Granger Smith Family Encourages Others to “Live Like Riv”

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Granger Smith is choosing not to waste time searching for answers in the death of his three-year-old son, River. Instead, he’s searching for meaning.

“I will focus and then cultivate the light from a dark place, the good from the bad, God’s will from my own plans,” Smith writes in a new note on YouTube. “I can rest assured knowing that River’s assignment on earth was always intended for 1,116 days, and not only did he live it to the fullest, but he lived it loved by so many, including a mother, father, sister and brother who held nothing back and have no regrets on how much he felt that love.”

Smith posted the letter to fans accompanying a 30-minute video update with his wife Amber to let fans know how they are coping as a family. The couple is also raising daughter London, 7, and son Lincoln, 5, at home.

“We are going to search for every bit of good we could find in this situation,” Smith said. “It’s the worst situation we’ve ever been through hopefully ever. And we’re going to constantly search for ways that good will come out of this. That’s my commitment to River’s legacy.

“God gave us River for three years, and that was his mission,” he added. “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 graduation 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 1,000. I thought about that after I said it: what if we were giving a gift of 1,000 days on this Earth, and you could live those days barefoot, red hair flying back on your go-kart, or 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 1,000 days. That’s a good way to live, and I think that’s a huge example for me in my life and in Amber’s, and that’s how we’re going to move forward and how we’re going to live every single day.”

Proceeds from the River Smith Tribute T-Shirt have raised more than $140,000 for Austin, Texas’ Dell Children’s Medical Center where doctors attempted to save River’s life after he drowned in the family pool.

Smith is expected to resume his summer tour next week. A complete tour schedule is detailed on his website.

Lauren Tingle is a Tennessean and storyteller who eats music for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When she’s not writing or rocking out, she enjoys yoga and getting lost in the great outdoors.