Granger Smith and Wife Amber Raise Over $16K in Honor of Late Son River's Birthday

Granger Smith and wife Amber's son River died in June 2019 in a drowning accident at the family's home, and the couple is honoring their son on his birthday by raising money for the River Kelly Fund, which his parents set up after his death. Over the weekend, Amber shared an Instagram post remembering her son, asking her followers to perform three acts of kindness or donate $3 to the River Kelly Fund, and she told Taste of Country that over $16,000 was given on what would have been River's fourth birthday.

"Proverbs 16:9. We can make our plans but the Lord determines our steps. My earthly plan would be to be wake up my little man today with kisses and sing happy birthday to him. God had other plans," Amber captioned a slideshow of photos of River. "He gave us 3 incredible years with Riv. We got 3 years of dancing, laughing, playing in the dirt, going fast, riding tractors, & playing cars. 3 years of celebrations, birthdays, wildflower picking, & the biggest, tightest hugs and kisses. I’m not going to fool myself into saying how old Riv would be today. He was on this earth for 3 precious years. God knew his time on earth and knew when he would go back Home. But today, we celebrate his birth. We celebrate his sweet, playful, curious spirit. We celebrate his life and all he taught us during his time with us. I’m grateful to have been blessed to be his mama. He’s taught me more than anyone will ever know about love and loss, and life, hope and pain and joy and growth."

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"May we all find joy in life’s simple gifts," she concluded. "May we all dig in the dirt and run around barefoot. May we all go outside and “see the pretty day” like he used to love to do. May we all know that Jesus is our friend (Riv told me that). Happy birthday in heaven sweet boy. We miss you every second, but we know God has a plan and He will bring light in the dark. We can’t wait to see you again little man."

Granger and Amber have continually honored their son since his death and have been working to educate others about child drowning prevention. "Doing virtual interviews on water safety and drowning today," Amber wrote in a recent Instagram post. "Mommy is fighting to keep your memory and precious spirit alive. Fighting to protect other children and other mama’s and daddy’s hearts. I will share our story and share our pain in the hope it saves one life - for the rest of mine. For you."