angel_~1.gif (1253 bytes)    To Nate The Great     angel_~2.gif (1264 bytes)

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Nathan Charles Ernste lived his life as we all should.  He was never quick to judge and always had a smile.  I will always remember him with that crazy grin of his.  Everyone who knew Nate has a story to tell about him.  This is where I'm going to tell some of mine.

Nate and I shared many hours together.  We knew each other for almost fifteen years.  It seems like forever now that I look back on it.  My earliest memories of him are from Cub Scouts.  Nate and I were in the same den for a while.  He always amazed me.  He always seemed happy and knew just how to make people smile.

A few years down the road we ended up on the same youth baseball team.  We played at Hoover field, just behind Nate's house.  I wish now that I could remember more about that year.  I can see it in my mind, but the images are all one jumbled mess.   He'd always be there though, since it was only a short walk for him.  If my memory serves me correctly, he played infield.  I may be wrong though.

Jump ahead a few more years.  Nate and I ended up in the same Trig. class our senior year at Lourdes High School.  We'd sit together most days and when the time came for partner tests, we'd work together on them.  We talk each day and one day, we discovered that both of us were planning on attending Mankato State University in the fall.  Having known each other since kindergarten, it only seemed logical for us to room together at MSU.  In a new place, two hours from home, it's always good to have someone you know around.

So began the hours of shared time between Nate and I.  We saw one another day in and day out.  I can still see him sitting in his easy chair, watching wrestling on Monday night, and snacking away on a container of Slim Jims.  We had a badminton class together during the winter.  We teamed up and were pretty good together.   We also took a film class together, which was a lot of fun for us.  Nate and I would stay up late playing video games or he'd fall asleep reading.  He really did love reading.  Head lay up in his bed with his flashlight, reading away until he fell asleep, only to drop both the book and flashlight all the way to the floor.  Nate and I also did a lot of driving.  We'd go to the Mall of America on a Saturday and get back late at night.  We even made one trip home against the advise of our loved ones.   It was a nasty winter day, snow, sleet, and freezing rain.  The driving was slow but we didn't care.  We were going to get home to Rochester bad weather or not.   In the end we made it safely there, after plenty of cursing at other drivers.

Not everyday was perfect living together.  In the end, Nate moved next door for the end of the year.  I'll never forget the night I came home to an almost empty room.  I look back on it now with great sadness.  Last year at this time, he moved out of my room.  This year, he has left my life for good.  I very thankful that I got one last chance to see him though.  I ran into him at Best Buy in Rochester, just six days before he passed on, and we talked for about ten or fifteen minutes.  It was the first time I had seen him in almost a year.  We caught up on life and then went our seperate ways.  I'll never forget the last words he spoke to me: "Give me a call some time."  I only wish that I could now.

Goodbye my friend.  May you always rest in peace at the top of that Stairway to Heaven.