I follow one blog on my blog page and that is One in a Million by Lesley Froud (neé Royer). Inspirational writing written by an amazing individual. Sadly Lesley lost her fight recently with a very rare illness (hence the name of her blog), Hemophagocytic Syndrome, freeing her soul so she feels no more pain, experiences no further suffering and can experience peace once more.
If the story of Lesley's life was a film you would find yourself laughing out loud, crying copiously and sighing at the injustice of why so many true angels get taken away from us. She brought so much fun to the lives of those who knew her and I have some great memories from times when we went out together.
Whether this is inappropriate or not I want to tell one story I remember as if it was yesterday. Lesley and I decided to have a girly night out in Cheltenham and donned our summer dresses (not maxi in those days!) and off we trotted. We were about 20 years old. We went into one of the classier joints (or so we thought) and stood at the bar with our drinks. Mine in those days possibly Bacardi and coke and I wish I could remember Lesley's but I can't...
So we chatted and were about to look for a table when I looked down and to my utter disbelief I saw a man lying on the floor, face up, looking up Lesley's dress! I nudged her "Lesley, look!" Instinctively I grabbed my brand new drink and poured the whole lot on his face. Lesley was so gracious and simply stepped away quietly.
The landlord was sat at the end of the bar and simply said "what will it be ladies?" and replaced our drinks. The man on the floor had to flee with his tail between his legs.
It makes me laugh because of the landlord's reaction and how calm Lesley was - some women would have gone loopy and caused a huge scene but she was a good judge of situations and there are many I could mention as they are all flooding back.
Lesley was 'cool' if that word is still appropriate. She was effortlessly cool and liked things she liked. She wasn't a slave to everything others were yet her individuality and the things she liked made her even cooler. She was a free spirit and always in a good mood which is why she was so appealing to so many people as a friend. She had a great artistic flair and talent.
Lesley was one of my first friends at high school. When we started Colwell Grammar School for Girls it was quite overwhelming. She was a petite little thing and always had that elven beauty. She was quiet and nice (as I was in those days!) and I welcomed a friendly face and genuine person to be friends with.
Somehow we drifted apart as friends (as you do at high school) but we met up again when we worked at the Bank of England and became friends once more. That was when the bar incident occurred! I remember how people were drawn to Lesley and there were always people who wanted to be around her. She had a true presence.
I just wish we had had more conversations on Facebook but it's typical isn't it.... you never really appreciate something or someone until you lose them.
I know there are many people that will always love Lesley and my heart is warmed that she will never be forgotten. Her blog must have taken some writing with her illness and yet she always tried to keep everyone updated because she knew they were miles away. I loved reading her blogs and even if they made me weep at her situation, or laugh at her funnier posts on her blog and Facebook, I was always heartened by the fact that she still had that fight to write it.
She truly pushed herself to her absolute limit and I have so much respect for Lesley that there are no words to describe it. She clearly adored her son and her husband and looked beautiful, happy and serene on her wedding day. Such precious moments...
God bless Lesley and RIP. Great friend, beautiful wife of Greg and amazing mother of Ripley. You will be missed and never forgotten. I look forward to seeing you again one day. xxx