Samantha’s Legacy

Exactly one year ago, our little Samantha was born.  She only made it 4 months in the womb, but her existence has changed the world.

A week or two prior to her birth, we were sitting in a perinatal doctor’s office getting an ultrasound.  We were sent to the perinatologist because the ultrasounds at the regular doctor didn’t look quite right.  As we were sitting there watching the baby that would be named Samantha on a big flat screen TV, I knew in my heart that she wasn’t going to make it to term.  Why?  I don’t know, but I knew.  I knew this could be the only time that I would have to see her rolling around and stretching and waving her arms.  I never took my eyes off the screen.  I wanted to burn these images into my memory.

On January 26th of 2011, We had 2 appointments scheduled — first with the regular doctor, the second with the perinatologist.  Liz went to the first appointment and I was going to go along to the second one.  She found out Samantha had passed at that first appointment. The second one didn’t happen.  I should have been at that first appointment, instead I decided that work was more important than going to 2 appointments in the same day.

Liz called me and told me what happened.  I came home and we grabbed a few things before heading to the hospital.

Up to this point, I hadn’t lost anyone close to me.  I honestly feared how I would react to the death of a close friend or family member.  Would I totally flip out?  Would I ignore it?  I had no clue.  I felt like a ticking time-bomb without being able to see the timer countdown.

I survived he loss of my own child.  I think having a sense of gratitude and appreciation for the time we did have helps.  I’ll always have these few memories.

Samantha has pushed me through some of my own barriers.  Her memory reminds me that we all only have a little time on this planet so we need to take advantage of every moment.  It’s too short to spend all your time working.  It’s also too short to spend all your time playing.  We need to have experiences.

I’ve mentioned it a few times before but this blog wouldn’t exist if not for Samantha.  I actually thought about creating it a few years ago but I “never got around to it.”  She pushed me and it has helped me move forward.

We have lots of new parents and people who are about to be new parents at work these days.  I don’t have any parenting tips for them, but I can be voice of reason when the doctors appointments get to be more and more frequent.  Work can wait.  They need to invest that time in their families.

We’ve traveled more.  Sometimes just within town, but we are participating in our lives rather than being spectators.  We’ve experienced new things and met new people.  We’ve helped people by writing about our experiences.  We’ve helped business owners by spreading the word about their businesses to people that otherwise may never have heard about them.

All because a little girl didn’t make it.

We’re going to go visit her place of burial today but she’s always with us, pushing us to keep moving forward.

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About Raun Lauterbach

Optimistic realist, life enthusiast, outdoor cook, Midwest traveler, husband, father... Follow me: Twitter | Facebook | Get updates in your email
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  • James Dibben

    What a great post, Raun.

    Julie and I are honored to be some of the ‘new people’ you have met since Samantha’s passing.

    Your relationship with Samantha is a unique one. She will always be the one to teach you.

    I weep with you today.

  • Raun Lauterbach

    Thanks, James. We are honored to have met you two, along with several others. I’m amazed everyday by the ways that she has opened my eyes. With the obvious exception of losing my daughter, this has been the best year of my life.

  • Marit

    Hi Raun – This post was beautifully written, thank you for sharing your story. Nate and I are thinking of you all today. We love you!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Raun for a very moving post. It is very powerful and motivating to see how you and your wife have pushed on and how Samantha has inspired you. Thanks for sharing.

  • Raun Lauterbach

    Thanks Rob! Always moving forward…

  • Raun Lauterbach

    Thanks, Marit. Rough day, but also a good day. We’re happy for the time we had, but sad for the time we don’t.