Every once in a while, someone comes into your life and instantly steals a piece of your heart. It happens when you least expect it and is usually someone you wouldn't expect to love so much and so quickly.
This is what happened when I met Samuel Knight.
Samuel and Nathan see a few of the same doctors in Houston in the mito clinic, and we had the wonderful privilege to be able to spend a lot of time with the Knight family on our last trip to Houston this past April. Samuel's mom and I had a blast chatting up about anything and everything over dinner, lunch, waiting around for various things in the hospital, and while our children ran up and down the halls of their house, tangling their oxygen tubing in messes that were almost impossible to pull apart.
Samuel hopped right into my lap numerous times to snuggle right into my chest, and I soaked up every little minute of his love during those moments. I was his and his sister's patient as they performed pretend cyndledectomies (a very medical-sounding term they conjured up in our pretend session of something that involves their life daily: playing doctor) and cured me with a routine dose of psuedomycin (or something that sounded like that). We laughed and snuggled and laughed and had the most fun. You see, God blessed Samuel with the most winsome personality, an infectious giggle, a zeal for life, and eyes the glint with each precious smile...God gave him these amazing characteristics to bring joy to each and every person who came into contact with Samuel.Before we left Samuel's house that warm April evening, he told me that he and Nathan had made a plan to switch roles...Samuel would come to live with me for a while and Nate would live with his family for a while. After some convincing that I had no idea how to access his port and that would be a problem if he came to live with me, we agreed instead to make fun plans for the next time we came to visit in October...next month. After some hugs and a kiss to his forehead, I left a piece of my heart with Samuel Knight that evening in hopes to gather more hugs in 6 months during our next visit.Samuel passed away last night. He left this world where he was hooked to tubes and monitors for most all of his life and is running free and completely uninhibited alongside our precious Savior in Heaven. In his short 4 years of life on this earth, he brought immense love and joy and courage and happiness to everyone who had the amazing chance to know him, along with numerous others who only knew about him.
Please keep Samuel's family in your prayers...his father Ben, mother Missy, and 5 year old sister Lauren, along with his extended family. Also pray for the medical team who have walked beside the Knight family over the past few years, as I know they are hurting deeply as well. Pray for Samuel's little mito friends, especially the ones who are old enough to understand that they will not see their friend on this side of heaven again...those who know that they too are suffering from the same disease as their friend who is no longer with us.
Our lives are better for having the wonderful opportunity to know Samuel for even a little while. He has truly been an amazing gift from God in this life.