-Brian Ernste

As an older brother, Nate was the one who beat me up the most. He was the closest to me so I bugged him more then my other siblings. I always remember one certain time that still makes me laugh to this day. It was a while back but I’m sure Nate is still laughing about it too.

I believe I was probably 5 or maybe 6 years old. For some reason Nate and I had a tape recorder out and we were recording everything that we were saying. We were little kids so it was fun to hear our own voices. If I recall correctly, we were both being very obnoxious (not a surprise I guess) and I started singing. It was a Bon Jovi song. I think it was "Livin’ On A Prayer." Of course he hated Bon Jovi, but I had to be singing it just for that reason. I really started to get into it…singing the same thing over and over again. It was the only part of the song that I knew. The "Whooao Whooao Whooao" was ring out extremely loud. Nate was telling me to "Shut Up!" when I crossed the line. Nate threw a shoe at me. It’s funny because you could hear this on the tape. It sounded like an extremely loud "THUD!" Then there was about a two second pause, and me balling my eyes out. In the back ground you could hear Mom yelling "What’s going on in there!!"

This was a typical night with Nate and I. It would always start out wonderfully, and one little thing would make it come tumbling down. I think that’s what made our relationship so unique. We hated each other, but yet we loved each other too.

As time went by, this type of relationship between us sort of fizzled and we became best friends. We thought about more and more that we could do together. We had the truck painted, and we were even going to go to California to see the little girls. Just so many things pieced together that made him the wonderful person that he was. I’ll never forget all that he has done for me.

The strength that he had was way more then anyone else could ever have. The way that he dealt with everything was just amazing. I look up to him for that. He always worried about other people before he worrying about himself. He didn't want people to feel bad for him, so instead, he felt bad for other people. He would help them through life and help increase the quality of it. This, I believe was a natural talent that Nate had that no one else did. It definitely was amazing.

You are in my thoughts every single day, Nate. I will never forget what you have done for me, for our family, and for our world. I only wish that more people could have learned from you and followed in your footsteps. I sure try to do it the best that I can, but it’s just not the same as when you did it. You really are missed a lot Nate. I will never forget about you. Until we meet again…