Thursday, October 11, 2012

Such a Good Guy

I know this is a year too late, but I just didn't know what to write.   I have shed a lot of tears.  I have probably thought of Wes, Lori or the Phil Truman family every single day in the past year and a half. I have had this on my do-to list for a long time.  Today I've decided to write something because I owe it to Wes's posterity.   First I wanted to mention how incredible the funeral was.  Absolutely the best one I've ever attended.  I loved the talks by those closest to him, and the sweet singing voices of his children. Amazing funeral.
I grew up with Wes and the Truman family in the wonderful Laurelwood Ward of Las Vegas.  He was close buddies with my little brother Matthew.  Wes and a few other boys wore white shirts and helped at my wedding reception.  What a good guy.  As simple and boring as that sounds, Wes was such a good guy.
I remember picking up the phone and Wes would be on the other line needing to talk with Matthew, his voice seemed urgent.  So one time, I decided to listen for an extra second to see what he kept calling for.  (I know, eavesdropping big sister!)  They were both reading the same book, or series, and Wes and Matt wanted to talk about the book.  I thought it was great for a couple of 14 year old boys to get so excited about a book.  Sorry, I can't remember the name of the book.

Yesterday was General Conference.  I was especially touched by Shayne M. Bowen's talk:  'Because I Live, Ye Shall Live Also'.  I thought it was like a love letter to Lori about how to cope with such a sad loss.  I thought of Lori several times during the talk, and cried as I imagined Wes's cute little family all watching this talk at the same time as me.
I have no idea how Lori truly feels.  And I have procrastinating this post because of fear to say the wrong thing.  But I loved Wes.  I loved his faithfulness and example. 
And I love how Lori is so close to the Spirit.  As Lucinda says, Lori can be translated at any time:)
We think about you often Wes.  Thank you for your example, it has made me want to be a better person.

Kristen McArthur Freeman

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Miss You Buddy


I miss you buddy. You were and still are such a great example to those who knew you.I know you were to me. You left the world a better place to live and I hope I can become half the man you are. I wish I had known you better and love getting to know the family you have here.

I remember about a year ago getting back in town and wanting to visit with you one last time, but was unfortunately not able to, but was glad to see you when I did. Whenever I think of you I think how great you are and how strong a spirit you have. I know you are doing your part up there and watch over (and help) all of us down here. I've still yet to see your grave, but hope to do so soon. Thanks for everything Wes.

-Royce S./ROAST

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Life Well-Lived

After Ryan and I came home from, Wes' Funeral, I placed the program in a magnet clip on our fridge. A simple reminder that there are Christ-like people in this world. People like Wes' wife Lori, who I admire greatly and aspire to be like.

I never blogged about the funeral, each time I think about it, a sense of peace comes over me. Wes Truman's funeral was one of the most edifying and spiritual experiences of my life. It was uplifting and (even as just a friend) deeply personal. 

When Ryan and I received word of the funeral, we made the arrangements to attend. We decided however, that we would not attend the viewing, because we didn't want to overwhelm Lori with another burden. On the day of the services, we arrived at the chapel about ten minutes before the meeting started. My heart burst when I saw Lori come around the corner, literally glowing. Radiant. Simply angelic. She immediately saw us and greeted us with open arms and a smile. She will never know how much that meant to me. 

The talks and thoughts shared about Wes were spiritual and humorous. I would have loved to have known him in high school. He would have been a wonderful friend and incredible example. 

About a month after the funeral, my father-in-law saw the program on the fridge and inquired as to who he was. Ryan and I explained and shared some of the stories we had heard at the funeral. I didn't give this conversation much thought until my father-in-law approached us on Sunday, September 4th, two months to the day after Wes had passed away, and asked us to share Wes' story in Family Home Evening.

That evening, to remember Wes, we shared stories of our experiences with him. We talked about the overwhelming feeling of accomplishment, peace, love, and spirituality of the funeral. We talked of his beautiful family, of his saintly wife. We talked of his intelligence and friendliness. And my father-in-law specifically asked to hear the story shared by his best friend at his funeral about why their ward had young men who stayed active and faithful in the church and why another ward did not. The reason, Wes Truman. 

The overarching theme of our Family Home Evening that night (unknown to us at the time) was living a fulfilling, righteous life, and what the effects of our lives would be like. Essentially, what do you want your obituary to say? What do you want said at your funeral? Will people actually say those things?

What would I want said? What will actually be said? Faithfulness to faith and family? 

I've thought a lot about that, and I hope mine describes a life like Wes'. A life well-lived. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Thoughts about Wes and Lori

            My husband, Shane, and I, Loni, met the Trumans seven years ago when I began my job as a Hall Advisor.  Awhile later Shane began doing research in Dr. Woodbury’s lab and turns out Wes worked there too.  In so many ways, we were so similar: each working the same jobs, preparing to go to medical school, and having our first babies, sweet little girls, just months apart.  However, they were a couple that we looked up to so much.  Wes was the leader in the lab, Lori was the Hall Advisor everyone wanted to be buddies with, and all because they were genuinely kind, loving, happy, wonderful people.  Their Christlike traits were even more evident when we had a small tragedy happen to us.  They reached out a loving hand of friendship, shared their own similar experiences and gave compassion that meant so much to us.  Truly, Wes and Lori are two of the best people we’ve had the pleasure of being friends with.

