Thursday, July 30, 2015

Deep Sorrow

It’s 4:00 a.m. and I can’t sleep. Most of you know by now that my dear sister-in-law, Leslie, popular writer at A Blonde Ambition, passed away Monday morning. She was born with a congenital heart condition and after the birth of her second daughter, complications arose and it wasn’t meant for her to be healed on this earth.

We are deeply grieving the loss of Leslie and are heartbroken for my sweet brother and their precious daughters. While we cannot understand why she had to leave us so soon, we are so incredibly thankful that her suffering is over. She was so very sick and was in such great pain in her final days. She rarely complained and when she did, she always apologized for doing so. She was the epitome of grace up until the very end. We will miss her desperately.

Thank you to everyone who has reached out to us during this time. We’ve seen so many people be the hands and feet of Jesus and while I wish we didn’t have to be the recipients of such generosity, we have all truly been touched by the immense prayers and support. It was clear how greatly Leslie was loved and I am sorry for the pain any of you are feeling from her passing as well. Thank you for loving us during this time.

One thing her passing has done has inspired me to make the time for my blog again. Along with Leslie’s illness, our family has endured several other major life happenings since the beginning of 2015 and it has been a HARD year. This was the second death in our family in less than six months. That member of our family was also only in their 30s which is much too young. With all of these things as well as being pregnant and having a newborn, I haven’t had the energy or drive to blog. But Leslie’s death has reminded me in a harsh way that we are not promised tomorrow, and I want these memories of our life recorded. We had the chance to spend the day with Leslie, Stephen and the girls just two days before we lost her. She and I spent some sweet sister time catching up while Zach and Stephen took the older kids swimming. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that would be the last time I saw her alive and got to talk to her and hug her neck. My heart is beyond happy that we had that time together. God knew what He was doing when He made it possible for our visit to work out.

So, I am making it my mission to revive this dusty old blog space in honor of our dear Leslie. I’m going to share what I shared on instagram yesterday morning as my tribute to Leslie.IMG_2888

Sweet sister. My heart is aching right now. I am about to go see you for the last time and I'm not sure my heart can handle it. I was talking to Stephen last night, and while choking back tears, he said "she looks good. She looks good." I will carry that memory with me forever because Stephen loved that you loved to get all dolled up and it's only fitting that he make sure your physical body looked good for your last hurrah.


I cannot believe you are gone. Standing in your house yesterday just felt so odd and wrong. I just kept looking around and I could see you there. I cannot tell you how much I am going to miss you. I am sad that I will never again see your name pop up on a text message. I am sad that I will never get to sit around and talk to you about things that we think are dumb. I am sad there are no more shopping trips ahead for us. I am sad we are never going to get to take the sister trip we talked about. I am sad that there are so many times ahead where I know I will miss you so much hurts. I'm just unbelievably sad.


You had truly become another sister to me. The last few months it was so hard to watch you be so sick and in so much pain. I can't imagine the joy you are experiencing today with a healthy heart in the glory of eternal life. Your suffering has ended while ours is just beginning.


You were such a wonderful aunt to my children. I cannot tell you how happy my heart is that you got to meet Grant two days before you left this earth. I know it meant as much to you as well. Ava and Reed absolutely adored you and we will miss your presence in their lives so much. Thank you for all of the special things you have done for them over the years. I promise you that I will do the same for your girls. I will be there for them any time that they need me (and probably even when they don't). I will help Stephen with the things he may not think of, so that the girls don't miss out on anything. And I promise you that they will know how very much you loved them, and what an amazing person you are.


Thank you for being one of my best friends, my sister. You being gone will leave a huge void in my life. Until we meet again. I love you, sis.

#beblessedlovelies #rememberingleslie

 

A GoFundMe account has been set up for my darling nieces. The money will be used for their college funds and eventually their wedding funds. If you would like to do so, you can make a donation here:

https://www.gofundme.com/d53bgd5p8s/donate

17 comments:

  1. I cannot say anything to take the pain away, but I am so so sorry. I will miss reading Leslie's blog and seeing her girls grow up. Does Stephen have an IG account we can follow? Or will you periodically post pictures of Caroline and Ainsley? Hugs and prayers for your family.

