This blog has been your words, Bret, and now I’m left to write this post. I hope that what I write here reflects you. There are no words. We had talked about this day, but the reality is so heavy. Since Bret and I met – 13 years and 10 months ago – in our freshmen year in college, we have been inseparable. Even though we were so very young there was an instant connection and our bond throughout the years has held us together since. We have often joked that he bought me for a nickel from my dad when I was a wee tike; that he had to come South to pick me up and spent years trying to move me North; that as opposite as we seem, that together we make a complete person.
Bret even wrote on his blog during our final return home from the roadtrip that “we’re inseparable.” We literally did everything together. We have traveled the US and abroad, we have gone from poor college students to careers in 3 states and even starting our graduate careers, taking classes together (just like in college), and restoring our historic home together in Rochester. We have grown so much together over those years, and our relationship has shaped the people we have become. Bret has imprinted himself on my heart and he is always with me. We recently moved back to our first home and I feel Bret here in so many ways. His energy is palpable. Bret’s artistic and engineering talents are all over our home; he has an incredibly creative eye that is unparalleled. He is wicked smart. One of our business school classmates once said that Bret, if given enough time, could figure out anything. And not just any mathematical formula or engineering calculation, but he saw the world in a different light than most of us do. Last fall before we started our road trip I was upset that our time was limited by cancer. He said to me: “Look at the leaves changing outside, Shannon. They will die and fall off the tree soon and in the Spring the cycle will start again. We are too worried about death and not focused on living.” His insight and continuing fighting spirit blew me away. He really lived his motto: “Today is my best day.” And living we did for the next year!!! Amazing doesn’t begin to define him; no words do.
As I sit here at his computer, writing on this beautiful blog that he created, my heart is broken. I don’t have him by my side – we have been separated and I feel like I’ve been cut in half. Nothing takes the emptiness, the gravity of this loss away.
Even when we have been faced with enormous challenges in the last few months, I am thankful for every moment with this amazing person. I have learned how to deeply and fully love because of Bret. This is the ultimate gift and Bret’s eternal legacy.
I love you Bretly, always and forever!!!
To remember Bret and this journey of a lifetime, family and friends are invited to call at Miller Funeral Homes (3325 Winton Rd. S.) on Wednesday, Nov 16th from 4-8pm. Bret’s service will be private.