Make sure you shuffle the list first!
Make sure you shuffle the list first!
It’s been five years since I’ve seen you. Since I’ve held you. Heard you say Mama, Mommy, Brannon, Daddy, Shishard or Memo. Since I heard you ask for a Thomas the train toy or seen you dance in the back seat to “Love on Top”. Five long years since you ran to the door to greet Barney. Or wake TeeTee Erika up while she was trying to sleep. Or punked me when it was time to go to your God-Mommy Lynn’s house by crying until you got five inches down the street then laughing like you were going to Disneyland. It’s been 1,825 days since you kicked me while we were sleeping or cried when Granny tried to comb your hair. I haven’t had one of your wet kisses in 43,800 hours. But I’ve missed everything about you in the 15,678,000 seconds that you’ve been gone. I’ve felt your absence and I haven’t been the same since. I’ve come to realize that I will never be. Not having you here has changed everything for me. (here come the tears I was trying to keep at bay…)
When I was pregnant with you, I knew you were special. I knew you were a mess when I had to walk around with an IV because you wouldn’t let me eat or drink anything. I was off from work my entire pregnancy. Now I realize that we were developing a deep bond. When I found out you were a girl, the name Chance immediately came to me. People tried so hard to talk me out of naming you that. But the name stuck with me. I relented and put Sydney as the first name. When I saw you, I knew I made the right decision. I wouldn’t realize until later what “Chance” really meant.
You came into this world with so much personality. I knew that you would give Brandon and I a run for our money. While, he wasn’t that excited to know that you weren’t going back to the hospital when you came home, his words were, “When is that baby going back?” In time you two developed a bond that was so unique and strong. He talks about you everyday now. And he finds a piece of you in everything. When you left, some of him did too. It’s so obvious. He doesn’t laugh as hard. Or smile as much as he did when you were here. We try to spoil him with all the love and attention that we can but he misses you. You are his sister and your energy and spunk gave him spunk and energy. He will be fine though. We will all make sure of it. So don’t worry about your big brother. He’s going to grow up and invent something that will make you very proud.
Mommy still can’t watch a video of you. It’s weird to me because most of the videos we made have you saying her name in them. It’s been hard on her. She tries so hard to be strong for all of us Chance. We sometimes forget that she has emotions and feelings too. She loves you like she birthed you. And I know you knew that. She made it apparent in the way she cared for you. Like, when we went into TJ Maxx and you wanted these sippy cups and the princess costume. I said no but Mommy made sure you had it. And when we got home, you had to put it on. Whatever you wanted, she made sure you had it. I can’t wait for the day that she will actually be able to sit and watch a video of you with me. I know it will make her sad at first but I know that sadness will dissipate when she can see your love for her.
And Daddy misses you too. I’m so glad I was able to record you two washing the truck. Or you saying his name. The Christmas videos we have are you are in his possession and I know that he watches them on his own. I think he’s still mad about that yogurt you half ate of his. Lol! He allows me to call and cry when I’m having a bad day because I’m missing you. I’m sure he would have had you bowling or fishing by now.
Shisard(Darrick) and Memo, I can’t even describe the way they feel. Darrick honors you in everything he does. He’s really coming into his own. He took pictures a couple of months ago and he saw this butterfly mural and he took the most beautiful picture in front of it. The first thing he said is, “I have to take this for Chance”. I cried of course. The ABC’s will never be the same for me. Darrick sang it to you so beautifully. And Memo, he had a tree planted in your honor in Osceola. His school had an entire ceremony, just for you. His wife Tassha even carried your picture around her wedding bouquet. Memo, has pictures of you everywhere. And I watch the video of you all often when you were in the hot tub and the Embassy Suites. You all were having so much fun like you always did. I’m almost sure that we will have a baby named after you at some point. They love you that much.
TeeTee Erika misses you. That woman will call me out of the blue and just tell me about things you two did that I never knew about. She has a video of you eating a cupcake when she let you skip daycare one day. And I have so many videos of you and her arguing back and forth that keep me laughing. She loves you so much that her son Scatman knows you. He never even met you. That’s unconditional love right there.
Your God-Mommy Lynn would have had you all over the country by now. She loves you so much that you’re an honorary Girl Scout. People from all over the country bought cookies in your name. She still has you as her cover picture on Facebook. She misses you too. And again, she has shared many pictures of you that I never saw. You punked her and her family too. They miss their “Candy”.