            When Shane and I learned about Wes’ passing, honesty, it hit us both very hard for several reasons.  First, I had been away visiting my family for several weeks, at that point, so we were already feeling the pang of separation.  Second, because seven years ago, we were headed on the same trajectory.  We had the same dreams and goals.  Then to see how the course of our lives had veered, was remarkably sad to us.  Third, that of all people, they in no way deserved this.  Since our lives were so similar, I couldn’t help but wonder, “Why Wes and Lori and not us?”  And while, of course, I can’t answer that question, I do have faith that a loving Savior was there with them every step of the way, and will be there from here on out.  I know one day they will be reunited as a family forever.  I was reading a conference talk recently and, as they always do, the words brought specific comfort:

“…death is a part of life.  It is true.  We live to die, and we die to live again.  From an eternal perspective, the only death that is truly premature is the death of one who is not prepared to meet God.”  (Russell M. Nelson, Ensign, May 2011, p. 34)

            We know Wes was prepared to meet God and he will live again.  A day or two after hearing about his departure from this life, I was reading through Lori’s blog.  I don’t know why I hadn’t noticed before, but I found the link to their other ‘spiritual’ blog.  I found this post Wes had written.  In it he talks about being frustrated in his job search and decided to watch a devotional which comforted him.  Wes wrote: “The Spirit let me know that God was still aware of me and that He loved me and that if I but trusted Him He would help me find ‘calling’ in life.”  Wes, when we met you, we knew you would be an excellent doctor, but instead, we now know you have a greater calling in the life beyond the veil. 

            Thank you, Wes and Lori, for being such incredible examples of faith and courage; we couldn’t ask for better friends.  May peace and love always be with you and your darling children.


Shane and Loni Jenks

Wes, Shane and a co-worker presenting their research from Dr. Woodbury's lab at a Bio Physical Society Convention

 Our two baby girls, Lucy and Ella

A picture of their family after having them over for dinner and games

Saying good-bye because we were moving to Texas to go to medical school

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Fun in the Kitchen

One of the things that I'll always cherish about Wes was curiosity about life and his love of learning. The desire to learn about the world he was in not only enabled him to excel in school, but often led to some bizarre "real world" experiments. During one summer between school years in high school (I would guess that it was either 1998 or 1999) Wes and I were "hanging out" at his house as was the norm for us. On this particular occasion, it was just Wes and I and we were discussing "fun" modifications that we could make to the tamed-down legal fireworks in order to make them more exciting. I had heard tell of an urban legend that involved painstakingly emptying out the contents of hundreds, if not thousands, of "poppers" into a large napkin. This would allow us to make a huge popper and would (theoretically) vastly increase the explosiveness of a standard popper. Upon hearing about this potentially awesome popper bomb that we could make, Wes enthusiastically agreed to start our own experiment of this idea.

We set up shop on the Truman's kitchen table and began the tedious work of emptying the insides of popper after popper onto a napkin that we had chosen. After approximately an hour we had a small mountain of what we called gunpowder. With each addition to the pile we would giggle with glee at the thought of our bomb making a huge explosion in the street. It was going to be legendary and something that we would definitely have to tell our other friends about. Had Phil or Lucinda known what we were "cooking" in the kitchen, they would have certainly asked us to take it outside...and for good reason. I'm not sure how or why it happened, but when the contents of the next popper were poured onto the pile, a huge blinding and deafening explosion erupted right before us. Dazed and ears ringing, it took me a moment to realize what had happened at a completely unexpected moment. We brushed charred bits of grit out of our hair and tried to spit out the bits of "shrapnel" that had mysteriously ended up in our mouths. At first, we weren't sure whether to laugh or cry. On one hand, our faces and arms stung from thousands of little bits of explosive, and moreover, our hard work had been completely wiped out in less than a second. On the other hand, the explosion was...AWESOME...we were just a little too close when it happened. We were fairly certain that had we stopped a few minutes sooner, that we would have had ourselves a completely functional super popper (although we never did work up the courage to attempt this again).

Ultimately we settled on laughing as we attempted to clean up the gigantic mess that we had made of Wes' parent's kitchen and adjoining living room. I'm sure that to this day somewhere in 4851 Torrence Drive there are still tiny bits of our experiment-gone-wrong hidden despite our best clean up efforts. Whenever this story came up over the next decade or so, it would make us laugh and look back fondly upon the good times that we shared.

-Matt McArthur

Monday, August 15, 2011

You will be Missed

A wonderful man, husband, and father passed away on Monday [July 4] after battling cancer for 5 years. He was Oliver’s age. His second child is just a few months younger than Ryan. He and his wife have been wonderful examples of faith, love and friendship. Through his death, I learned one thing. He has always been a good friend, a kind soul and a faithful man. Wes Truman, you will be missed, and I hope that your legacy will continue to inspire others through the examples of the family now missing you.
I know that families are an eternal entity. I know that we can leave a positive legacy for our own family by being true to our beliefs and by starting positive traditions for them. The Family: A Proclamation to the World states “Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.” We have had our fair share of love and wholesome recreational activities these last two weeks. I’m blessed to be married to my Oliver and to now be a part of his extended family as much as he’s blessed to be part of mine. Now we’ve just got to work on building legacy and tradition for our boys.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Soul Turned Inside Out

Once upon a time, about 4 years ago, I was going through a very difficult time.

