Chance’s 5th Angelversary 

April 3, 2012 started off like a regular day for us. Brandon, Chance and I got up and got ready for school and work. But for some reason on that morning, she was really quiet. Normally she would be running around the apartment and not letting me comb her hair but on this morning, she was chillin. I asked her what was wrong and she said “Nothing…”She wanted to wear her favorite outfit. It was something I bought for her birthday. A purple peplum shirt with black and white stripped pants. And she had on her YELLOW flip flops that she insisted on wearing. I told her they didn’t match but as usual she did what she wanted Well, we dropped Brandon off at school and I was taking her to daycare. Normally, we would be singing and laughing but on this morning she was just looking out of the window. I call my Mom every morning and Chance would talk to her but again on this morning Chance didn’t want to talk. So I dropped her off and I went to work.

While I was at work, I was on edge all day. Literally. Everything anyone said or did ticked me off!! I didn’t know what was going on. Well that day for some reason I felt that I needed to make amends with someone. And I did. I hadn’t talked to this person in about a year and a half. So that made me feel like I was making progress. My friend Erica and I planned to eat dinner at her house after work so I went to pick the kids up. When I got there, as usual, her hair looked like I never did anything to it. Lol. She ran up to me and hugged me like she did everyday and Brandon moseyed on to the car. This time on the way home she was singing and dancing like her normal self.
When we got home it was around 5:15. So I made the last minute decision to stay home and cook dinner. While I was cooking she was playing with Brandon and they were watching Netflix off and on. When I was done we sat down and ate. And she was super greedy but this night she ate everything on her plate. I said, “Were you hungry Chance?” and she just looked up and smiled at me. Brandon was picking at his food and I knew that he would want something else later. So I went to my room and I decided to wash my sheets because she slept with me that night and she had an accident in the bed and I knew that she wouldn’t sleep on them again unless they were clean.
After I put the sheets in the washer I went to the bathroom. While I was in the bathroom they went into Brandon’s room to watch TV. Well she was running in and out of my room. And I would say, “Chance get out of here” and she would laugh and run away. When she ran out the last time, I hid by my dresser knowing that she would come back in and I was right. She came back in and I said, “what are you doing Chance?” we were both laughing and she said, “I love you Mama’. I said, ” I love you too Chance”. I went back into the bathroom.
Three minutes later, Brandon runs into my room crying. I said, “What’s wrong Brandon?” He says, “The TV fell!!!” I’m thinking to myself, “Ok, why is he crying because the TV fell?” But I look in his face and I know something isn’t right. I run in there and I see something that will haunt me forever. I see my Chance underneath the dresser and she’s unconscious. I don’t know where my strength came from but I picked that dresser up and threw it and picked up my baby. I scream her name and she doesn’t respond to me. I run out of my apartment holding her screaming for help. The neighborhood kids come and they see me holding her and they start crying. I call 911. I’m still screaming and my neighbor Robin comes downstairs and calls my mom and tells her that she needs to get to Little Rock. The paramedics came and they couldn’t get her to respond. She starts vomiting because she’d just eaten. Still they couldn’t get her to respond. So they call Arkansas Children’s hospital and they airlift her. I couldn’t ride with her so Robin and her Fiance drive me to Little Rock. While on the road, my Aunt Carolyn calls me and tells me that everything will be fine and that nothing can get Chance down. Honestly, I didn’t believe her. Not for one minute. I’m crying and blaming myself the entire time. So when I get to the hospital, she hasn’t made it there. But my cousins have. I’m shaking and wondering what is going on. Then a Dr. comes in and tells me that, Chance has arrived but that it doesn’t look good. I jump up and I say, “What the hell do you mean it doesn’t look good? That’s my baby! What are you saying?” He says that her lung was collapsed and that she has severe head trauma. I told him that the dresser didn’t hit her head, that it was on her chest. He then asks what was on the dresser. I said, the TV was. Then I remember that the TV was on the other side of her when I got in the room. He said, “well the TV must’ve hit her…” My parents and brothers got there in record time and when they got there my Mom asked what was going on. I told her that they said it didn’t look good. She was in a daze and she like me, was saying, “what do mean?”…. By this time more of my family makes it and they give us a big conference room to accommodate everyone. About an hour later the Dr’s come in and tell us that it doesn’t look good and that the damage was too severe. I know that they were supposed to say that. They don’t give us any hope at all. We’re finally able to see her and when we do, oh my God, she looks nothing like herself. She’s swollen and still unconscious. I break down and cry. My mom is crying because this is not our baby. This is not the same baby that was singing and playing with me. I don’t stay in the room long because I couldn’t take seeing her like that. My Uncle Milton goes in the room and see’s her and he says, “She’ll be fine. She’ll be just fine…” I go into a room and I start saying, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus…” That’s all I can say. The doctors tell us that we need to make some decisions. My Daddy says that we’re going to let God heal her. So the Dr’s say that at Midnight they will run more tests and they’ll check and see if she has any activity in her brain. Well Midnight comes around and they say they did a test and they detected some activity. So at 6 am they would do a scan on her to see if she’s getting better. Well that time comes and passes and they can’t do it. She has a stroke overnight. They say she’s stabilized and that at 10 am they will test again. This is by far the longest day of my life. Well she doesn’t get better and so they come in and tell us that we need to start making decisions. They say that she will never be the same. So I made the hardest decision that I’m sure I’ll ever have to make. I made the decision to remove her from the life support. I went in her room and I held her for the last time. I sang “Love on Top” to her. I remember singing, ” Chance it’s you. You’re the one I love, you’re the one I need, you’re the only one I see. You’re the one that gives your all. You’re the one I’ll always call. When I need you, you make everything stop…You put my love on top…” While I’m holding her, she feels so heavy. And it seems like she grew overnight.
Everyone takes their turns holding her and at 4:44 pm on April 4, 2012, Sydney Chance Bowles, my baby girl, went to heaven. I’ve never experienced pain and heartache like that. I could not believe that I would be leaving the hospital without her. But I know that she’s better off but I’ll always wish that she was with me.
This year has been extremely hard. But I made it through. I never thought that I would. I didn’t think I would be able to live without her. And there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about her. I remember the good times because those are the only times we had. There were never bad days with Chance. She was a character. She’s the funniest child I’ve ever met. The prettiest little girl I’ll ever see.
I told this story to let you all know that life is not promised. I never realized how true that was until this happened. You won’t understand until something happens to you. It ticks me off when people know my story and they still act like what happened to us won’t happen to them. You’re not exempt. We weren’t.
God makes no mistakes and everything that we go through is for a purpose. Even when we don’t know the reasons. I think about the story of Joseph. He was sold by his brothers into slavery. He was accused of rape. He was put in prison. But through it all, it was for a reason. His brothers thought that they were hurting him but God. God allowed it all to happen and in the end Joseph was the one that helped his brothers. When they finally saw Joseph years after selling him, they were afraid. But Joseph told them, don’t be afraid. God allowed this to happen so I could help you all! He kept them from starving during the famine. His brothers meant it for bad but God knew that it was for their good.
Now I’m not comparing Chance to Joseph but since this has happened, she has saved lives. A lot of people never really thought about the dangers of falling furniture. But because God allowed it to happen to us, we’ve been able to open up the eyes of others. Now do I think it could’ve been done with her still being here, yes. But does God know best, yes! My baby doesn’t have to suffer. She doesn’t have to live in this crazy world. She’s able to sing and dance in Heaven. What more could I ask for? Do I miss her? Yes. But I know that she wouldn’t come back. I wouldn’t want her to. I always wanted her to be happy and now I know without a shadow of a doubt that she is….

