It’s been four days since we came home without Samuel. That’s longer than the three days we were in the hospital, and significantly longer than the 1.5 days of his short, beautiful life.
It’s impossible to put into words how profoundly Samuel’s life has changed us. I think about little else: his soft hair, holding him in his final hours, how we can best honor and remember him in the days and years to come, and so much more. The smell, even the taste, of the hospital are still with me, almost as if our time together physically changed me in some way.
As Joanna and I continue cherishing Samuel’s special place in our life, we want to invite you to a service of remembering him this Saturday, February 4th at 10am. It will be held in the main auditorium of Elim Gospel Church in Lima, NY. The pastors and staff at the church are going all out to celebrate with us the blessing that Samuel was, and continues to be, and it would be incredibly meaningful for us if you’d join us this Saturday to honor his life. There will be a time after the service to visit together, and we hope to see as many of you there as can come.
Saturday, February 4th, 2017 at 10am
Elim Gospel Church
1679 Dalton Rd
Lima, NY 14485
For our friends in different parts of the country and the world, we’ll be live-streaming the service online for those who can’t make it. The service will be available at http://elimgospelchurch.churchonline.org at 10am EST.
How to Help
An almost continual question we hear is: “How can we help?” It’s tough to answer, because we already feel so blessed and taken care of. We have many meals already provided for us, and both of our families have been wonderfully supportive. If you’d like to help with future meals, a Wegmans gift card is a great idea. (You can mail gift cards to The Knileys c/o Campus Target, PO Box 536, Lima NY 14485.)
One tip we got at the hospital is: ask people to check in with us weeks and months from now. After the immediacy of all this fades, Joanna and I will still carry Samuel in our hearts for years to come. Please bring Samuel up in conversation, don’t be afraid of tears, and ask about him well after most people have moved on. Samuel will forever be our second child, and when people honor and recognize him we receive that as love.
Joanna and I are financially supported by donations in our work with Campus Target. If you’d like to make a donation toward our ministry you can do so through the Elim Fellowship website.
Most of all, Joanna and I simply value your care and concern for us. I have been at times overwhelmed by the love so many people have lavished on us, and there’s been a real sense of healing and hope in my heart as we’ve received so much care. More than gifts or flowers or anything else, we’re thankful for you, and we hope to see you this Saturday morning to honor Samuel’s life together.
8 thoughts on “Memorial Service Announcement”
Bob and Joanna, Thank you for continuing to let all of us know how you’re doing. I will be visiting my parents in North Carolina on the day of Samuel’s memorial service. I appreciate being able to participate from a distance. Thank you for streaming the service. We love you. Love, Nancy Thompson
Sent from my iPhone
The family picture is beautiful !! (any hope of copies to share ??) We are grateful for the opportunity to gather on Saturday for this occasion. Samuel has had a powerful influence already on so many of us — not only uniting us in shared grief — but helping us to perceive more clearly the real and profound. ….. His arrival has captured our hearts. — Thank you for permitting us to join you — for including us in the journey thru your writings … your candor in conversations …and for postings of photos….. All of this has served to deepen a bond …. not only to you and yours ….but somehow in and to the community as a whole. We are indebted ……. and gratefully so. Affectionately, Bernard and Sharon Evans
You continue to amaze us with your ability to communicate your emotions so beautifully during all that you are going through. Thank you for sharing Samuel with us through these past months. Although we will not be able to be at the memorial service in body, we will be with you in spirit. May God continue to bless and strengthen you. In His love, Jim and Judy Heath
May the happiness of Samuel’s birth and time you shared together be the love and the light that you cherish and hold on to. I pray God wraps you in his arms and offers comfort and peace during this very difficult time. You and your family will continue to be in my prayers.
Thank you for allowing us to share in this difficult but beautiful journey you’ve experienced. May you feel the love and care of God’s arms around you in the days that lie ahead as you continue to draw your amazing strength from Him. Our thoughts, hearts and prayers are with you now. We will be with in in spirit during the memorial service for little Samuel. Mark and Laurie Stone
What a precious and beautiful family you are. Thank you for this blog and keeping us updated. I cannot imagine the grief and pain you have experienced losing baby Samuel. I have been praying for you and planning to attend the memorial service this morning, but ended up having to go to the hospital yesterday for a procedure that is keeping me home today. Please know my heart goes out to you and wish I could be there. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Love and strength to you at this time and always, Janet Williams
Bob and Joanna, I wish so much I could have come to the memorial service today. I heard it was beautiful. Know that you are continually in my thoughts and prayers. ❤️