Your spirit is always around Granny/Aunt Linda It’s nothing for her to call me and tell me about a butterfly that came up to her in the dead of winter. Or when she’s in her yard doing lawn work how you will send her a breeze to cool her off. She has a wall for you in her house. And every Christmas, your tree is put out before any other tree at her house. Paw Paw has a hard time talking about you but he wore a wristband for almost three years from your walk everyday until it broke. He actually never took it off. They miss you.
Poor Barney. You left this earth on his birthday. I have pictures of you sitting in his lap watching cartoons. And I remember how you would run to the door and say his name whenever he would come into the house. He was the best father figure for you. I think you had his heart before I did. The bond you two formed will never be broken. He misses you more than anyone will ever realize.
You have a host of family and friends who have lots of great memories with you. People all over the world know you. You’ve saved so many children, Chance. So many. That’s why, no matter how hard it is, I tell your story. I don’t turn down any interviews or articles that people ask me to do. I have to keep going. And I won’t pretend like I don’t have bad days. I’ve had plenty of them since you’ve been gone. But I always get a push from you to keep going. And I try everyday.
I ask myself often, “Why did God take my baby?” I’ve asked other people to ask Him for me, because I didn’t think he heard me. I felt like you didn’t do anything wrong that it must have been something that I did to make you have to leave. I wonder what I did. For five years I’ve asked myself what I’m supposed to do now. You are my baby. I carried you for nine months. You were so beautiful. I wonder if you knew that I loved you? I did. I love you so much. I held you when you were born and I held you when you took your last breath. I hope you knew that I was the best mother to you that I knew how to be. I had so many plans for you. But God had other plans. His plans are always best even when we don’t understand them.
Five years since I’ve lost my baby. What’s going to happen to me? I don’t know but I know that losing you is something I’ll never get over. I’ll just continue to learn how to deal with it.
Just remember the last song I sang to you. “Chance it’s you. You’re the one I love. You’re the one I need. You’re the only one I see. Baby, its you. You’re the one that gives your all. You’re the one I always call. When I need you baby everything stops. Finally, you put my love on top”
I love you Sydney Chance Bowles. Save us all a seat in heaven with you. I can’t wait until we’re all together again.
Do you sometimes wonder how you’ve made it through certain situations in your life? Like, why your situation didn’t kill you or make you just completely give up on everything?
That’s because you have someone in your life that’s fighting for you. Even when you don’t see it or feel it. God is still there. Always! Fighting those battles that you don’t even know you’re in. Battles that Satan are trying to take you out with.
God loves us so much more than you’ll ever know. He’s waiting for you to put all of your faith in Him. He wants you to trust Him wholeheartedly.
Isaiah 12:12 I trust You to save me Lord God and I won’t be afraid…
When you can’t figure out life and you’re stressed out beyond belief. Look at,
Proverbs 3:5 trust in the Lord with all of your heart. Do not depend on your own understanding…
Stop trying to figure out everything on your own.
Also, He blesses those who depend and trust Him during these trying times. It’s not in vain.
Jeremiah 17:7 but blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence
He protects you because you believe in Him.
Psalm 91 the Lord says, l will rescue those who love Me. I will protect those who trust in My name..
Don’t worry about what people think about you. Don’t be concerned about who or what they want you to be. Trust that God knows what He’s doing in your life. He knows what’s best. Even when you don’t understand.
Have faith in yourself and have confidence in your abilities. Follow your dreams. If you want to be a writer, don’t let anybody censor you. If you want to be a singer, sing your heart out and make sure you’re giving the glory to God. Sing for Him. If you want to start a business, start it. But don’t be discouraged if you don’t make millions of dollars your first few months. Perfect your craft and keep going.
No matter what people think about you, know that God is fighting for you. He doesn’t want to lose you.
Fight for your marriages. For fight your family. Fight for your friends. They can’t be replaced. Fight for your dreams. Just keep fighting. God has the rest.
And also, so many are rooting for you. We have to support and generally love each other. Let’s fight for each other. Listen to this song by Mali music 💜
I know they see you and they want you
I know they see you and they want to
Make you who they want you to be
I know that life is tryna to get you
I know that life is calling out to you by your name
But don’t listen, resist it
Keep running, don’t you stop for nothing
Just keep kicking, remember where you came from
Don’t forget what you already know
What you got is amazing, hold that, don’t you let it go
You hold the light, you hold the light
You hold the light and it’s shining
And making darker places bright and you lighter
You hold the light, you got a lot
You bring a lot, you bring a lot
And it’s evident they can see it, they want in it
But it’s not for the taking, it’s not for the changing
No it’s not for remixing, it’s not for remaking alright.
