Dan Stringer

navigating the convergence of faith, culture and the common good

The 7-year anniversary post I almost didn’t write

November 21, 2017

Twas a rough day in the Stringer home.

Things started out alright, but I kept expectations low. After all, it was Nov. 20th, the day our son Vincent died 7 years ago. [You may have heard about him, but it’s fine if you haven’t.] Unlike previous years, I wasn’t particularly committed to writing an annual grief journal blog post. I mean, if I wrote about him today, great… but no pressure to produce. Besides, I already had plenty keeping me busy.

Kids are off school for Thanksgiving “break.” A break for who, I ask? Washing machine still broken. Spent an hour bailing out dirty water to keep the smell at bay. Repair people not returning calls. Kids fighting with each other, but I bribed them to behave with the usual incentives: leftover Halloween candy and tightly adjudicated screen time. Returned some emails but not as many as I would’ve liked. Ho hum. Nothing earth-shaking, at least not yet.

And then it happens. A 5-year-old’s inadvertent swing of his hand-held Wii controller somehow shatters our TV’s screen while I’m cooking dinner. Tempestuous panic and finger-pointing ensue. Still no idea how it went down exactly, but does it matter? All 30 diagonally digital inches remain completely dark except for a tiny but colorful spider web pattern in the bottom right corner. The beloved TV is officially toast. Tantrums all around. Nobody wants dinner.

We miss you, Vincent.