I lived in Alaska during this dark time and both literally and symbolically, I wondered if the sun would ever shine again in my life. I was experiencing a loss so great, I wondered if I would physically be able to survive the sadness.

At the time I briefly encountered a woman who was patient, kind, and happy. I was intrigued by her. In the midst of my darkness I asked her, casually, "Carolyn, what makes you happy?" Perhaps a reflection of what I was feeling, I expected her to say something about family and friends, and feeling unconditionally loved.

She answered "I think the thing that brings me the most happiness in life is being an instrument in the hands of God."

I felt jolted.

I was surprised. Mostly because that was the furthest thing from my mind. All I could feel was the pain and the loss. I felt like a soul turned entirely inside itself and shriveled.

The conversation quickly moved on. But her response, and example, would never leave my heart. I wondered if I would ever be able to be like that. I wanted my soul to one day be turned inside out, like hers.


This week I went to the funeral of a dear friend, Wes Truman. I met Wes my freshman year of college, at Heritage Halls. 164 F Smith. Wes and Joe were our home teachers. That title may be a meaningless tag assigned to any number of people in life. But, in this instance, it was the other way around. Joe and Wes especially, gave meaning to what that title means. They felt a spiritual stewardship for us. They cared for us, watched over us, and became friends for life.

Like many other girls, I quickly became a bit infatuated with this humble and righteous disciple. Anne, my roommate, and I asked Wes and Joe to a girls' choice dance. Anne gave flowers and a note to Joe. I got a red wagon, filled it with hamburger buns, and wrote "Wes, I'd love to haul your buns to preference!" Very classy, I know. They responded with a song they wrote, and sang to us outside our dorm windows. That was over 10 years ago.

I remember driving my little Tic-Tac car down to Las Vegas for Wes' missionary farewell. He gave me the book, "Draw Near Unto God" by Henry B Eyring for my birthday. While I may have written a letter or two on his mission, my focus and life turned in other directions. But Wes and I remained good friends. Once you were a friend of Wes', you were a friend for life.

The next time I heard from Wes, he told me excitedly that he and Lori Packer were dating. She was also in our freshman ward, and was deemed to be the next general Relief Society President. They were a perfect match! It made perfect sense. His eyes sparkled when he spoke of her, and that they had even spoken of marriage. It was just a matter of time. The glory of our freshman days were immortalized with the marriage of Wes and Lori Truman, nine years ago.

About 3 years after their marriage I ran into Wes in the BYU Wilkinson Center. I knew he was preparing for medical school and he and Lori were RA's at DT- so fitting as that's where Wes and Joe lived our freshman year.

Although I noticed Wes was bald. The Wes I knew of freshman year, had a little wild streak in him (racing with friends between St. George and Las Vegas at speeds well into the triple digits). So I wasn't surprised that he had shaved his head, probably for a bet. I said jokingly, "Wes,you're bald! Do you have cancer or something?" He said yes. I've never wanted so badly to disappear into thin air.

I saw Wes occasionally on campus with his children, Lucy and Spencer, whom I read adoringly of in Lori's artful and articulately inspiring blog. He would update me on treatments. His cancer was in remission, and he was getting an MPA. He always invited me to dine with him and Lori and the kids. He had perks being married to an RA.

Last November I saw Wes in DI. Lori and the kids were with some friends looking at toys. I went up to talk to Wes, but noticed something was different. His speech was slower. He seemed to think slower. Looking back I realized how difficult it probably was to encounter friends who didn't know about the state of his cancer. His wife quickly rushed over and gracefully continued the conversation for him. I again felt bad for my lack of understanding of his situation, and wished I could do something. I remembering watching Wes from a distance after saying goodbye. He was playing with his children, entirely engrossed in their world, perhaps best able to relate to them than anyone else. I thought, "Wes is a good father. What a good man".

There were always invitations, and "we should get together sometime" and "so good to see you"s. But mostly I wanted to not cause Lori any further stress or the fanfare of those who had good intentions but were not part of the inner circle of their lives. I'm sure, for what time they had left with him, the entire family wanted the benefit of not having to talk about the cancer all the time.

So I searched the blog for news, updates, whisperings of diagnosis. And I was moved and changed by the great struggle for his life. In ways that neither of them know or see.

July 5th, 2011. I had been thinking about Wes a lot, and had written to the blog administrator of his blog and asked for access to post memories of Wes on the blog. She wrote back, "I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Wes died yesterday." I cried.

I called a friend to see if he would come to the funeral with me. I knew I would appreciate any kindness and support that day. There were beautiful pictures. There were hundreds of family and friends. I cried from the moment I stepped into the building. Before the meeting began I stepped out to find some tissue, and came upon the procession of family and friends, moving from the viewing room to the chapel.

The scene, that I will always remember, was Lori coming around the corner holding Lucy. There were many wet eyes, including hers. But she was smiling. Her eyes were sparkly, like they always have been. And she was holding and comforting Lucy. Lucy's face was soaked with tears and her red eyes could not conceal her sadness.
The idea of those sweet children missing their father broke my heart. Someone behind her was holding Spencer, perhaps still to young to understand what was happening, but still solemn.

