The Story of Sam

Samuel Job Watson became part our family in January of 2011.  For almost eight  months, we looked forward to his birth with great joy and anticipation.  We wondered and dreamed about what the future would hold for our little Cheerio.  We prayed for a life full of glimpses of Heaven: catching a big fish, sharing sweet hugs and kisses, laughing and crying with family and precious friends.  Most of all, we prayed that this child would know Jesus from an early age, and that we could be wise in helping him trust in a Savior he could not see.

On July 14 we learned that our prayers for little Sam had been answered differently than we had expected.  He would never have to glimpse Heaven through the veil of this broken earth; he was there already, seeing Jesus face-to-face.

We held Sam for the first and last time on July 15, 2011. Our lives have not been the same since that day. Here is our story:

Early Reflections

“A Word to Live By” : How God prepared us in advance for the surprise of Sam’s birth and death. 

Baby Sam FAQs

What I’m learning from losing Sam: It’s always risky to publicly process grief, but I did. In the early weeks I did a lot of thinking about Heaven, I was profoundly grateful for our friends and family, and I came to terms (for the first of many times!) with my lack of control over life and death.

An Anchor for the SoulGetting real about believing in sovereign God

Anything is Better than Nothing: The words of advice every grieving mother wants to shout from the rooftops!

The Other Baby Boy on my Mind this Christmas: The first Christmas was hard… but don’t miss The Very Important Follow Up

2011, in a Word: How the year our son died became the year of grace


Sam’s First Birthday

Two Years Later

Be Still My Soul (Year 3)

Five Years Later

Lifelong Learning

Curtain Call: My favorite Sam piece of all: thinking of him during the standing ovation after Wicked

Chatting on a Rainy Walk: Two-year-old Abby sets me straight

Resurrection and Life: We planted a tree in our front yard in memory of Sam. Every spring his tree blooms out and reminds me that life wins over death, every time.

Thinking back to Easter Saturday: Just a few months pregnant with my third child, I attended another baby boy’s funeral.

Talking to Myself: About six months after Sam was born, I was pregnant again. As you can imagine, my feelings were…complicated. 

Other Days: I tried to have lots of faith. But some days I still freaked out.

Through Cloud and Sunshine, Lord, Abide With Me: A couple of years after Sam was born, our family grieved again when my nine year old niece was diagnosed with brain cancer. The news brought to mind everything I’d learned about faith and joy in sorrow.

Too Much: Feeling overwhelmed with happiness and sadness, all in one day.