Ernest and Kendra had now retired. Kendra loved to spend her time gardening, it kept her active and out in the fresh air, even in winter she could tend the plants in her new greenhouse.

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 Ernest was finding retirement more difficult, he had always worked hard and couldn’t deal with the change in pace, so he decided to do some shifts at the restaurant. Ernest found it hard to admit he was getting older and that he needed to slow down. Kendra was worried for him but she couldn’t change his mind, he wanted to work and the fast paced restaurant he had built up from scratch was his pride and joy. It also allowed him to spend time with his son Timothy.  

 
 

 

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Sometimes when things were quiet Ernest and Timothy would sit down together and have a cup of tea and talk. On one such day Ernest turned to Timothy and said

“That Anne of yours is a treasure, make sure you take good care of her, there aren’t many like her. You would be a fool to let her slip out of your grasp.” This surprised Timothy and he didn’t say anything in return.

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Soon after, Ernest got up and went back into the kitchen to get on with cooking. Timothy sat for a few minutes staring into his cup musing over the thoughts that had lately been running through his mind, when he heard a crash from the kitchen. 

Timothy jumped up and ran in and there was Ernest lying on the floor clutching at his chest. Someone ran in behind Timothy, he didn’t look round to see who it was he just shouted “Call an ambulance.” He heard the footsteps retreat and he went over to his dad. “Dad, what’s wrong?” Ernest looked up at his son, struggling to breathe and said “You make me so proud my son, never forget that.”

When the ambulance came there was nothing for them to do and they pronounced Ernest dead there and then. Timothy then rang his mum. He didn’t know what to say, he could hardly believe himself that his Dad was gone. She answered and for a few seconds there was silence and he heard her say again “Hello?” “Mum, its Dad he..” Timothy found it hard to say the words and his mum’s voice full of worry cut in “What’s happened? Is he sick?” “He’s gone” and with that he started to cry. There was shocked silence from the other end of the phone and then Kendra’s voice cracking with emotion said “I will be there soon, okay.” 

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Kendra arrived with Harry, Vyn and Anne and they all drove to the hospital together in silence. There wasn’t anything to be said, nothing that could be done. Kendra went in to see Ernest one last time leaning on Vyn’s arm for support, neither Harry or Timothy could face it. Harry paced up and down outside the door, whilst Timothy found himself staring at Anne replaying what his father had said in his mind. He turned to her and said “I am never gonna let you go.” She smiled faintly at him and held him close as the tears escaped down his cheeks. 

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The funeral was held a week later, it was small but everyone who had cared about Ernest was there. Ernest had purchased a little family plot and they buried him there among the trees and flowers. 

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His death was announced in the local paper, he was an important local businessman and a note was added to say that a book of condolences was at the restaurant if anyone wanted to leave a short message for the family: 

The Book of condolences (please leave messages below)

https://wintersmith.wordpress.com/2008/03/13/chapter-29-%e2%80%93-timothy-goes-to-university/

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