The funeral was beautiful. Wes' father and mother spoke- revealing his love for the Book of Mormon and memorization. His brother spoke, revealing the true Christ-like pillar of a man that he was. His good friend spoke of reckless times and friendships that began in 3rd grade and lasted through life. They spoke of the power of his influence on all those around him. An entire ward of young men on missions compared to a neighboring ward with half of the results, because of the influence of Wes Truman. Wes changed people.

The last speaker of the funeral was Lori. Wives of recently deceased husbands' don't usually speak. But she did, gracefully. She smiled with that same sparkle she has always had, as a tear or two ran down her cheeks. She said, "Thank you dear friends and family, for being here with our family on this difficult day".

Everything she spoke was poetry. She spoke of their love, she and Wes, and humbly spoke of being any ordinary couple with their struggles. She spoke of his simple goodness and gentleness. Of his great love for his children. Of his ultimate concern and respect for her, which allowed their love to grow. In his last months, his greatest concern was Lori. And then she spoke of his love for the gospel. She spoke of him as a part of her, using "we" and "us" always to talk about life. And she ended by bearing his testimony, because he asked her to.

I don't think she ever used the word "I". In fact, I don't know if there was ever even a hint of herself or selfishness in all of the suffering she has endured in the past 5 years. As I looked at her at that pulpit, standing in a white dress, I thought "this is truly an angel. Here is a soul turned inside out".

And so Lori and Wes Truman continue to teach me, and hundreds of others, what it looks like to be completely lost in the service of others and the service of the Lord. I have rarely seen such a greatness of stature and soul as I observed in Wes and Lori Truman.

Thank you, Wes, for the man that you were and are. Your example and life will endure and continue to create a legacy of faith for all those who knew you. And Lori, thank you for being the embodiment of selflessness. For being a witness of what it is like to suffer gracefully, through the Grace of Christ.

"From an eternal perspective, the only death that is truly premature is the death of one who is not prepared to meet God" Russell M. Nelson

"Christians never say goodbye!" CS Lewis


The Most Important Things

When I was a freshman at BYU, I met a girl who left quite an impression on me. Our interaction was brief as we were introduced by a mutual friend, but she was the kind of girl who isn't easy to forget. She was genuine. She was warm. She was friendly, and always said hi when I saw her around campus. She was the real deal- full of goodness, and I definitely learned from her example.

It's funny how blogging makes the world feel smaller. Several months ago on
Bloom I saw the smiling face of this girl, and I smiled back at the screen, excited to read about her good example at a new stage in life. As I read the post, I realized that not only was she still amazing ten years later, now a wife and mother, but she was also enduring great pain with unbelievable grace as she cared for her husband suffering from brain cancer. I bookmarked her blog and read through past entries, feeling of her optimism and strength. I've continued to check in on her sweet family as they experience great trials with patience and faith.

This morning a new post showed in my reader with the sad news that her husband passed away on the 4th of July. And although this is a family that I don't know well, I feel heartbreak for what sweet Lori must be going through right now. She's an incredible woman. There is no doubt in my mind that she will rise to the top and continue to do amazing things. But the sadness of the current reality has stuck with me this morning, reminding me of what is most important in life.

Families can be together forever.
What a beautiful promise.


A Letter from a Friend

In sorting through some of my things, I found a letter Wes wrote to me when my father passed away. It gave me some peace and hope back then when I was missing my father and now the same letter gives some peace and hope in missing a dear friend.

Chad Watson

July 15, 2007
Dear Chad,
I write to offer my condolences on the loss of your father. I don't have any memories of him other than his being in the background when we would go to your house in high school, but I do assume him to be a great man due to the quality of the son he helped to raise.
This is one of those instances when I don't feel like there are any words that I could say to offer any real solace. So, Lori and I thought we would send you a favorite CD with songs that have comforted us these last couple years. We hope you like it and that it provides some comfort for the days and years ahead.
I also wanted to share with you an experience I had, in the hopes that it will help you as it has helped me. Do you remember in Mr. Artman's math class, when we were just starting to get to know each other, how I would have pretty crazy dreams and tell you about them in that class? In most of them I was being chased by something. They would be perfectly normal dreams, except in the background I knew that something was after me. After a while you suggested that maybe I should just stop running and face "the something." That night I boldened up to your challenge and ended up being bitten in half by a shark. Thanks =).
Anyway, around the same time I had a dream that I think about often now. I don't think it has any deep prophetic meaning or anything like that but it has helped me to maintain hope these last couple of years. So here's the dream, you ready?
I was standing outside of my cottage-like home looking out at an amazing landscape. In the dream I was middle aged, I had a family of my own, and my father had been dead for several years. As I stood, looking at the pristine landscape, I noticed a man running toward me. When he got close enough I recognized him as my father - only he was in the prime of his life. Bewildered, I stared at him. He hugged me before I could say anything, he then invited me to come with him to tell others that it was the day of the resurrection. The last thing I remember was running with him and having a difficult time keeping up.
With this whole brain thing, I've really had to think a lot about the possibility of dying soon and through all the fear, sadness, and uncertainty that accompanies those thoughts I always go back to that dream and what I believe about the resurrection. It helps me to have hope. I know Christ died and was resurrected that we might live again. I know that we will have the opportunity to see all of our loved ones again in the flesh!
There is something else I really want to mention. I don't want to make this into just another way to get you interested in my church, you're a way too cherished friend to do that. But I want to tell you that I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is His church, the one that He started, the one that He runs today through prophets and apostles, the one that holds the real answers to life's tough questions. I wouldn't be so persistent if I didn't know that this was true and that it brings happiness and peace. You can know too, without any doubt, without having to blindly trust me, or anyone but yourself and God, the same things that I know - if you are interested.
Whatever happens, man, know that I love you and that we are praying for you and your family. If you do have any interest in the things that I believe please give me a call or shoot me an email.
Your friend,

