Isaac Steiner's Journal
First Recipient of the Isaac R. Steiner Nursing Scholarship Endowment
Written Nov 7, 2013 8:58pm by Rob SteinerPosted on Isaac's Facebook memorial page today:
Goshen College’s magazine, the Bulletin, published an article introducing Lesley Rutt Dyck as the first recipient of the nursing scholarship that we established in Isaac’s name. Click here to read the article.
If you participated in Isaac’s various fund raising events during his illness (head shaving Fund Razor, wristband/t-shirt sales, Kiwanis bike ride, Springer Golf Outing, Jefferson 5K/Bake Sale, Isaac Nation West Bake Sale or simply stuffed an envelope with cash and sent our way), combined with memorial gifts at Isaac’s death – then ultimately, you helped to fully endow this scholarship fund that Lesley and other future Goshen College nursing students will enjoy – what a great legacy, thank you, Isaac Nation!
And on a more somber side note to ponder: it was a year ago, 8 Nov 2012, that our lives changed forever, marking the start of our nightmare that we haven’t quite fully awaken from – Isaac’s pain in his spine, Sarah and Isaac’s trip to Riley Hospital, his emergency back surgery, paralysis and confirmation that the cancer returned – all occurring while Rob was on a business trip in Europe…easily what both Rob and Sarah consider to be the worst day of our lives…
Link to Goshen College article: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/8897146/Isaac%20Nation/GC%20Bulletin%20Fall%202013.pdf
Written Nov 2, 2013 9:39pm by Rob Steiner
I blame Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, the famous astrophysicist, for clouding my vision as I headed into the tiny movie theater in Watertown, South Dakota to watch Gravity several weeks ago. As a grieving dad, alone on the road for work, sometimes an escape from reality is needed. I love film – especially space and science fiction themed movies – so Gravity seemed like a perfect choice.
My mistake, however, was prior to watching the movie I read this article in which Dr. Tyson pointed out the movie’s scientific inaccuracies. As the movie started, all I could think was, “look out for that scene where Sandra Bullock’s hair doesn’t float freely like it should in zero-G!” or “I’m not a sap, I’ll debunk every scene and point out where the director/plot messed up.”
This is what I did. Afterwards, I texted Sarah and said the movie was “so-so”, drove back to my hotel, prepared for my next day’s meetings with several Hutterite Colony farms (another story in itself) and that was that. End of story. Another Holywood FAIL, another space odyssey that came up short.
No, the FAIL wasn’t Hollywood, the director or the plot, the FAIL was me and my inability to comprehend the obvious – Gravity is a metaphor of grief – the grief experienced by a parent whose child has died. If you don’t believe me, read this review and then click back this journal entry.
After reading that review, Sarah and I went to the theater tonight and watched Gravity. The film took on a whole new meaning to me and frankly, I’m embarrassed that I completely missed the mark the first time.
So, if you want to know what it is like to be Rob or Sarah at this stage in our life, then go watch Gravity (ignoring your impulse to debunk the scientific inaccuracies) and keep an open mind for the grief metaphor that is right there in front of you the entire movie. If you watch the movie, let us know what spoke to you…
Web address for the Gravity – Movie Review for the Grieving Parent: http://www.chicagonow.com/mary-tyler-mom/2013/10/gravity-movie-review-for-the-grieving-parent/
Rob's Grief Playlist
Written Sep 24, 2013 10:44pm by Rob Steiner
When a grief attack hits me, it’s usually triggered by music – way more so than looking at pictures. I’m not sure why this is the case – I don’t have a single musical bone in my body – and you’d think the visual cue of seeing a picture of your son (who is now forever dead) be the main trigger, but it’s not. Not even close.
There is something good and haunting about music – I cry most while driving alone, listening to music streaming from my iPhone through my car speakers, usually at near full volume blocking out all other road noise. When I go there, reflexes drive the car, but my mind is elsewhere – rapid fire images flicker through my mind (mostly of really, really, really sad images) spanning the time from November 2012 (Isaac’s terminal diagnosis) through March 2013 (Isaac’s death) – and ultimately, the music acts as the film score taking me from one memory to the next.
It’s cathartic and terrorizing all at the same time. I feel close to Isaac in these moments, but it can be awfully debilitating and I often wonder what other drivers think when they see the emotional mess of a guy driving the Venza in the next lane (truly, this has only happened a handful of times). Oh well. If the options are grief attacks or going on with life without ever crying/thinking about Isaac, I’ll take the grief attacks any day.
Whenever these songs randomly play: Into the West by Annie Lennox (song set to video montage at Isaac’s memorial service); Rihanna’s Diamonds (Isaac sang this song in the van as we drove to look at Christmas lights last December – it ended up being our final outing as a family of 5) or What Now (those lyrics speak to me); or Lana Del Rey’s Summertime Sadness, it’s highly likely tears will flow. Every. Single. Time.
There are plenty of other songs on my grief playlist (as you’ll see at the end of this post) – but not all of them bring me to tears. Some mark a time when life was more innocent – taking me back to when we were a family of 5; other songs mark my grief and its complex emotions. I’m sure this list will change with time, songs will be added and deleted, but for now, this gives you a glimpse of what makes me tick at this point in my life.
o Let It Grow (Celebrate the World) – Ester Dean (from The Lorax movie, another song that Isaac would sing)
o Young and Beautiful – Lana Del Rey
o Post Script –Typhoon
o The Sickness Unto Death – Typhoon
o Paradise – Coldplay
o Every Tear Drop Is a Waterfall – Coldplay
o Danphe And The Brain – Mogwai
o The Precipice -Mogwai
o Reckoner – Radiohead
o Give up the Ghost –Radiohead
o 15 Step – Radiohead
o Beyond – Daft Punk
o Motherboard – Daft Punk
o No Light, No Light –Florence + The Machine
o My Hero – Foo Fighters
o Oblivion – M83
o Ronan – Taylor Swift
o Heaven – Jay Z
o No Love (feat LilWayne) – Eminem
o Save Me – Nicki Minaj
o Holocene – Bon Iver
o movie soundtrack to Lord of the Rings, Return of the King