So they lining up to take it alright
I can’t let them take my you, you know I write for you yeah
I won’t let them take you, I won’t let them
I won’t let them take you, I’ll be your protection
I’ll be your direction yeah, I’ll be your protector
You know I’ll rather fight for you, I’ll fight for you
I’ll fight for you, you knowing I’m fighting
Cause I refuse to lose you
Fighting cause I refuse to lose you…
I try sooooo hard to keep my mouth shut when people get on social media and become cyber bullies. I can almost promise you that those same “internet thugs” would never say those cruel things to my face. They feel protected behind their computers, smart phones and tablets. It’s such a sad thing…
So here’s a quick overview: kid goes on vacation with his parents and sister. Family goes outside of the resort to watch a movie. Kid goes to shallow edge of water. Alligator pops out and snatches the kid. Kids father unsuccessfully tries to get his kid from the animal. Animal drags kid into water. Kid is regretfully found the next day.
The next day. “they should have been watching their kid!!” “The parents are the worst because they shouldn’t have been in the water” or my favorite “my child would have never gotten in that water” *sigh*
Now I’m pissed. People are so cruel. People are so heartless. People have no compassion. People are so mean and nasty. People are so judgmental. People are so “perfect”. Right!!
For the past four years I’ve blamed myself for Chance’s accident. Knowing that I couldn’t watch her 24 hours a day. Knowing that there was nothing I could do to keep life from happening. Knowing that I would never intentionally let my child get hurt. But I was shamed by the media. I was called negligent. Lazy. I was told that it was my fault that I didn’t watch her better. So, I wasn’t allowed to use the restroom, cook dinner, do laundry, etc. wow…
Let me tell you what’s happens when your child is just that-a child. They behave as children. Let me tell you what happens when your child suddenly has an accident.
First, you see your child in a position you never thought you would. In my case, she was pinned under a dresser. You know what you think? Please be ok!! Please wake up!! I’m so sorry!! Please baby!! I’m so sorry. Then you call 911 and you have to explain what happened while cradling your child and trying to get a response from them. Next, the ambulance comes and they try just as hard to get a response out of your child. When they realize that they can’t, the call Life Medics and they put your child into a helicopter while you’re watching from the window. Then you arrive at the hospital and police are there waiting for you to make a statement. At this point, they’re trying to make sure that you didn’t do this on purpose. Your situation makes the local news and now people are questioning your parenting. I mean, you can’t do anything if your child is not within reach. Lastly, doctors tell you that there’s nothing they can do so you have to make the decision to remove your child from life support. You go home without your child. It’s the hardest thing to ever go through.
This family from Nebraska will leave Florida a family of three instead of the family of four they came as. This mother has to pack her sons clothes knowing that he’ll never put them on again. She will sniff and smell his clothes praying that his scent is still in them. Now the parents have to go a funeral home, pick a casket. Find an outfit for their son. Make funeral arrangements all while being judged by people that don’t know the story. People that could have been in their shoes.
How many times has your child fallen out of bed when you were both asleep? She could have broken her neck. Hasn’t your child fallen off of a bike? He could have hit his head and suffered severe brain trauma. Haven’t you told your teenager to not text and drive? But even though you’ve told them not to do something, they hit a parked car instead of driving into traffic killing themselves and other people. You’re such a bad parent though.
You see, things happen that we can’t control. But let’s try to be understanding and compassionate instead of cruel and judgmental. Because let’s face it, one day it could be you. And you’d want the public to get your side of the story before chasing you into seclusion.
As grieving parents, we have more than enough guilt to live with. We ask millions of “what ifs”. Don’t add to our already difficult struggle. Let’s not compare tragedies. Let’s love and pray for one another. Give a grieving parent a hug and a kind word. Or spew those words of hate into our faces instead of behind your computer screen.
After the hype about our stories go down, once you’ve moved on to the next tragedy; we’re still grieving. Now we have to factor in your judgments. Your harsh words. Your condemnation. While you’re sleeping peacefully and saying how terrible of a parent we are, we’re still dealing with the loss of our children.
Again, you could be in our shoes one day…how would you want to be treated?
I’m praying for the Graves family. I hope you are too…
My last few months have been so crazy. Like, crazy crazy. The past two months going on three, heart numbing. Since Wednesday, off the chain. Today… Wow!!
Be careful who you put your trust in. Not everyone has your best interest at heart. Some people will use you until you feel that you have nothing left to give anyone else. Those people are selfish. They don’t deserve your love. And people that are selfish will be humbled. Facts only!
