guys but I have enjoyed reading her blog. I came upon her blog because I always look at Mike ideas for vbs. I have used many of your ideas at our church, we appreciatte your passion and ideas to help make a meaningful VBS for our children. I would read Leslie's blog and sometimes it was very hard for me to read due to the fact that my dad died of Melanomo skin cancer back in 2006. I know that it is a heartwrenching and mysterious disease to get and get rid of. Leslie was a beautiful woman of God which was evident in her blog. I know that you guys will probably not see this, but you see I just now found out about Leslie, due to fact that I am starting next years prep for VBS. I know that it has been 7 months since she has gone to be with the Lord, but her blog and her walk with God still impacted me today. My prayers are with you and your family.
February 19, 2012 02:19:27
Donald The Little Brother said...
Thanksgiving Day, just won't be the same today without you. I miss you sis.
November 24, 2011 07:24:09
Denise said...
Hey there Sunshine! Am thinking that somewhere in Heaven there is a computer and you can check your blog everyday...just wanted you to know that I went to the dermatologist and got checked out...wouldn't have done that without you my dear sweet friend...all is well and I am glad I went. I miss you so very much...I pray you and God are hanging out and you are getting ready to "throw up Christmas" in Heaven too!! Love you!!
October 31, 2011 10:48:36
Peggy said...
Thinking of you everyday. Miss you, love you.
October 12, 2011 08:30:56
Monica the sister said...
I miss you!
October 4, 2011 01:43:47
Terrie O. said...
Howdy and Happy Monday evening...FYI-Leslie's HOPE project will be completed sooooooooooooo if you want your piece in the project you may send it to me. Terrie Olstowski 2761 Ironwood Road Imperial CA 92251 annnnnnnnnnnnd if you want to help with the project give me a call at 760-355-1076. I love you Leslie and I BELIEVE, Terrie O.
September 12, 2011 10:18:01
Brenda Grose said...
I really think we can look back on past posts and still be encouraged... What an amazing little Friend we have in Leslie... Peggy your so right... What a lucky lady she is to be now cancer free and in such an amazing place called Heaven... I know our Daddy's embraced her when they saw her...Edna it was great to see you after all these years... We love and miss you Leslie.. :)
September 7, 2011 12:08:12
Edna said...
Brenda and Peggy--I am with you. Can't help but come to the blog daily to look at the photo and search for encouragement. Just miss her daily messages that kept us all close and encouraged. Some day--what a day that will be!!!
September 6, 2011 09:19:29
Mick&Peg said...
Brenda, me too. I keep coming here, looking at this picture of our beautiful and cherished friend, and the tears just well and then fall onto my keyboard. But much as I love and miss her, I cannot wish her back from that glorious home she has now. But I do so miss her, and her words in this blog continue to bless me. Peggy
September 6, 2011 06:03:22
Brenda Carwtright Grose said...
I continue to find myself coming here looking for my words of encouragement. Jeff.. I hope your day was good! Hugs and Prayers to all of you! Brenda
September 3, 2011 09:39:36
Chris Armendari said...
In April at the American Cancer Society, Relay For Life Leslie came up to me and thanked me for all I do to help find a cure for cancer. I was set back and told her that it was the least I can do for her and other cancer patients because you have to fight this terrible disease everyday of your life! What a beautiful, strong and lovely person. May God Bless you Leslie
September 2, 2011 08:00:35
NancyJones said...
That was gorgeous mike. Leslie always set the best example. Even through all her illness. Your words are so beautiful. Your family has so much love. I know how much she loved all of you. sure am gonna miss that sweet lady. Bless you all and prayers of comfort for you all.((((hugs))))
August 31, 2011 07:51:44
Kimberly said...
