ERNIE AND ERNESTINA: Searching

Book Two, Chapter 90: A Letter to Ernie

Ernie —

Joshua and I went to a movie today and sat side by side, the first time we’ve sat side by side in a movie theater. Usually he sits somewhere, and I sit somewhere else.

So, based on movie-going, he and I are drawing closer. We’re becoming friends, as you and he were. My relationship with him is different from your relationship with him, but we’re different — you and I. And people are different with different people.

I never thought I’d have this friendship with Joshua. I always knew you were first and forever in his heart. I accepted this. I wanted you and Joshua to be close. But psychically, I gave Joshua up. My mind and heart abandoned him. I understand that now.

I made the mistake of giving you up, too, thinking that your death was inevitable. In the hospital you said: “Don’t give up on me, Ernestina.” You said this, but it was already too late. Death had its grip on you. You were fighting Death off, but he was the stronger one.

You never gave up on yourself. You kept fighting. But it’s a strange thing, Ernie, this disease of co-dependency. In a way you did give up on yourself, a long time ago, and I gave up on myself. We stopped being who we were meant to be.

You focused on me, on Joshua. You worried about us. And I focused on pleasing you, on pleasing Joshua. At the end of our life together, no one was pleased. Not you. Not me. Certainly not Joshua.

So you and I have begun another life, this Afterlife of ours. It’s all new to me, Ernie. Wish me luck.

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Ernestina

My writer husband’s favorite nickname for me was Ernestina, so in this 2-book memoir, he is Ernie. This is his story, our story, and my story. I invite you in.