2019 is a year that Granger Smith and his wife, Amber experienced unimaginable sadness, when their 3-year-old son, River, passed away in June, after drowning in their family's swimming pool. Amber opened up about the heartache their family experienced in a new post on social media, adding that the couple and their two children, London and Lincoln, still managed to find joy in the middle of so much grief.
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"2019 - The year that brought me to my knees," Amber wrote on social media, alongside a series of photos of River and his parents and siblings. "The year our beautiful red-headed boy turned 3 & went Home. The year that same sweet boy saved 2 other lives. The year that broke my heart into pieces but also tempered my spirit. The year we started The Smiths. The year we moved from our home and all the memories we made there. The year Linc turned 5 and started kinder and London started 2nd grade. The year that I became the closest to God I've ever been.
"The year I cried every day for 6 months straight," she continued. "The year London lost 3 teeth and turned 8. The year we ministered to hundreds about grief and hope. The year we vowed to not let anything tear our family apart. The year we promised to find meaning and not reasons. The year Granger and I became closer than ever before. The year my eyes were truly opened to what is important. The year we've never felt more love from our community. The year I found out that joy and grief can coexist. The year we dove back into the fire to help other grieving parents. The year that changed me. The year of the blue butterfly. The year I learned that I am not in control. The year that solidified that I can't live this life without God."
Amber continued the lengthy post by vowing to keep working on The River Kelly Fund, as well as helping others who are experiencing similar grief, while staying focused on their two children.
"As much as we want to plan and dream, today is all we have," Amber concluded. "This moment. Each day, whether good or bad, is another gift from God. I hope to live it with gratitude and compassion for others. I hope to continue to surrender my battles, because in my weakness He is my strength. I hope to forgive myself little by little. I hope to keep bringing people to the Kingdom and sharing the love of God that I have felt so strongly."
The Smiths have already raised more than $218,000 which was donated to the Dell Medical Center, where River was treated before he passed away from his injuries. More information on the River Kelly Fund can be found on their website.
Photo Credit: Getty / Rick Kern