On 19th January 1963 Lesley entered a new phase in her life when she married Malcolm Donald Kimber at Balwyn Baptist Church. What a beautiful bride she was! On the 29th January 1964 Lesley and Malcolm became parents for the first time. Karen Joy was joined on 21st February 1966 by Jennifer Dawn, and as years passed it became clear that the two girls were to be the whole of their family. Lesley was a stay-at-home mum for many years, supporting her husband as he continued to study, and doing those multitudinous tasks that mothers in the 20th century did. She washed, ironed, cooked, cleaned, helped with homework, volunteered at the girl's school, and even made many of the girls' clothes, especially their special "Sunday" outfits, and even school uniforms. She also sewed gymnastics display costumes; special curtains and matching desk chair covers, and pillowcases; cushion covers; took classes to learn patchwork and applique; and was a Girls' Brigade officer.
Sometime after moving to Townsville in January 1972, with the girls both at high school, Lesley refreshed her clerical skills, including updating to use an electric typewriter, and did some part-time work at the W.E. Bassett & Partners office. She was a great typist, and became adept at preparing "spec's". Lesley also did some part-time work with Scripture Union, in their office in Townsville, and helped out with preparing church bulletins etc. I can still remember Mum "cutting stencils" on her typewriter, then printing off copies using the Gestetner machine. It was a sometimes messy and physically demanding process (I remember her handcranking the first copies through), but one she did well.
In January 1979, the time came to move the family to Brisbane, so Lesley headed of with Jenny, in the little Morris 1500, loaded to the roof, so Jenny could start school at St. Peters. Malcolm joined them in May, and Karen at the end of her year 12 studies. Throughout their married life, Lesley and Malcolm were active members of their chosen local Baptist Church, providing hospitality to visiting missionaries, and to others in the fellowship. Lesley has been a dedicated Girls Brigade officer at various times, and often served outside her comfort zone.
Over the years, I find it hard to remember a time when Mum didn't have a veggie garden. In Armidale it was often a battle with the rabbits as to who would actually get to eat the produce, and there was more than one close encounter with a snake! Mum still has a large garden, entailing much hard work, and providing yummy produce, although it is hard sometimes when the local kids pinch the fruit off her trees before it has a chance to ripen.
During their time in Brisbane, Lesley discovered the joys of card making using rubber stamps. When she moved to Armidale, she became the local agent for Print Blocks, and enjoyed teaching others the joys of card-making. She continues to make beautiful cards to celebrate special events for family and friends.
Some years ago, Mum and Dad moved from Armidale to Coffs Harbour, into their "retirement" home. They shared several happy years there, before Dad went home to be with the Lord almost 4 years ago. Having worked in a nursing home for several years (partially fulfilling a long-held dream of becoming a nurse by working as an AIN), Mum was able to make Dad's last days more comfortable, by caring for him in the living room of their home. THANKS MUM!
After almost 45 years of married life, (and more than 47 years in relationship with each other) Mum was alone. I'm proud to say she has made a wonderful success of living alone, and while I wish it wasn't so, and I know she misses Dad badly, she is doing a great job of getting on with the life that God has given her.
In July of 2008, Lesley made the long journey to Cambodia, to get a taste for herself of my life here. We travelled over together, and enjoyed a trip to Siem Reap as well as keeping busy with back-to-school activities. I hope she can return again sometime in the future. This wasn't her first trip overseas, but it was her first since Dad died, and she made the return 12 hour journey alone. Previous adventures included China for 3 months (they were there during the 1989 Tianamin Square protests), Norfolk Island and New Zealand). She has since managed a trip alone to New Zealand to visit one of her sisters. Onya Mum!
These days, Lesley has a busy and fulfilling life. She continues to be an active member of Boambee Community Baptist Church, serving the church family by producing the weekly bulletins, operating the computer & data projector, and (until very recently) helping maintain the church grounds. Mum also enjoys playing golf and is an active member of the Sawtell Golf Club, playing with the veterans, and "doing the handicapping". She also plays socially with some other senior ladies, rides her push bike, and does lots of walking (weather permitting).
Mum, this one is for you! I'm proud of you! I hope that your 70th birthday is a very happy one, and I'm sorry I can't be there for it. I also hope that God blesses you with many more very happy birthdays!