Happy Birthday Gretchen!

My brother Bart met Gretchen through a personals ad he placed in the San Diego Union. When I think of how slim the odds are that two people so perfectly suited would find each another through a tiny, obscure newspaper ad, it makes me believe in magic and miracles and the sacredness of real love.
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!


Heather said...

A personal ad?! I love it!!!! What a perfect pair! Happy Birthday Gretchen! I hope you have a BEAUTIFUL day!

xoxo, Heather (Richie's sister)

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday sis. You are a rock star. I am determined to catch up to your zest for life. You are so inspiring in your ability to count your blessings and make the most of every moment. Give yourself a hug and know that you are loved by many on both sides of the veil. Love Greg

Rachele Funk said...

Happy Birthday Gretchen, I didn't get to catch you at SC today to wish you a Happy Birthday personally, but do I have a little something to bring you. . . I'll try and catch you later!

Love ya! Big Birthday Hugs!!!

Natalie. said...

Everything I feel for gretchen is summed up perfectly in this sentence. . . she "makes me believe in magic and miracles and the sacredness of real love."

I love you Gretchen. So much!

I love Bart with all of my soul and could never have hand picked a woman more perfect for him than YOU.

Thank you for marrying my favorite uncle and earning the title of favorite Aunt all by yourself!!



shelly said...

Happy Birthday, Gretchen! I hope your day was GOOD, and that you felt LOVED. The first time I met you I felt that I really KNEW you.
Remember when Rick and I went into our favorite little old beach cafe, "Mary's", in Oceanside and you and Bart were sitting there, like it was just a normal thing? And it was! It was SO good for us to get to talk to you both at that time, in "our" place. You felt like the family that we needed to see that day:) It was fun to hear Bart reminisce about Gavin, and how glad he was that he got the opportunity to sail with Gavin. It all felt like an important moment to me.
Thank you for being the sweet, wonderful you that you are! Happy, Happy Birthday! I want to see you again!

Anonymous said...

Gretchen, you are my favorite girl. What sacred moments and experiences I have already gotten to share with you, treasured friend. I only wish I were half as thoughtful as you. Happy Birthday!
Jennifer Arnson