Yesterday my husband and I had the opportunity to go to a memorial service for a man named Wes. Wes was a deacon at the church in which I grew up and that I attended until just a few months ago. He was good friends to my little brother even when my little brother was just a squirt kid in Jr. High school with a fascination for guns. I remember hearing all the time about this cool guy, Wes.
I never got to know Wes well but he was a part of the comfortable and strong foundation of men and women at New Life who was always there quietly serving with an open heart and a big smile. He and his wife, who were married for 54 years, are just dear, dear people and it’s hard to think of Pat without him.
As has happened at all of the memorial services that I’ve attended recently (three in as many months), I found myself leaving with a wish to have known Wes better before he was gone. He was a remarkable and funny and dear man and he will leave a big hole in the heart of New Life and the community.
This is what I remember most clearly about Wes: He rarely spoke but he always had the warmest smile and this fierce sparkle in his eye that let you know that all sorts of things were happening under that calm surface and it’d be a lot of fun to get a peek inside. My husband, who knew Wes even less than I did said the same.
At the memorial service several people commented about how, when called upon to give the story of his life at a recent men’s retreat 3 months ago, Wes gave an emotional 6-word response, “For I know my Redeemer lives.”
And so, with hope, we ache and mourn the passing of Wes — but he has left to dwell in utter joy.