Journal entry by Trish Richhart

Samuel, 
You have spent a year in heaven with Jesus!  That is actually really exciting.  I can't even wrap my head around that, but it gives me so much comfort that Jesus has rescued you and is keeping you safe with him.  While we know that you are all good, we still are feeling sad because we miss you so very much.  This week has been a hard one filled with really hard memories of your last days on earth.  We never really got to say a proper goodbye.  Our last conversation was me telling you not to be afraid because the doctors were going to put something in your mouth to help you breathe.  I reassured you that it was ok and that I would be right there.  And then you were given something to make you sleep.  It happened so quickly and you were fighting so hard to breathe that you only nodded your response.  If I would have known that was the last time I would see you awake, I think I would have tried to say so much more.  But I do think you could hear us at some level while you lay unconscious in the ICU and we continued to talk to you.  Your dad and I told you how much we love you and how proud we are of you.  We reminded you of God's promises.  I spoke your verse over you:  "Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged; for the Lord your God goes with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9) We prayed over you.  Oh, how we prayed!   I have never prayed like I did over you that week.  Others came and prayed, too.  Still many more prayed for you from afar.  So many were beseeching God for your healing on earth.  But God called you away from us and to Himself.  I don't understand the ways of God, but He has taught me to trust Him.  I can trust that God's ways are best, while still feeling like your physical death was a big mistake.  I am sure I will understand some day.
 
Losing you was pretty traumatic for all of us.  God had given us such hope and reassurance that despite all you were up against, you would survive.   We were all shocked when you left us.  I suppose God knew what he was doing, because you wanted more than anything to live the life of a normal boy with your family.  You wanted to be treated like you would live, not die.  And you were.
 
Today, your family is going to spend the day together remembering you.  Although we feel sad, we have decided to celebrate your 1st year in heaven.  So happy birthday, my sweet boy.  Your story lives on.  It is a story of God's gift of a special little boy and God's faithfulness and mercy in his life.  We will continue to remember it and tell it. 
We love you, Samuel, and we are still trusting in God's mighty hand,
Mom
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