313 weeks

313 weeks
14 February 2019
Daily Dozen Gratitude List #25

And this day, this day, this day. The yahrzeit changes, because I structure my days around the Gregorian calendar, but February 14 is February 14 is February 14, the day the music died.
Comeback comeback comeback I’d scream into the empty house those first days,
furious that he didn’t, that God let him go took him
Furious, broken
Grateful for the moments
The little signs, the visits that made letting him go again so hard but so so so

These gratitudes building to this difficult day
This hardest day
When the next day happens
He is still gone

But still he was here
Oh, how was here
Infusing every day for 18 years, 10 months, 11 days, in my presence and in my absence, because I was not with him for every single second of all those seconds he was alive here on earth in his physical body
God how I miss that physical solid body, that buzz cut, the giant feet
that dirty laundry smell coming from his room
It’s not fair not fair not fair
God I am so grateful he was here, that I had him, birthed him, nursed him, nourished him, weaned him, raised him, taught him, laughed with him, argued with him, disciplined him, played with him prayed with him, learned with him learned from him
Grew with him.

1. Eitan Samuel Stern-Robbins, second of the 3 Stern-Robbins in the world.
“I was raised in Cambridge, Mass., by Lisë Stern and Jeffrey Robbins. Since they couldn’t decide on a last name for me and my siblings, we got stuck with both Stern and Robbins. There are only 3 Stern-Robbins in the world,” he wrote a few days before he left.
2. Eitan’s siblings.
The first and third Stern-Robbins. My children are defined as themselves, and as being siblings. My band of three. Profound love. There’s the mamalove for all my children, and there is the separate Gabriellove and Shoshiloive and Eitanlove,

3. Eitan’s writing.
Boy could write, funny, clever, insightful.

“My soul is a shining star,” he wrote when he was 10.

“Later in my life when I’m old and my kids have graduated from college, I’ll be the richest man alive. I’ll own the Mets and my wife will be the #1 singer in the world. Once I am dead all my money will be given to all my friends and family. I will be buried in Boston where I was born. Then I will be one of those dead famous people who everyone remembers,” he wrote when he was in sixth grade.

“I believe that the observable effects of belief in God are enough to make God exist,” he wrote in his college application essay.

4. Eitan’s artwork.
Ceramics, doodles, photos.
5. Eitan’s smile.
6. Eitan’s voice.
I want to do wrestling,
you said once
Divorced is one thing I never will be,
you said, once
I watered the plants,
you said once
In the message I listened to almost daily for three years, needing to save it every 21 days, the phone technology of 2013, 14, 15 requiring that renewal
Till I accidentally pushed delete instead of save,
sucking vacuum your voice gone into the void
Grateful that I saved it technologically forever before, thank you sound expert Ari Epstein
Hi Mom, It’s Eitan, love you, bye
you said once, or many times
Love you love you love you
Soul in mine
Hold you close
Son of mine

7. Eitan online at eitansternrtobbins.com.
The idea to create a tribute website came soon after he left, gave me a purpose; seemed to take forever but was really only weeks, thanks to Clay Whitley, the first version went live around Eitan’s 19th birthday, the first without him, but now, like the beginning few months of life, that seem forever at the time (when will he sleep through the night?) seemed forever then, the distortion of time through first grieving.

8. Eitan’s friends
When I reached out to every single friend on facebook, tell me how you know my son
Tell me stories of my son
And they did,
Stories they shared that I never would have known
They would have been private
Among friends
But became part of my life too
9. Eitan stories.
The ones shared with me by his friends, that gave insight into who he was in the word and gave me new memories of Eitan, to expand what I knew of him, what I know of him.
Grateful for the stories shared
So much love for this boy who I wondered what his passions were,
He kept his teen life to himself
And learned, his passions were people, his people, bringing his people together, overlapping space and time, the siblinghood of friends
And each and every every every one that shared a little bit of how Eitan’s soul moved them
Retain him by his essence impacting their lives
And knowing that essence touched them, stained them
Stayed with them, his impact in the larger world beyond him
Beyond me his mother, his siblings, father, grandparents, those stories too
Him out in the world
The cosmos of universe of friends expands him to me

10. Eitan’s birthdays.
All the ones I got to celebrate with him here, day of, birthday Shabbat, birthday parties. And continuing to honor that day, grateful he had favorite foods so I can make them and relish the memory of the enjoyment he got from that pasta dish, from Carolyn’s salad, from THE Snicker’s Cake.

11. Eitan laughing.
12. Eitan at 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, almostalmostalmost but not quite 19
And every second in between


He is
D e a d
And I will never ever ever have the thing I want most in the entire world because there is no literal Michayei Hametim
But I will always be Eitan’s mother, and will always have him in my heart and in my soul. and I will always have that
a shining star extending through heart and soul and
fingers, toes, follicles and skin,
blood and sweat, and tears, and tears, and tears
My God this love is so beautiful I feel it in my entire being,
wow, how lucky am I to be Eitan’s mother

One thought on “313 weeks

  1. “But still he was here
    Oh, how he was here”

    This is such a beautiful expression of love, Lisë. All of us who have followed your journey out of the abyss, or walked beside you, know what a hard-won bit of wisdom and grace this is.

    The grief of loss never leaves us, not really. But it increasingly must make room in our hearts for the joy of remembrance. So still Eitan is here as everyone who loved him will never let him go. xo

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