Granger Smith and Wife Speak Out After Son’s Death: ‘We Are Stronger Than Ever’
In a lengthy video posted to the family's "The Smiths" YouTube channel, the couple told fans that they wished to let everyone know how they are doing, firsthand, two weeks after the unimaginable event.
After thanking fans for their outpouring of concern and love, as well as first responders and hospital staff, the Smiths noted that they discovered an important mission to uphold in terms of River's passing. "We are going to search for every bit of good that we can find in this situation," Smith says. He admits that it's "going to be a long road," but that he's found the beginning steps to the journey.
Smith recalls some firsthand details of the unforgettable day." I was outside playing with [daughter] London doing gymnastics in the yard, and the boys were playing a water gun fight," he notes. "I was looking at London as she was doing gymnastics, and I thought, 'Soak up this moment … because it’s not going to last forever.'”
Things took a fast turn from there.
"Somewhere between 30 seconds and three minutes, Amber and I are inside our pool gate, doing CPR on our son," he shares. "I think the platform that we stand for is love those close to you, soak up those moments for today, live in the present, we aren’t guaranteed tomorrow."
Smith elaborates that he thinks River fulfilled the time on earth that God meant him to experience. "We believe, in our belief, that God gave us River for three years and that was his mission," he explains. "I don’t believe that God takes anyone too soon. I’m not going to play around in my mind that there’s this fictitious timeline of River graduating from college, or high school, or playing football — because I believe he was put on this earth for that exact amount of time.
"London asked me how many days River lived. And I said, just over a thousand," Smith muses. "And I thought about that ... what if we all were given a thousand days? What if you were given a gift of a thousand days on this earth? And you could live those days barefoot, red hair flying back on your go-kart, on your tractor, full speed ahead?"
"If you could do that with your family around you, with no real cares in the world. that’s a good thousand days. That’s a good way to live. And I think that’s a huge example for me and Amber and how we’re going to move forward every single day."
Smith also assured fans that he and his wife and surviving children (7-year-old London and 5-year-old son Lincoln) are bonding as a result of the tragedy. "We are stronger than ever. We have gotten so close," he says.
"We are going to constantly search for the meaning behind this — not the reason. I think the reason is very different from the meaning. I’ll never know. But we’ll find the meaning."
The video then moves into a gut-wrenching montage of moments celebrating little River's life. It's a hard one to watch, but made sweet by the couple's heartfelt conviction that they'll eventually find their way along this rocky path. In choosing to look for the positive, the Smiths have already raised more than $120,000 (at press time) for Dell Children's Medical Center in Austin, Texas through the sale of red T-shirts in River's memory.
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