I'm certain that the last 15 years of Bart's life--those years he spent loving Gretchen--were the happiest of his life, and I love her with all of my heart for this, and so many other gifts she has given me.
Gretchen, I love you for loving my brother so sweetly, so perfectly, so genuinely, and for making so many of his dreams come true.
Thank you for making him smile again after so many years alone.
Thank you for being his trusty crew as the two of you sailed your majestic Blue Sky across the vast Pacific and up and down the Mexican Riviera.
Thank you for the way you loved and supported Natalie and Gavin as perfectly as he did.
I will always love you for the way you made Bart laugh playing Mexican train.
I will always love you for being his running partner and his tennis double, for taking such good care of Jessie while he traveled for work (and you weren't even and 'official' couple yet!)
Thank you for bringing kitties into his world.
Thank you for being my brother's favorite golfing buddy--and his best golf student. (He was so proud of how GOOD you got, so quickly!!)
Thank you for turning his homes into beautiful and comfortable havens. For working alongside him in the yard and on the boat, for tooling around in the golf cart with him, and sitting patiently back in the trailer while he fished. And fished. And fished.
Thank you for allowing him to feel smart and protective and supportive--for helping him to become his best self. I know he knew he was a better man because of you.
I love you for standing tall and strong and for being his comfort and his rock as the two of you fought his battle with cancer together.
Gretchen, I'm so sorry he lost that battle. I know how much he wanted to stay and continue on in that magical, fairy tale life the two of you built together.
I know how much he loved you and wants to be with you FOREVER, so I love you for all you're doing to make sure that this last of his dreams comes true. I know he will be there in the Mesa temple with all of us as you two are sealed together as husband and wife, as golfing and sailing buddies, as running partners and lovers and best friends--for eternity.
I love you so much my beautiful sister! I am so glad we will be sisters forever!
Happy, happy, HAPPY Birthday to you!