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  2. Continue to be at a loss for words. I'm shocked this happened to your family and am grateful you've decided to blog again as I love following your sweet family and hoping we can get glimpses of C and A, those precious baby girls. Please let Stephen know I send him big virtual hugs (( )) (( )) for strength and support too. I will remember him and your whole family in my thoughts and prayers for a long time to come. Just so tragic and I've never cried so hard over someone I've never met but felt I knew so well with following her adorable blog. Take care and stay strong for all those beautiful babies in your family. xoxo

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  3. I've been in constant prayer for you guys. It is still such a shock every time I see someone post about Leslie. It is amazing to read everything that has been written about her and her ability to make everyone feel like her friend, even over the Internet. Hugs to you, sweet friend, and to your family. I know you will be the best aunt ever and step in when they need their mom. Many prayers will continue to go up! Lots of love!

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  4. So many prayers for your family, Sarah. I can't imagine the pain you're dealing with right now.

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  5. Wishing your family peace and strength through the tough times ahead missing Leslie. I always loved reading Leslie's updates and she clearly loved life and her family. She has left behind a lasting legacy that will hopefully bring comfort to those she loved. Prayers to your whole family.

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  6. Beautifully written. Though I didn't know Leslie, I followed her blog for a very long time. We talked through email and IG and she was so kind. She gave me advice on my babies, where to purchase the clothes she was always showcasing and some pretty yummy recipes. I loved reading about her life. She was such a sweet woman and someone I looked up to. I am beyond devastated over this and I am praying for you and your family.

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  7. While I am so incredibly sorry you had to write this post, it was beautifully written. I did not personally know Leslie, but I've read her blog since before she married Stephen and I feel like I do. I was able to relate with her in so many ways can tell she was a bright light full of southern grace and wit. I cannot imagine the deep grief you all are experiencing. My heart is shattered for Stephen and the girls. I know you don't know me, but I just wanted you to know your entire family has been and will continue to be in my prayers.

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  8. I am so, so sorry for your loss and your family's loss. Life is so unfair, and I just don't understand sometimes why these things happen. Prayers for you all and especially Leslie's husband and daughters as they rebuild their lives with this incredible loss. It inspires me to be more grateful and seize the day. We never know how much time any of us has. I only knew Leslie through the online presence, but a lovely light has gone out. May she rest in peace and fly with the angels.

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  9. I am so sorry for your lost and your family's loss! I followed Leslie's blog for a long time and felt like I "knew" her through the blog. I was shocked when I heard the news that she passed away and when I've thought about her the last few days it still takes my breath away...it's hard to believe she is gone! My heart hurts for those sweet girls and for Stephen. Praying for you all!

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  10. Love you, sweet girl.
    I think it's so amazing she left that legacy behind for the girls. Her girls can learn about makeup and hair on her YouTube channel:)
    We aren't promised tomorrow. It's hard to grasp.. I can't even begin to understand. Having lost my own sister in law, I know how much my niece would have loved to have a piece of her mom like that..I have loved watching your family grow and keeping up with you..I look forward to it for a long time:) Hugs!!

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  11. I was friends with your uncle john. I can't imagine all that your family has been through. Prayers with you all.

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  12. I am so sorry for your loss, I didn't know Leslie but she was such a sweet person. She emailed me one time from a comment I left on her blog and she was beyond encouraging and just so sweet and clearly she touched SO many lives including my own! I think it is great that you are going to start blogging again because it is such a great way to record our memories.

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  13. Sarah, I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm still grieving from losing my grandmother, and while it's a very different circumstance, my heart broke for your family knowing they are feeling the same as we just were.

    What you said about the girls -being there for them, helping them know their momma- is the best thing you can do for them. You will be a big part of their lives, and I know Leslie would be happy to know you will show those girls the way along with your brother.

    I'll be praying for your family.

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  14. I have been so sad this week and it still does not seem possible that Leslie is gone. Beautiful, vibrant, fun Leslie! I did not know her in real life but many tears have been shed this week and I even dreamed about her last night. Take good care of those sweet little girls and your brother- their suffering is going to be tough on everyone. Praying for you all!

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  15. Oh, Sarah. I am so sorry that y'all are going through this. I am so sorry for the sadness and the pain. Crying big tears over you being there for the girls. I know she is smiling down on that. I can't imagine!

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  16. I don't know why Leslie popped into my head today, but she did. My heart still aches knowing she's gone. I can only imagine all the feelings and what you are all going through. In August 2016 I lost my brother-in-law, and I still don't quite understand but I have found comfort in family. I hope you have been able to do the same. All her fans and loved ones probably think of her daily. Thank you for writing this oxox

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