Below is a message I gave at the funeral of my wife, Gretchen:
I have been blessed to know Gretchen for 45 years and been married to her for 40 years. Gretchen and I had many good times together, but just as other couples, there were some rough spots along the way. I can easily say that some of those speed bumps were my fault but we moved down the path of life and became closer because of these obstacles thrown in our way.
Gretchen was a great mother to our two sons, Erik and Mark, and developed a close relationship to Lindsey and Aneta, who we consider as the two daughters we never had. During our boys growing years and beyond, she devoted her whole heart to molding Erik and Mark into great young men. Gretchen was good at providing a loving home for the three of us. She was also able to instill the right amount of discipline and guidance at the same time.
She was not without her faults as all of us can say about ourselves. As the saying goes, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. But she managed to work her way through these and still provide a loving home to always come back to. Another thing that many of you have heard me say is that Gretchen is one of the most stubborn people I have ever known. She was the type of person who said what was on her mind and that is one of the traits that we all loved about her.
As most of you know, Gretchen was a strong woman. How else would she have been able to make it through her two encounters with breast cancer 3 to 4 years ago? It was this vicious disease that ultimately cut her time short on this earth.
It will be difficult to continue without Gretchen but I have a great family and network of friends who stand ready to support Erik, Mark and me. Another source of strength will be my reinvigorated faith. This will help not only with the loss of Gretchen but also will bring me peace and an ability to navigate the other challenges that will come in my life.
Gretchen, I love you and always will. Please save me a place for when my time comes and we can be together again. I love you baby.