I posted this three years ago, so I changed dates and changed the title to
STEVIE'S 11TH ANNIVERSARY IN HEAVEN
THE GIFTS STEVIE LEFT TO ME: HIS SONS MATT AND EVAN
August 2nd, 1949:
While I was in labor, Mama took Sol to an emergency ward because he had pains in his
chest. The diagnosis was "stress."
"Two babies had a baby," said Dr. Aronson. "He will grow up with you."
You weighed six pounds and six ounces. I told everyone who came to visit you in
the hospital that you were beautiful. When they looked at you through the nursery window,
they giggled. But to me, my little Stevie was the most beautiful baby in the world.
Eight days later we took you home to our tiny two-room apartment, one flight above
a rag store, and one block away from a food market on Bathgate Avenue in the Bronx.
We had two neighbors: Leah Greenspan, the spiritualist, who talked to her dead
husband Irving every night; and the deaf mute (I never knew her name) who baby-sat for
me when I went shopping, as she relaxed in our cozy kitchen, watching our rare, but
wonderful nine-inch, black and white TV.
Our kitchen and bedroom were separated by a curtain. Sol papered the bathroom walls.
I took a shower and the paper rolled down, landing on my freshly shampooed head.
We diapered you together, Sol and me. Sol held your legs, and I practiced folding and
pinning the soft white material -- then covering the crumpled diaper with little rubber
At 5 p.m., you began to Scream!
You screamed for hours and hours. I rocked you in my arms for hours and hours, until
you finally fell asleep.
Respite -- until you woke for the next bottle.
Mama came to help. She bound my milk-filled breasts with dish towels to ease the pain.
She washed your little clothes in the kitchen sink, and fashioned clothes-lines under the
ceiling, where she hung them to drip -- and dry.
You loved your bottles -- and later, the food I cooked in a double boiler and strained
so carefully. No baby food for you! Doctor's orders.
You grew and you were so cute! Your nineteen-year-old parents loved you so much!
If only Daddy could have been there with us . . . How he would have adored his first
grandson. But Daddy died four months before you were born. We gave you his Hebrew name:
You grew. You were the love of my life. I dressed you in my special creations --
beautiful hand-knit sweaters, hats and booties -- and proudly pushed your big coach
carriage to Mama's house just a couple of miles away -- every day.
The time passed so quickly. We moved to other homes several times. We had three more
baby boys -- your brothers, Ronnie, Bruce and Alan.
You grew, they grew, and soon our house was like a zoo.
You graduated from public schools, and then from college. You married Maureen and had
two sons, Matt and Evan; our gifts from God.
You drove a Red and Tan Bus, and then started a limousine service. You loved to drive,
but your heart was weak.
And finally, one night six years ago, my telephone rang -- and I heard Matt say,
"My Dad is dead."
Yesterday Maureen and I visited your grave. There was snow on the ground. I hugged
Engraved on your tombstone
Is the word SHALOM,
a Jewish star, a Celtic cross,
And the words,
Born August 2, 1949
Died January 2, 2004
Always in our hearts.
Today, January 2, 2012
I light a Yahrzeit glass and pray for your eternal life, as you watch us from above
a fluffy white cloud.
You smile. Your friendly face glows. My Stevie.
You are always alive in my heart,
I will love you forever.
CHRISTMAS EVE 2010: RONNIE'S SONS JASON AND BEN IN REAR --
STEVIE'S SON MATT REAR RIGHT; STEVIE'S SON EVAN SEATED -- and me.
(Uncle Joe looking on)