Leslie Nielsen dies Sunday at 84

Leslie Nielsen and my family

Meeting Cousin Leslie Nielsen in Arizona

Leslie Nielsen known for his comic role as  Frank Drebin in the popular film series “The Naked Gun“, “Airplane” and 1972’s film “The Poseidon Adventure” died at the age of 84 with his wife and two daughters at his side.
Leslie and my father the late Marinus (Bob) Nielsen were first cousins.  I remember as a child while visiting family in California, my parents would go and visit with Leslie and his family.  It wasn’t until as an adult while  living in Arizona was I able to meet Leslie for the first time.  My husband who worked in advertising  had heard that Leslie was going to be in the Phoenix area promoting his golf video.  I was able to contact the company that was head of promotions at the time and they forwarded my message to Leslie.  That evening I received a call and when I picked up the phone, I knew by the sound of his voice who it was.  As he began to kindly introduce himself, I said, “I know who you are” and began to thank him for taking time out of his schedule to call.  He invited me and my family to meet him at the location that he would be promoting his golf video.  I remember it was a video store (of course) the manager allowed me, my husband Rick and our son Rich to wait in the back.  I remember seeing through the back entrance door, (that had been left open) a car pull up and watched him as he walked up the steps.  Leslie was very kind.  We chatted a bit about family and about his career.  We were so excited to meet him…I couldn’t believe it, I remember thinking “I’m related to a big movie star!”
I will always cherish a photograph that was taken and given to us by a local photographer.
I am also sad that now as a full time minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ,  I was not able to share the Love of God with him.  In fact, the night before his death, for some odd reason I remember thinking (not knowing he was hospitalized for Pneumonia) “Does Leslie know about Jesus?” “He’s getting old, is he going to die soon?”  It’s ironic, because just a few years ago after visiting my Dad in Michigan, and while I was driving away, I had this thought, “Is my Dad going to go be with Jesus soon?” When I arrived back in Florida, about a week later, I received a call from my older sister that our Dad had just passed.
I have made the decision that I am not going to hold back anymore.  When I feel a compelling to share God’s love with anyone, especially family…I am just going to do it!  I am no longer going to worry about offending them.  If  I do, then I’ve at least done what is in my heart to do and at least, even if it’s not accepted well, they will have heard and be given the opportunity to open their hearts and lives to the One who loves and died for them and who God raised from the dead.  They will have heard that Jesus,  the Son of God is their only way into Heaven.  I love my family and friends that much!
If you’re still reading this then chances are you’re open.  Maybe your a blogger, or someone I know, you may even be a member of my family…whoever you are, just know that God loves you!  Jesus died for our sins, the bible says that He (Jesus) became sin, who knew no sin….and that because of what He did for us, made it possible for us to enter into Heaven, just by believing in Jesus Christ….all He asks of us it to believe, ask Him to forgive us and believe me He WILL, that’s how awesome He is.  Ask Him to help you follow him.  He will not force himself on you!  He will not make you change!  But if we ask Him, His love will compell us to “want” to know Him more! And believe me, you’re life will be all the better for it.
God Bless You!
Pastor Nina (Nielsen) Tidwell
Ponce Church

About Nina Tidwell~Writer, Photographer & Pastor

I am happy to say that I have been married to my wonderful husband for 24 years. I love being a mother to our two boys. I am a published writer and photographer. My written work has been published in local magazines while raising our children in Phoenix, Arizona. While living in Ponce Inlet, FL my photography has been published in "Locals Only Surf Magazine" in Daytona Beach/Ponce Inlet, FL. I also love pastoring Ponce Church, Surfside located in Ponce Inlet, alongside my husband Rick. In 2003 as a family we pioneered the first church ever in the history of our wonderful town. As a family and a church we love to help others. My husband and I enjoy going for rides on our motorcycle and we love to walk on the beach. I am thankful to God for all of the blessings in our life. View all posts by Nina Tidwell~Writer, Photographer & Pastor

2 responses to “Leslie Nielsen dies Sunday at 84

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