In Memory of and In Thanksgiving for Leslie Corrigan Turner, 1941-2016

As I sit here on a plane heading to Scottsdale, Arizona, I am brought to my knees with the reality of the truth. The truth that she will not be there to pick us up at the airport. Seeing her warm, comforting smile at the bottom of the escalator as we arrive in baggage claim was our norm. It’s funny how those small yet poignant memories are really what break our hearts most.

You see, Thanksgiving was her holiday. For as long as I can remember, we were with her on this day. Some of my fondest memories early on in our marriage were of our time spent in Scottsdale over the Thanksgiving holiday with my husband, Jim’s family. It’s where we built a history together of indelible memories that will mark my heart forever.

We recently experienced the unimaginable. My beautiful mother-in-law, Leslie Turner passed away suddenly from a stroke last month. She was way too young, healthy and alive to be taken from us so soon. Our grief journey has been highly personal, unpredictable and challenging, yet as we attempt to get through each day living a new normal without her, we desperately hold onto one thing — LOVE. The love we have for her, the love we have for each other and the eternal, unconditional love that God grants us as we suffer through the immense pain, confusion and heartache that unexpected loss most certainly brings.

As we continue to live out our life journey here on earth and are graciously granted another day, we will do our best to honor her extraordinary legacy of serving others. She was our matriarch, our role model and our “humble warrior.”

I wrote the poem below on the plane back home from her funeral. I felt compelled to honor her in some way and I guess writing about her brought me a sense of healing.

God bless you Leslie and may your soul rest in peace.

With Love, Elaine