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Best of Us

I met Wes when I was 15 years old and Joe Dixon brought him over one summer day to go swimming in my backyard. I had known Ryan and Joe since kindergarten, but a few weeks later I went to hang out with Wes, Joe, and Ryan and met Nate. I didn't realize then that this would be the start of the greatest high school years that a kid could ever hope for.
That first time we hung out we went to the Murray's backyard and threw waterballoons at the passing cars. There are three types of drivers that get hit by a waterballoon. Those that keep on driving without a care in the world, those that slow down looking around wondering what just hit them, and those that know exactly what hit them and drive to find the culprits. It was the latter ones that were the most exciting cause we would take off running in different directions. It was so nice to be the girl in the group because nobody ever suspected the girl. I could just walk away and when people rolled up and asked if you saw some guys running you could just point in whichever direction. I also didn't realize that waterballoons would also become our fallback plan when there was nothing else to do.
There always seemed to be something to do when Wes was around though. I'm not sure if it was the ample parking by his house, the rumpus room, or the fact that Sister Truman always had some form of tasty goodies, but you could generally guarantee that the night would start and end at Wes' house. It also didn't hurt that you could leave Wes' house at 11:55pm and still make it home by the midnight curfew. Wes was every parent's dream. Usually when you were going out there was 20 questions about who you were going with, where you were going, what you would be doing. If you said you were going to Wes' house it was a free pass with no questions because every parent knew what a good guy Wes was and they could trust we would get in minimal trouble since he was the conscience of the group as well.
To say that Wes was a good guy doesn't really do him justice. He was kind, thoughtful, energetic, and had the spirit of a man three times his age. I will never forget the many wonderful memories of hopping walls, spring break trips, staring at the stars on the roof of a gazebo, church youth dances, and high school dances.
Wes truly was the best of us.

Kelly Kennedy

Monday, August 1, 2011

Tributes to Wes

This is a collection of tributes to Wes left on Facebook:
Cory Walker: I feel so honored to have known Wes. He is second only to my own father in those men in my life who have helped shape my moral character. Lori, our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Lisa Arnold: Lori - you and Wes have taught me so much by your example of quiet faith. My heart goes out to you and your family. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. We love you.

Jayne Miller Layne: I will always remember the time in about the fourth grade that Wes brought over a box of otter pops for my little brother on his birthday. My little brother wasn't home so Wes and I decided to jump on the trampoline and eat about half of the box ourselves. We were just two little kids having fun, laughing, playing, and enjoying our sugar high. Wes was so sweet with such a contagious smile. Truly, there are not many people in this world like him. He will be missed but we know he is in such a great place watching over us all. My prayers are with his sweet family during this time. The Millers love you and are thinking of you.

Morgan Davis: My thoughts and prayers have been with you and your sweet family, Lori, ever since Pres. Reneer called to tell me of Wes's passing. Some of my treasured memories of OH2 were of sitting in the Priest's Quorum meetings with Wes, listening to him teach the gospel to the young men with such conviction and with such an obvious personal stake in what he was bearing witness to. He wasn't afraid to talk about hard things—the things he was going through, how his illness affected him and called forth his faith. I stand in total awe of his gentle but immovable devotion and determination. He will surely bring that same determination to bear on your behalf now from his place of honor in the house of God.
Our family grieves with you in your loss, and we remember you in our prayers. God bless and be with you and Lucy and Spencer.

Ron Crummett: I really wish we could be there. I have some great memories of Wes in the short time we were both at BYU. Godspeed my man, you are still my hero.

Luz Curvelo Swan: I am so sad I will not be able to attend this service =( I have so many great memories of Wes in HS. The thing I remember the most about him is his smile. He had a permanent smile through HS. My brother always looked up to him and also has great memories of him. He is missed. My deepest condolences to all of his family. 

Russell Cameron: Wes, we will truely miss you. Thank you for some great memories growing up and for being such an example. Having been able to know you was a blessing in my life. Until we meet again brother.

Natalie Gleaves: Lori, I'm glad our husbands got to work together in the MPA program. I wish the families in 'Curiously Strong' would have gotten together more often. They really did have an awesome group. We regret not being able to attend the funeral. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your children. 

Karlee Passey: I wish I could make it, your family is in my prayers. Wes was truly one of the best men that I have had the privilege of knowing. He will be missed.

Ariel Lara: Your family is in our prayers. Wes was a great person.

