Bret J.Steiner died in a tragic motorcycle accident Saturday, July 28, 2007. He was my little brother, and he was only 29 years old. He had a wife and a three year-old daughter. We all lived together in the same house. The news of Bret's death sent many of his family members and friends into a state of shock and depression. His absence has left us with a void that simply cannot be filled. Bret was a great friend and an inspiration to many people, myself included. He was loved by so many people - it is so hard to imagine him gone. He had a wonderful sense of humor and was by far the funniest person I've ever met. His jokes and laughter will be sorely missed.
It is impossible here to list all the good memories I have of Bret. As kids, we used to do all kinds of things together: fishing in Lake Natoma with our Mom, hiking up Bishop's Peak with our Dad, digging up artifacts in Merced, rock-hounding near our Grandparents' house, climbing the tree in our Great-Grandma's backyard, and playing video games at the Countdown Video Arcade. Some of my favorite memories were of the times we used to go snorkeling together in the river. We used to go hiking a lot, too, looking for snakes, turtles, lizards, and frogs. Even as adults, we still found time to do those things together. A few years ago, Bret and I, along with our sister Ashley, started snowboarding together. We had so much fun, it was all we could talk about until the next time we got on a chair lift. Those are just some of the great memories I had with Bret.
During the last few months of his life, I was fortunate enough to live with Bret and his family. I was lucky enough to see and talk to him just about every day. Even still, I wish I had spent more time with him. His untimely death has taught me that you can never spend too much time with the people you care about. You can never say, "I love you" too much. And you can never hug someone too much. Life is too short and too precious to squander those opportunities.