Mike and Leslie are our neighbors. Lucky me, they are so wonderful and kind. Mike is the guy who you can rely on to be at the end of the road in every snow storm, shrinking the burm from the plow with his shovel while Leslie is the kind neighbor who would drop anything for anyone at any time. They both helped us out on several occasions when our girls were younger and, when my assistant Jerri (who was also their daughter’s best friend) faced leaving her friends behind because her family was moving to Montana in her Senior year, they invited her to stay with them until she graduated. So yeah, these are giving, generous people.
After almost 28 years of marriage, Mike still shares how much he loves Leslie’s independence and sass, while Leslie loves him for his unconditional love for her and his unswerving support for family, friends and community. It’s so wonderful to hear these fond words spoken by a couple who have lived most of their life together and who still share such a strong connection.
Like all couples, they have been tested through the years and the present day is no exception. Mike was recently diagnosed with liver cancer and he is just about to begin treatment to fight it. Which is how I found myself in front of their house with my camera, capturing them together before they begin this fight together.
I asked them what their secrets are for a happy marriage. Leslie told me it was putting Mike first and always working at being a good wife. Mike, he cited compromise and teamwork, sharing their life together.
I always find it’s the simplest of things that make a happy life and my work with couples and families always serves to remind me of this.
Sending prayers of strength, encouragement and support to Mike and Leslie for the coming months.