Saturday was absolutly beautiful. The service was amazing..the music so touching..the words so heart felt. You and Jeanna did a wonderful job getting up there in front of all of us, sharing your thoughts & feelings...telling personal stories. It was extremly emotional and moving for me. I of course only knew Leslie, but I feel I know the whole family now. And what a wonderful, beautiful family that is. Thank you for sharing all that you did. Leslie touched my life in so many ways.I am gratful and blessed to have known her for as long as I did. My thoughts & prayers to all of you for healing. Hold onto your beautiful memories, wonderful picutres & stories..may they ease some of the pain.Hugs to you all. Kimberly Phillips
August 30, 2011 08:11:34
alexis said...
Dear Mike,and family. As u know I didn't get the chance to know Leslie as much as some people did. Just her wonderful story and of course seeing u and Jenna everyday. The week Leslie passed away me and my mother got in a huge argument none like before. I had to leave work cause I couldn't think or function. After she passes I could only think of Jenna. I can't imagine being so young and not having my mother around. And I didn't care what she or I had said or done. I just wanted my mom back. Not everybody cherishes life and sometimes not even me. But reading Leslie's day by day life and the love u had for her makes me cherish it more. I remember 2 Christmas parties ago when u got an award and Clyde read the bio she had written about u. It was very nice and I had to hole back my tears knowing what u and her had gone through to beat cancer. Believe it or not I'm a very emotional person with a big heart. I cant emphasize enough to my parents the importance of cancer preventions especially with our long history. Your eulogy was beautiful. Your everything a husband should be. I've completely changed my life in the last 2 years. I met my soulmate and have a beautiful daughter. He's changed my life in everyway and I hope that we could experience the same love you and Leslie have. Take care. Love Alexis
August 30, 2011 12:19:49
Brenda Grose said...
Mike, Your words were perfect. Your description of Leslie could not have been put better. She was such a sweetie and I miss her. I know this is the hardest thing you have ever had to do but I want you to know that standing up in front of all of us at her service took a very special person. I know she is so proud of you. If she were to blog she would be bragging on you.. and rightfully so. Jenna did so good too... I am so happy that she had such great relationships and was able to accomplish so much in her short stay with us here.. God bless all of you... The friends from Imperial did an amazing job on decorating and helping pull together the reception after her service. Leslie was smiling from Heaven knowing so many people came out to honor her in such a way. What a special group of people...Continued prayer. John and Brenda Grose
August 30, 2011 11:37:15
Aunt MaryAnn said...
My dearest Mike: Thank you for sharing the eulogy w/us. I spoke w/Bill last evening and he was so impressed w/all the people that turned out and how loving all of them were. He too was grateful for your eulogy and each of the rememberances many, many had w/Leslie. Would you leave this Blog up for a while. I would like to copy some of the pictures of Leslie - esp. the one w/her "thumbs up" to all of us. Praying for you and the family - knowing Leslie's love is surrounding all of you and that God's umbrella of comfort is over you. Much love, Aunt Maryann
August 30, 2011 06:31:23
Terrie O. said...
Howdy and I absolutely LOVE the look of PEACE on her face-amazing-she can now go to the beach anytime she wants... I appreciate the numerous phone calls with all of the details; SHE is still at work. Mike, I will talk to you soon; is anyone going to complete Leslie's HOPE project? My prayers are with you Gilbert family and many, many friends.. I love you Leslie and I BELIEVE! Smiling and celebrating, Terrie O.
August 29, 2011 07:21:48
Donald Cones said...
Thumbs up to you Mike, as a husband and father. A beautiful Angel is looking down upon you. Your strength is amazing.
August 29, 2011 02:53:17
Naomi Wendell said...
This was such a beautiful eulogy, Mike. I remember you and her teaching the youth group when I was in it at First Christian Church, and how encouraging and loving you two were as a team. I was not close to her during her fight, but the kids and I prayed a lot. I love what you said about how she is in Jesus' arms and she knows the full explaination about why this had to happen. God is so good and has blessed us even when times are tough. I pray for you and your family. I pray that God brings you peace and love to your hearts and all the memories of Leslie you can ask for. She will be loved and missed. Thank you for sharing.
August 29, 2011 09:14:23
Marga said...
