Wednesday, November 20, 2013


It's that time of year again where this blog suddenly springs to life, documenting yet another day of grief.  November 20.  Apparently it comes every year.  Much like the last two anniversaries of Vincent's passing, this one has brought a resurgence of anxiety, insomnia, online shopping, anger and stress.  Will anything this terrible happen to our family again?  What if we lose another child or they get a life-threatening illness?  Will Andre make it to his second birthday and beyond? Is that a lump I feel in his abdomen?  Is this a sore throat or a vocal nodule?  How will we ever afford to buy a house here on Oahu?  What if we get bed bugs? Is this dry skin or inflammatory breast cancer?

Aaaaaaand repeat from the beginning.

But unlike the last two years, I have gained new ground in this whole grief-work thing. More than ever, I remember him, the sweet Vincent Wing Seun Stringer. And I mourn the loss of him. This has taken a while, but my grief-work is now more about Vincent than about me.  At least most of the time.

Earlier this year we found some occupational therapy papers stuffed in a closet, documenting the progress and regress Vincent made during the course of treatment.  A line jumped out at me- "He has a sense of humor." Yes, he did. He loved to laugh and make others laugh with him. His favorite place to be was home or the beach. He loved his family and stuffed cat (well, pretty much any cat.) His life was brief, but cherished. And the hollow spot I feel in my heart is there, same as always.

But today is not about me.  Today is about you, Vincent.

May you enjoy the great vastness of what Is and may we one day explore it together.  

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Arrival (posted 11 months late)

He's here. And he's beautiful.  Andre Wing Yee Stringer, born on 11/23/12 after 6 hours of induced labor.  He's a champion nurser, a phenomenal sleeper, and a smiley charmer.

For the last month I've been waiting for the other shoe to drop. For him to scream all night long.  For him to stop eating, or perhaps begin vomiting everywhere.  But nothing super terrible has happened.  He's doing good. We're doing well.  He fits in to our family dynamics perfectly - in fact, I can't imagine life without him.

In the words of Jean Valjean from the musical Les Miserables, "How was I to know that so much hope was held inside me? ... How was I to know at last that happiness can come so fast?"

Suddenly, something wonderful has begun.  Our family feels complete.