Marie Cummings Wride: We wish we could be in Utah to celebrate this wonderful man. Wes is truly an example of love, good humor, service, and endurance. Lori, Lucy, and Spencer - we send our love and pray that the Comforter might be a close companion.
Adam and Marie

Brandy Ward: So sorry for your loss...I am sending lots of love and prayers to your family.  Although it's difficult today to see beyond the sorrow, May looking back in memory help comfort you tomorrow

Veronica Blue: I am so sorry of your family's loss. May God give you peace and strength in this sorrowful time. May you celebrate the life that he had and the courage that he had to fight this horrible battle. I pray that you trust in the Lord to comfort and hold you in his grace. I pray that you also find comfort in the knowing that God is taking him home. 

Steve Holiday: Wes was an inspiration and an example of how to live a Christlike life while taking this mortal journey. Even though our paths only crossed for two years, my life has been forever impacted and altered because I knew him. May his family and friends find peace as we struggle to create a better world shaped by his influence, without his presence.
"I've heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you..."

Suzanne Kershisnik: We love you all so much. I've never seen such a deeply sweet and calm example of steady love and faith and courage. God loves you so much and will hold you close, so close to Him. Sometimes it hurts to be held that close to God, but it heals us, too; it heals us and when we heal, we also grow. Love you, love you.

Shane Jenks: I will miss you Wes. It was great to be a part of your life. See again some day brother. 

Danielle Ballard: Wes is one of the most amazing people I know. I first met Wes in the 7th grade and have had so many fond memories of him since then. He had such a kind heart and always looked for the best in people. I always admired him for strength in the gospel. I was a better person for knowing him. It saddens me that I wasn't a better friend the last 10 years. Lori, I admire you for your strength. You and your family will be truly blessed. You are an amazing wife and mother. I am so sad I will not be at the funeral on Saturday but he will be in my thoughts. 

Aaron Murray: I've never seen anyone so focused and dedicated as I saw Wes while we were in the MTC. Wes had a very happy demeanor, but also an attitude that you face things head on regardless of the difficulty. My thought and prayers are with his family and friends!

Diane Jean Carter: Wes truly exemplified Christ through his service, patience and love. We will truly miss him and pray the Lord's choicest blessings to be with Lori and their beautiful children.

Jason Hatch: Wes is an amazing person! I had the pleasure of teaching him in the MTC, and he exemplified all the qualities of a disciple of Jesus Christ in everything he did. I am a better person because I knew Wes. I pray the comfort of heaven for the Truman family, especially Wes's sweet wife and children. 

Lisa LeMond: So sorry to hear about this, and in such a round about way. I went to high school with Wes. His family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Michael Gray: Your family is in my prayers with the passing of Wes. May you feel the strength from Heavenly Father and Wes' love surround you.

Noel Yucuis: My heart goes out to the Truman family. I know Wes will be missed.

Annstein Von Olsen: Wes Truman was known as Elder Truman where i'm from. We had him to dinner a couple of times and met his wife as he returned to Norway after his mission.
He touched my heart and was one of the best missionaries i've met.
Made me feel sad when i heard the news. His family will be in my thoughts and prayers....

Jacque Chloe Elkington: I know I am a better person for knowing and associating with Wes and Lori. Mark and I talk often on how grateful we are to include them in our circle of friends. Wes, you will be missed deeply and Lori we love you so much and pray for you each and every day. Thank you for the way you have both touched countless lives. 

Wayne Linford: Wes was a true inspiration to those who had the privilege to get to know him... My wife and I have often commented on how great the Truman are... Thank you for your great example... We love you!

Autumn Linford: Our hearts go out to Lori, Lucy, and Spencer. We loved knowing the entire Truman family, and are better people for having known Wes.

Megan McMullin Griffin: I'm so sorry to hear of this. Wes taught my husband and me in the MTC before our mission. He was such a kind man, and what an inspiration to us and the others who served in Norway. My sympathy is with his family.

Elham Roohani Khomassi: I remember Wes as being as true gentleman, even when we were in middle school and everyone was awful. I am truly saddened by this news but rejoice in his reunion with his beloved Creator.
"Know thou of a truth that the soul, after its separation from the body, will continue to progress until it attaineth the presence of God, in a state and condition which neither the revolution of ages and centuries, nor the changes and chances of this world, can alter. It will endure as long as the Kingdom of God, His sovereignty, His dominion and power will endure."

Shannon O’Neill: I remember him exactly the same way, all the way back to Dondero and GATE class. He was one of the nicest boys always willing to help and always had a smile. I am so sad to hear of his passing.

Jon Blodgett: Wes was my MTC teacher. He was a gifted teacher. More than anything else I learned through his example what it means to be a disiple of Christ. His humilty, Kindness, and faith inspire me to live a more holy life. Im sorry for the loss of this great man.

Ian Morris: Very sorry to hear about this. Wes was a great guy and will be missed.

Jade Bytheway: Wes was my MTC Teacher and a great one at that. I learned so much from him. I enjoyed running into him a few times since then. Great Man. Sorry for the loss. I just lost my brother a couple weeks ago to Brain Cancer. My family will keep your family in our prayers.

Natalie Galler Ellsworth: Wish we could make it. So sad to hear of his passing. Lori, Lucy and Spencer will be in our prayers.

Jon Middleton: So sad to learn of the passing of Wes Truman... He was truely one of the great one's! I feel so incredibly blessed and honored to have even been acquainted with him. I had the great opportunity to be in Norway with him, and all I can say is what an inspiring individual! You will be truely missed, God bless your family while you are away for a time Brother.

