Granger Smith's wife, Amber Smith, turned to Instagram to share adorable pictures of their two kids on the first day of school on Thursday (Aug. 15), but she admits the occasion was tinged with sadness due to the recent loss of the couple's 3-year-old son, River.

"The full gamut of emotions today. So happy and proud for London entering 2nd grade. So excited for Lincoln to be able to walk into Kindergarten at the same school as his big sister. Yet, I’m also so sad they won’t have their little brother bouncing and running down the halls, making everyone laugh at drop off," she reflects, adding that she was looking forward to spending a lot of one-on-one time with River this year before he would have started pre-K next year. The boy drowned at the family's home in Texas in June.

"Sometimes the plans we make for ourselves don’t come to pass. Sometimes God has another path for you, your family, and your heart," she writes. "This sucks and it will suck for the rest of my life, but I’m choosing to make the most out of the hand that we’ve been dealt. I’m choosing to smile, through tears, and get excited for London and Linc because they need and deserve that."

Amber says she is focusing on honoring River's life by living a life of meaning, and she says they're creating a foundation in his name to help others. She's getting through the tough times by relying on her faith, family and friends, and she hopes to serve as an example to others going through hard times.

"You CAN do it. You have a purpose. Your grief and joy can coexist. It’s not over yet. Just dig deep. Fight when you can and hit your knees when you can’t," she states, ending by asking for blessings for the kids and their teachers.

"Let’s all pray for our kiddos and our teachers and our schools. May God be by their side every step of the way."

The Smiths are also carrying on River's legacy by raising money in his name through sales of a tribute T-shirt. On June 25, the couple presented a check for $218,791 to Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin, where River received treatment after his accident. The couple appreciated the care and compassion of the staff there.

The tribute T-shirts are currently sold out, but the Smiths are designing a new one for fall to raise more money in his memory. Until then, donate directly to Dell Children's here.

PICS: Granger Smith, Wife Amber Give Big Check to Dell Children's:

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