Thanks so much for posting this Mike. Thumbs up.
August 29, 2011 07:33:42
Charlotte Furguson said...
This last blog was just beautiful. Even though I did not know Leslie as well as some she touched my life every day as I read her blogs. And will continue to long after. I know she is looking down on all of us. A and i know she will always be alive in your heart. My prayers are you and your family.
August 29, 2011 07:20:03
Amy Bo. said...
Beautiful...HOPE belongs in your pocket for a while, Mike. Our thoughts and prayers will continue to be with you. I will miss Leslie's beautiful smile tomorrow morning as well as our lunch in the afternoon...she was a little piece of heaven on Earth.
August 28, 2011 10:42:04
Krissy said...
that was a wonderful Eulogy Mike! Leslie was a wonderful woman who never met a person she didn't like and had a way of always making people feel welcome and loved. We will miss her smile, enthusiasm for life, and her love of children. Thank you for sharing with us and know that you are in our prayers daily.
August 28, 2011 10:31:31
Victor and Caroline said...
Dear Mike, The memorial service at church and at the school was everything that Leslie would have wanted. It was beautiful! Thank you so much for posting the Eulogy, we loved your words! Thank you for creating the blog and website site for Leslie and all of us. It was a beautiful way to share her journey and and also a beautiful way to communicate with her. She will forever be in our hearts and we again are so thankful she was a part of our lives! XOXO Love, the Jaime Family
August 28, 2011 07:14:40
Carly Zamora said...
Thank you so much for sharing the Eulogy, as it was so beautiful. I couldn't make it yesterday, but know I have been thinking of you all each and everyday. Your family has touched and inspired millions of individuals and that is a blessing. Lots of love your way! Leslie will be truly missed.
August 28, 2011 05:12:28
Michelle Sexton said...
I also feel something telling me "it's okay" I can't expain it. I'm sure Leslie is working in heaven and praying for all of us and our needs. I too feel the sense to strive to be a much better person. I know it's not about "being good", but striving to be the person that God intended me to be. We all have dofferent gifts and no one will be just like Leslie, but we can have the faith, hope love,dedication and strength that she had to use her God given gifts and talents through God. John and I love you and your family and will continue to pray for you and hold you hand spiritually everyday.
August 28, 2011 03:26:42
Kim said...
That was beautifully said Mike. I will cherish June 2nd when she came to see me while I was in Imperial. Love to you all
August 28, 2011 01:19:21
Mary Lou said...
Thank you for sharing this, Mike. I too thought of you and your family a lot yesterday, as I have in the past few months. I never met Leslie in real life either but I do know she has influenced me in many ways and has shown me better ways to deal with things. I appreciated her optimism, her strength, etc. Thank you for sharing her with us! God bless you all.
August 28, 2011 10:01:40
Christie said...
Thank you for sharing your eulogy. I thought of you and your family many times yesterday. And even though I never got to meet Leslie in person, she made a huge impact on my life. I will miss her dearly.
August 28, 2011 08:20:10
Sandra said...
Thank you for so generously sharing. I'm encouraged and convicted to make better use of my time, through Leslie's example. I pray comfort for you all and I know that God's work through these events continues -- through Leslie's words and through the lives that she changed. It's such a clear example of how God uses yielded lives and yielded difficulties. I also pray continued hope and joy in knowing that our loving Heavenly Father is faithful to His every promise -- for Leslie and for you all.
August 28, 2011 08:11:46
Denise said...
Dear Mike, in flying home yesterday from Florida you and your family were so on my mind...I prayed, I cried, I heard her voice telling me "It's's o.k..." I saw her beautiful smile in the clouds as I came over the mountains back into the valley. Mike, you and Leslie make me want to be a much better person and I promise to strive toward that goal. I will always love Leslie and she will be deep in my heart for the rest of my life. Thank you for sharing your eulogy to Leslie with us on the blog. Your love for her is a true love that we will all strive to attain in our lifetimes...God Bless You Mike!!
August 28, 2011 07:34:33
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