Becca Dant Terpstra: I wish I could attend the funeral; I always thought so highly of Wes. A good, kind man always with a smile on his face. Thoughts & prayers go to his family.

Scott Christensen: I started and ended my mission with Wes and was lucky enough to be comps with him for a few months in between. Wes was truly a guileless human being. He tried to make himself better everyday. I remember him wandering through our apartment in the morning reciting verses and passages over and over again, with the goal of memorizing ridiculous amounts of information. I also remember many, many late night conversations about his elaborate plan to woo and marry his sweetheart, Lori. I was floored when I heard that he actually pulled it off! Wes was and is an inspiration. My life is better for knowing him. Condolences and best wishes to his family during this difficult time.

Tyler Tiberius: He is one of the happiest, brightest souls I have every known

Jeff Matson: I was fortunate to serve as companions with Wes not only once but two times on my mission. He was such an inspiration to me as he was constantly striving to improve himself and become better each day. He was fun to be with and working with him was never a burden as we could laugh and enjoy each day and the challenges we faced. My prayers and deepest sympathies go out to his family. 

Rob Reynard: We know Wes' extended family well. I didn't know he had passed. His wife is amazing.

David Droge: I love Wes' smile. He was always happy to see you, and no matter how long it had been, it was always as if we had just hung out last night and we hadn't missed a beat. A good friend to all, and a great example of being a sweet loving Dad. Thanks Wes! 

Brian Aranda: Brother Truman was an amazing person, one of the best leaders in had. I"m glad that i got to meet him. 

Candace Christensen Knouse: My thoughts and prayers are with your family. I'm very lucky to have known Wes. He was a very good man. 

Cory Martin: Wes was and forever will be my personal example of Christlike living. Thank you, Wes, for your wonderful example. 

Gabrielle Thomas: I wish I could attend! I loved wes so much he was a great role model and teacher.

Tove Mayer: I am so sorry to hear this. We had a wonderful time as he stayed at our house as a missionary. What a wonderful young man is was , a great missionary and a great person.The the knowledge of the eternal gospel that he embraced be of comfort to you during this hard time.

Edvaldo Correia: Minhas condolências ao querido Wes. 

Ole Podhorny: my condolences.

Spencer Fields: How grateful I am to have known Wes. I hope to someday be as great a man as he is. Our prayers are with his family. May God continue to be with and bless them.
Much love,
Spencer and Kim

Oddbjørn Strand-Angermann: This is such a sad day. Such a wonderful young man is gone, but a great worker has passed through . May the Lord bless the family and give them comfort in the knowledge of the eternal family.

Spencer Humphrey: I knew Wes during high school and to this day he is the most Christ like person I have ever known. It is amazing to read everyone's comments and hear about the influence he has had. Although I am mourning his loss, I anticipate attending the funeral services and celebrating his life. 

Wendy Wilcox: So sorry for the passing of Wes. He was a great example of faith and love. Each time I spoke with him I could feel his strong spirit. He was truly a disciple of Christ. We will miss him. May the Lord's blessing of peace be with Lori, Lucy and Spencer. 

Vance King: I knew Wes in the MPA program at BYU. We did some group work together. I was amazed at his work ethic and natural ability. He was so kind to me as I tried to keep up with him in class. I looked up to him--and still do. I have no doubt he will be hard at work on the other side, waiting to be reunited to his family and friends left behind. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family: You will see Wes again. 

Spencer McConkie: Wes was a kind and true friend. He will be deeply missed. 

Zach Van Wagoner: I'm very sorry to hear of Wes' passing. He was a good friend and excellent example. I pray that his family may find peace and comfort in the knowledge that they will be with him again and that he had touched the lives of so many. Wes will be missed.

Lauren Brown: My dear, sweet, one-of-a-kind friend... You will forever be loved, missed, cherished, and remembered. Thank you for inspiring me to be a better human being.

Erna D. Olsen: God be with you and your family Wes. Thank you for being a good missionary in Norway. Till we meet again.

Mark Truman: Wes I'll see you again someday, until then we will all miss you dearly.

Veronica Blue: We have lost a great young man. The Lord giveth and taketh away and though we don't always know why he does what he does, he does it in his time. May God bless your family Wes and hold them tight in the midst of your passing. Goodbye old friend.

Jeromy Hart: I will always remember the days of auto tech when we would go get your car "to work on it," but instead end up in the drive thru at carl's jr or barely making the bus for away games because we were sitting in the hot least we would dry off before the game started. Wes, you are a great friend and a great example. I look forward to the day we can catch up once again. I have plenty of stories for you. 

Gabrielle Thomas: Wes Truman, You will be missed, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Cory Walker: Some of my most cherished memories were made at your side and some of the most important things I have learned I gleaned from your example. Peace in the Lord's embrace Truman.

Rachel Gentry Little: We Love ya Wes! You left a great legacy. Until we meet again....!!!!

Scott Jacobs: Wes you were always a good example to me and a true friend. I will miss you. God bless your family in your absence. Until we meet again, Farvel og Tak min ven!

Kendall Simpson: You will be missed my friend!!! You were a good man!!!

Rebecca Hale Bunker: Til We Meet Again. May the Lord bless you sweet family. Much Love.

