white crib containing a stuffed bear and and yellow pillow

Mom sells dead son’s crib at yard sale: Buyer returns days later & says ‘Look in trunk’

A Secret Life of Mom Highlight Story: Sometimes there are stories that are just too good, too beautiful, or too unbelievable to keep locked away. That’s why we scour the archives and bring some of them back to enjoy again. They may make you smile or shed a tear, but they’re always meant to add a little positivity to your day. This story is originally from May 2014.

Losing a child is a pain that no parent should ever endure. In 2014, an expecting mother had her dreams of being a mother crushed when her child, a stillborn, never took his first breath. After one year of not touching his room, she decided to sell the crib she had bought for him. The man who bought it returned few days later with a surprise for the woman in the trunk of his car.

Valerie Watts
Valerie Watts. Fox9 | Youtube

Her child was stillborn

Becoming pregnant is the dream of many parents. Valerie Watts, from Cokato, Minnesota, and her husband were elated when they found out they were expecting. They thought they were out of woods when their baby survived the first trimester. Most parents refrain from telling anyone about their pregnancy during this time because there is an ever-present risk of miscarriages. Valerie was in her last trimester of pregnancy. Instead of worrying about miscarriages, she was getting his room ready to welcome him into the world. Nearing her due date, she realized she had not felt him move for a while.

“All week, I knew. He wasn’t moving as much. I was very nervous,” Valerie said in an interview with KMSP-TV.

Unfortunately, Valerie lost her unborn child after his umbilical cord became pinched in the womb. Her son Noah was stillborn.

She sold her baby’s things

One year after Noah’s death, Valerie managed to gather the courage to sell her unborn baby’s things. This included a beautiful wooden crib that she had hoped he would sleep in for the first few years of his life. But, he never even took his first breaths. She held a garage sale where she laid all the items out for potential buyers. One man named Gerald Kumpula was with his wife looking through the items. He saw the crib, and asked Valerie if it was for sale. Valerie was very attached to the crib, but she sold it to him anyway.

Gerald Kumpula
Gerald Kumpula. Fox9 | Youtube

Her reluctance to sell the crib was noticed by Gerald, who was curious to know why. He was not aware that her son had passed away in Valerie’s womb, nor that it happened a few days before his due date. When he found out what had happened, he did something wonderful for the grieving mother.

Read: Husband lost wife and newborn during child birth | Minutes later, both come back alive as miracle unfolds

A kind man’s gift

Gerald’s mother got into chatting with Valerie, and she found out the horrible reason for selling the crib. Gerald had simply assumed that her baby had outgrown the crib, but the reality was heartbreaking.

“When he asked me if I was selling that, that he made benches, I hesitated,” Watts explained. “His wife was there looking through my garage sale — at some of the baby clothes — and asked how old my son was since I don’t use the crib anymore, and I told her that he had passed in July.”

Gerald is a carpenter by profession. When he heard what had happened to Valerie’s baby, he was heartbroken for her. Finally, he understood why she was so reluctant to sell the crib. He decided he wanted to make something for her and the memory of her son. Gerald and his wife felt dearly for the mother that had only just met. They discussed the situation on their way home and came to the conclusion that they would be returning the crib, but not in the way they had found it.

A bench, built from a crib.
The bench made from Valerie’s crib. Fox9 | Youtube

In memory of her son

He took the crib and created a bench out of it. A few days later he showed up at Valerie’s home and presented the bench, which was made from the wood salvaged from the crib.

“I started crying instantly,” Watts recalled. “It’s amazing, and there’s good people out there … there’s proof.” Now, Valerie has a piece of her son to keep with her, without the painful image of an empty crib. she can sit, and enjoy his memory in peace.

Keep Reading: Mom Battling Addiction Neglected Kids, So Boyfriend Adopted Both And Raised Them To Give Them A Better Life


  1. A Man Turned A Grieving Woman’s Baby Crib He Found At Her Yard Sale Into A Wonderful Gift. buzzfeed. Rachel Zarrel. May 10 2014
  2. BLOG: Mom Sells Stillborn Son’s Crib & 1 Week Later Gets A Surprise From The Buyer. KCBI. Jay Allen July 19, 2017