Many of you knew Lesley Walter for the beautiful person she was. Her joy and pride at being recognized as our November 2011 Rock Star was endearing. She couldn’t understand why anyone would choose her for such an honor – but Lesley was truly a unique and wonderful person and deserving of everything she received in life and more. Her husband wrote a touching eulogy that was read at her funeral, and it is printed here for those who were not present to hear these inspiring words and tribute to a special person.
Lesley Walter’s Eulogy from her husband and best friend, Jeff Walter
A special heartfelt thank you to all of you that were able to join in Lesley’s celebration of life the other day. It was apparent to all that she was there in spirit from not only the love present in the church but the thunderous rainshower during the service followed by a beautiful rainbow. As a lasting tribute to her and what she meant me and to so many others I share my eulogy below.
For those of you that knew Lesley much of this will not come as a surprise. While her life was cut short she never allowed her illness to change who she was. Lesley was a compassionate friend, loving wife, and a devoted and caring mother. Lesley always had a different outlook and positive point of view as she journeyed through life. Her sense of humor, her perspective on any given situation and her observations of people and their actions were always unique and insightful. Lesley was blessed in recognizing that perfection was not something that was necessary to achieve satisfaction or enjoyment in life. Only Lesley could find beauty in the weeds as I waged my battle in the yard trying to build the perfect lawn. Quite often she would come out as I toiled and would attempt to alleviate my frustrations with noting that the dandelions and clover flowers are actually quite nice. That is how Lesley viewed the world around her.
Lesley was a strong woman in many extraordinary ways. Her display of strength and courage throughout her life and her illness never wavered although she was always far too humble to ever recognize and accept it. When Lesley was diagnosed, and throughout her illness, she was always mystified at the outpouring of support and love, and that so many people found her to be a pillar of strength and inspiration. Lesley was never able to fully comprehend how many people and hearts she touched throughout her life.
Lesley was never one to have any grandiose desires or needs out of life. Lesley found true contentment in spending time with friends, family and those that she loved. Lesley’s children were the most precious and important things in her life. There was nothing she wouldn’t do for them and was always worried whether she was being the best mother she could be. Again, typical Lesley in not recognizing just how wonderful a mother she was. During the twenty plus years we were together the only regrets I recall her conveying, beside me not proposing marriage earlier, were that when she was first diagnosed with her illness and the grim survival rates were shared, she was truly heartbroken that she may not see our children grow and be able to share in all the special times that would lie ahead. I always assured her that should things go in an undesirable direction her memory will never be forgotten and that she will always be able to look down upon us and find joy and happiness. Of course I also threw in there that I expected her to pull a few strings and ensure some rain befalls us when my lawn is a little dry. With that she would laugh, give me the stink eye and quickly transition back to the upbeat and positive person she was.
Many speak of the gift of Cancer and at the first hearing of it that it seems the most ridiculous and absurd of ideas. That said I have spoken often of the fact that Lesley and I packed more life and connected on a much deeper level into the last two years than we had in all the previous years together. As hard as that is to accept and comprehend, for that I am thankful.
Lesley was always a believer and never questioned God on why it was she that must bear the burden she received. Throughout her life Lesley was always thankful to the lord for what she had and found strength in his arms. Even as her condition continued to deteriorate she prayed and worried that she wouldn’t know when he wanted her to stop fighting and enter with him into salvation. In the end her fears and concerns were answered as her last hours were calm and she peacefully drifted off led by angels into his kingdom.
Lesley, you were a wonderful and special person to many. You will be missed deeply, and it although it will be difficult to imagine the voyage through life without you here physically, we will always carry the memories of you and the times we had and will take solace in knowing that you are in a better place. You will always be in our hearts and I know that we will all be together again someday.
Good bye my love, Good bye my best friend. You made me a better person.