Levi S. Larkin: Rest in peace my friend. I can't remember a time when you weren't an example for good. I will always have absolute respect for you. 

Travis Dallimore: Wes, you were an inspiration to me and a GIANT among men! Thanks for your example and friendship.

Diona Mann: Wes, God Bless you fine son. You lived as perfect a life as you possibly could and you did it joyfully. What a great example you were to all the missionaries of Norway, but especially to Moses, Jordan and my family. See you on the other side. love to you all

Torunn Håland Bruns: We have such great memories of you coming over, playing games and just hanging out at our house here in Norway! You were a true joy to get to know! Our thougts and prayers go to your beautiful family! Lots of love always, Torunn and Dimitri 

Kim Leavitt Raper: til we meet again, my friend... love always, kim~

McKenzie Lawyer Davies: We, Ryan and I admire you and Lori so much. We will miss you, but look forward to seeing you unite with your wonderful family again. 

Ron Crummett: RIP my man Wes Truman. You will always have my respect.

Kim Coon Domacilio: You are the best! We will miss you.

Leo Curvelo: Wes truman... You were part of my happiest memories of my Lds days back Wes. My thoughts are with your family in this tough time!! Thanks for being a great part if my child hood. 

Matt McArthur: Rest in peace, Wes. May the Light forever shine on your soul! We'll miss you buddy!

Jonathan J.M. Poort: Wes Truman...a man in which was no guile- John1:47...till we meet again brother,till we meet again.

Lauren Brown: My dear, sweet, one-of-a-kind friend… You will forever be loved, missed, cherished, and remembered.  Thank you for inspiring me to be a better human being.

Moses Ajetunmobi: My good friend and brother in Christ, you have touched my heart and inspired me to live a Christ-like life by your great example.  God be with you till we meet again at Jesus feet.

Gabrielle Thomas: Wes I wish I could have been there today.  My mom went and told me everything.  I can’t imagine you gone, but I know I will see you again someday J  You are truly an inspiration.
Amber Faridi: Rest in peace, Wes. I am sad I couldn't make it today. You are dearly missed and will always be in our hearts. Until we meet again.
Andrew N Ariel Marshall: Been thinking about you, Wes. I miss you and feel extremely blessed to have crossed your path in mortality. Looking forward to crossing paths again.
Dion Wall: I only hope I can have as positive an influence on as many people as Wes did in the brief time he was with you. A great man. All my prayers and best wishes go to Lori and their family.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Thank You

Several months ago, when Wes’s condition showed steady decline, I got an e-mail from our bishop, Matt Clark. It wasn’t long - just a few kind words of inquiry and a scripture reference.
D & C 121: 9
I immediately recognized the chapter as revelation to Joseph Smith during the agony of Liberty Jail. I thought of the familiar words in my mind as I flipped through the scriptures.
Peace be unto thy soul”
“Thine adversity shall be but a small moment;”
“If thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high;”
“That’s nice of the bishop,” I thought casually as my finger traced down to the anticipated verses. But verse nine contained unexpected words. Tears gathered in my eyes as I read, Thy friends do stand by thee.”
And you have.
I can’t begin to express my gratitude for the support, love, empathy, and assistance you’ve given us.
I have, over the past several months, shed tears of heartbreak and pain over Wes’s anticipated and actual passing. But I have shed perhaps as many tears over the goodness – the God-like, gracious, generous goodness – of our family and friends.
I wish I could chronicle all the kindnesses – all the inspired, meaningful acts of service and love.
Thank you for taking time to contribute your memories and photos to this blog. I wish I could describe what it was like to sit with Wes’s parents, brothers (including Ryan), and sister around his bedside with this website open on an I-pad. I wish you could have heard the laughter and seen the tears as we read many of these entries together. And many thanks to those of you who have posted since Wes’s passing – and even after his funeral! Your words have been a continued, needed comfort.
So have your e-mails and cards, your gifts and contributions, your prayers, your phone calls, your true friendship.
I wish there was a way to document it all!
I wish I could tell you what it was like to watch my ward members collaborate these past months to build the house Wes and I started but couldn’t finish. And now the backyard is done to boot, thanks to a whirlwind of hard-working cousins! Gorgeous green grass and a playground that Lucy and Spencer can’t stop talking about.
I wish I could describe how my mother -heart has felt seeing such love showered on my little ones. I couldn’t help crying thankful tears when Lucy was welcomed into Wes’s viewing by the familiar face of her Kindergarten teacher - to say nothing of the many, dear little friends who showed up to support her!
To say nothing of the many, wonderful friends who showed up / reached out to support me!! People from every phase of my life and Wes’s. Dearest friends to distant acquaintances.
There is no adequate way to express the gratitude I feel for each of you. I told a good friend yesterday that while I wouldn’t wish the difficulty of these past days/weeks on anyone (!), I wish, truly, that everyone in the world could feel the love. The abundant, unbelievable love.
A few talented friends in our ward sang a favorite song of mine and Wes’s at his funeral: The Lord is My Shepherd.
I love all the lyrics. But the phrases that best summarize these past days/weeks/months/years are, undoubtedly:
In midst of affliction my table is spread;
With blessings unmeasured my cup runneth o’er”
God bless you each for the love you have poured into my humbled, aching, grateful heart.