ERNIE AND ERNESTINA: Searching
Book Two, Chapter 238: Glimpses
In his hospital bed, Ernie spoke the clearest and most absolute truth when he looked over at Joshua and me — both sitting on the bed across the room from him — and said: “I know I shouldn’t feel abandoned, but I do. Come closer.”
In our life together, Ernie and I were rarely apart. We took walks in the neighborhood together. We went to the library, the grocery, the race track together. I accompanied him to medical appointments, to emergency rooms. I stayed overnight in his hospital rooms, even when he once shared a room. We seemed to be an extraordinarily close couple. Inseparable.
Yet something was missing. Even that day in the hospital, after he said he felt abandoned and I pulled up a chair next to his bed and sat in it — even when I edged the chair closer — I could not bridge the gap between us.
This morning I awaken with sunlight coming through the bedroom’s white blinds and striping the linden-green walls. The overhead fan cools me. I’m physically comfortable, yet I am not psychically comfortable. Much of the time, I feel . . . abandoned.
My Twelve-Step friends tell me I’m never alone. “Your Higher Power is always with you, and your Higher Power has always loved you,” Ruth tells me.
Higher Power? What is that? Because I don’t think an eternal being exists and is the cause of any of us.
What I do think is this: I have levels of consciousness, and my highest consciousness, my greatest wisdom at the time, is my higher power. And my higher power hasn’t been very high most of my life.
I wasn’t conscious of the totality of Ernie because I wasn’t conscious of the totality of me. I only glimpsed Ernie, and I only glimpsed myself. I only glimpsed the world around me.
And glimpses aren’t nearly enough.