Be mindful of words. They mean nothing without action. A person can tell you 1000 times that they’ll change. Or that they will fix their wrongs. That they’re committed to making things better. It sounds good but let their actions speak for them. Don’t fall for the charm. You’ll be hurt everytime.
Be cautious of who you entertain. The devil comes to kill, steal and destroy. He knows exactly what you like. And if you’re trying to live in your purpose, he’ll use what you like to distract you. Every time. Self explanatory.
Pray about everything. God oftentimes gives you directions. We tend to want to go our own way. Follow the path He has laid out for you. When you try to do things your own way, you’ll keep going in circles until you get tired. Facts only! Until you learn the lesson He’s trying to teach, you’ll keep failing the same class.
Forgive those who hurt you. God forgives us on a daily basis. And when you truly forgive, you’re only helping yourself. The person who has wronged you is going on with their lives while you’re bitter. Don’t be bitter. Forgive and keep it moving.
Lastly, forgive yourself. A lot of times, we’re harder on ourselves. Don’t be. You’ll make mistakes with picking careers, relationships, friends, decisions. Learn the lessons and move forward.
God will sometimes make you uncomfortable when He’s trying to bless you.
Remember what you deserve and don’t let bad experiences keep you down. You’re better than what’s happened to you.
So last night, Brandon and I went to see the Peanuts movie. I was actually very tired yesterday but he’s been talking about going to see the movie for months. Of course, tired and all, I had to take him. I’m so glad I did.
Now most people my age have watched Charlie Brown movies at some point in their lives but I guess as kids we didn’t really grasp the hidden messages in them. Well last night, I got the message loud and clear. God, I got the message.
So Charlie Brown, was the insecure down trotten, always sad, he didn’t feel like anything was going right. I mean, he couldn’t even get his kite off the ground. He fell in love with a girl that he saw one day in class and he tried to find ways to get her attention.
He tried a talent show, he didn’t compete because his sister needed his help. He let her shine. He tried learning to dance to impress her but he ended up embarrassing himself by falling and making a scene. He tried to take on the responsibility of a class book report that they were to do but she had to go out of town and he did it himself. Major fail. The book report was torn up and he had nothing to turn in. Lastly, when he realized that he didn’t make the perfect score on his standardized test, after he’d been praised by everyone in school, he admitted that the test wasn’t his. Poor Charlie Brown.
Well after he failed in getting her attention he completely gave up. Like, he was done. He got depressed. He was withdrawn from his friends. Nothing else mattered because he was absolutely tired of failing at everything. Keep in mind, in the beginning of the movie he was still trying to fly his kite. The absolute struggle.
The last day of school, his teacher put all of the children’s name into a bowl and everyone had to pick someone to write to over the summer. PigPin was picked by a girl that had a crush on him. Lucy of course took matters into her own hands (literally! I’m so guilty of this… ) by choosing Schroeder. Lastly, Charlie Brown’s name was called and he thought no one would pick him. To his surprise, the red haired girl picked him. He was just outdone.
Charlie Brown could not figure out why she picked him. Him, the guy that made a fool out of himself the entire year. The guy that could never get two words out when she was around. The guy that was insecure. So he asked her. Why did you pick my name? *this is where the lesson comes in, lol. He told her in so many words, I’m nothing. I have all of the problems. My life is a mess and I can’t do anything right. She said, “I didn’t see any of those things. I saw the compassion for your sister when she was having a hard time at the talent contest and you stepped in to help her. I saw that you were courageous when you got into the dance contest knowing that you weren’t the best dancer. You were also funny. I saw that you were nice enough to do the book report when I had to go East to help my sick grandmother. That showed me that you were caring. So I saw the good in you when all you saw were the bad things!”
When I tell you that a light bulb went off in my head and I felt that God was speaking directly to me! I literally had tears in my eyes. Let me tell you why. At times when we’re going through things we let the bad things outweigh the good. Because we don’t have a lot of money, we feel that we’re not valuable. That because you don’t have a degree that you’re not educated. Because you’re single that you’re not good enough to be loved. That since you don’t have a solid career that you’re not good at anything. Because you’re overweight that you’re just doomed to be by yourself. But you NEVER know what people see when they actually look at you. They could see that you’re good to those around you. That you’ll help someone that you don’t know. That you’ll give your last to make sure that someone else has. That you are the most beautiful woman ever or that you’re the most handsome man a woman will ever see. They don’t see the mess that you see.
