ERNIE AND ERNESTINA: Searching

Book Two, Chapter 27: In Deep Trouble

The day before the old year ended, I put a butcher knife to my wrist. Now, it’s two days into the new year. Can I make it through another night?

I don’t know. I’m so scared. I scare myself.

My mind is full of bad images. The pencil dropping from Ernie’s hand for the last time. I saw it drop. He hadn’t the strength to hold it any longer.

I remember what he wrote — his last words on paper in a lifetime of writing words on paper. He wrote that faces — freckled faces and yellow faces and pig faces — were staring at him, the odd old man in the hospital bed, as if he were the center of the universe.

I was one of those faces staring at him. He was the center of my universe.

Now, I feel helpless. I can’t help myself. I will do what I will do. I don’t know yet what that is, but I know what I want to do, if I can.

I am so sick.

Ernie, did you know how sick I was? I didn’t, not until now.

My writer husband’s favorite nickname for me was Ernestina, so in this 3-book memoir, he is Ernie. This is his story, our story, and my story. I invite you in.