Don’t let your thoughts hinder you from being happy. So what everything is together! So what you live in an apartment? You could be happier than someone living in a five bedroom house. So what you don’t have a seven figure a year job? You probably have more time to spend with your family and friends. You don’t have to take medicines or drink alcohol to get through the day. So what you’re single? You’re happier than someone that can’t sleep because they’re worried about where their significant other is. You don’t have to worry about karma coming back because you’re sneaking with someone who’s married or in a relationship. (Shade, lol) So what that you don’t have tons of friends? You don’t have to worry about people hanging on to you for what you have instead of who you are. I’d rather have 5 real and true friends than 50 fake ones. This list can go on and on.
Learn your worth. Know that there is no one like you. There will never be another Keisha Bowles. You know why, God made me and I’m like no other. Don’t let society tell you that because you don’t have thousands of followers on social media and hundreds of likes that you’re nothing. Figure out who you are. Be authentic to yourself. Don’t try to compete with the lives of others. Everything that shines isn’t light. You can shine by being yourself. Stay true and be you!!
Who would have thought that I learned all of this from Charlie Brown? Lol
It’s been a while since I’ve written anything. Sad, I know. I’m trying to learn what I should and shouldn’t say. But I decided that I’m going to say and talk about what I want. No filter. Because I can’t be the only person that has problems. And if I only write when things are good then I’m being inauthentic. That’s something I can no longer do. Besides, I’m a woman and we all relate on every level.
As women, we allow utter disrespect from people just to say we have someone. If you’re not in my immediate circle, you wouldn’t know that the past two months have been two of the hardest that I’ve had since Chance has been gone. And honestly, I’m grieving another loss. It’s not a loss from death but a loss nonetheless. It hurts. A lot. However, I’m trying to let this grow and better me. I try to remember that I’m not exempt from bad things happening just because I’ve been through losing my Chance. I mean, who am I?
But the loss of this person has just been a really hard pill to swallow. And even now, two months later, I can’t believe it’s happening. So like I said, I’m grieving again. That’s when I realized that in life, we’re always going to grieve something. Whether it’s a loss from death. The loss of a job. Losing a friend or even a relationship or marriage ending. You just have to learn how to grieve properly. Now, when you lose someone from death, it’s hard because that’s permanent. But when your job ends or a friendship drifts away or when a marriage or relationship ends, you can move on. It only means that God has something better for you. That’s something that you have to believe and stand on His word with.
Let me get biblical on yall right quick. We all will suffer from things. But God doesn’t want that to be your permanent state. In Ecc.9.3-12.(nlt)
It seems so wrong that everyone under the sun suffers the same fate. Already twisted by evil, people choose their own mad course, for they have no hope. There is nothing ahead but death anyway. There is hope only for the living. As they say, “It’s better to be a live dog than a dead lion!” The living at least know they will die, but the dead know nothing. They have no further reward, nor are they remembered. Whatever they did in their lifetime—loving, hating, envying—is all long gone. They no longer play a part in anything here on earth. So go ahead. Eat your food with joy, and drink your wine with a happy heart, for God approves of this! Wear fine clothes, with a splash of cologne! Live happily with the woman you love through all the meaningless days of life that God has given you under the sun. The wife God gives you is your reward for all your earthly toil. Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom. I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time. People can never predict when hard times might come. Like fish in a net or birds in a trap, people are caught by sudden tragedy
So what that means is, get up and do something. ALL of us will go through something that breaks us down. But you have to get back up. You can’t stop living like I did for two months. (I’m too cool for that anyway, lol) Yes, you may be hurt. Yes, you may feel that your life is over but it’s not. God is your peace in the midst of every storm that you go through. Forgive whoever hurt you. Because once they’re forgiven, you can move on properly. But let this be a time of reflection in your life. Get yourself together so God can bring the ONE that’s meant just for you into your life. And who knows, maybe you just needed a break from that person or situation. Maybe they need to see what they’re missing in you. It doesn’t mean that it’s permanently over. Because who knows what God really has planned for you both. Let God handle it. He’s waiting for you to cast all of your cares onto Him. Besides, He’s the only one that can help you anyway. Facts Only!!!
So while you’re going through your losses, know that God has something better. Just do your part. He has the rest covered.
Now I promise to get back on Facebook and Twitter more. I just needed time to process some things. I feel better now. Lol
Oh, on to Chance news, I will be shooting a PSA for the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. In the words of my cousin Bri, “Look at how God always has that ram in the bush!!” And I recently got back from New York. Doors continue to open. I’m excited that God is still allowing me to do something I love and still honor my beautiful baby at the same time!! Won’t He do it?? Yes, he will!!!