Keisha

Dear Chance 

Chance…

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.

Love,

Your Mom.

 

 

 

 

 

Open letter to perfect parents

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…

Chance’s 4th angelversary

1460 days

35054 hours

2103264 minutes

126195855 seconds

This is how long it’s been since my baby has been gone. By far, this has been the hardest one for me. Reality has set in and I know that no matter how much I cry, how I beg God, how sick I get, my body aching from missing her so much, that she isn’t coming back. And that’s eating me up inside. 

I’m not going to say too much this time because there are no words to express the pain I’m in. 

I miss you Chance. I wonder how you’d be. If you’d still be the singer. If you’d still love Beyoncé. Maybe you’d like the same cartoons that Da’sia and Krys like. Would you and Brandon be like Dylan and Da? I saw them last week playing and I thought about you and Brandon. I’m sure you and Mommy would be getting your nails done every two weeks. Daddy would probably have you fishing by now. Memo would still be wrapped around your finger. And Darrick would have you singing, dancing and probably playing golf. I’m sure you’d still be around Erika and Shamari would be crazy about you. And with Granny every time school is out.  There were so many plans for you. 

Well I’m getting emotional again so I’m going to end this. Here is the blog from 2013. Please share it. I don’t want another family to go through this. 

Hopefully I can make it through another year….

On this day last year, my life changed forever. Actually, my life changed on April 3,2012 at 7:15 pm. Literally, my life changed within a matter of minutes.
April 3, 2012 started off like a regular day for us. Brandon, Chance and I got up and got ready for school and work. But for some reason on that morning, she was really quiet. Normally she would be running around the apartment and not letting me comb her hair but on this morning, she was chillin. I asked her what was wrong and she said “Nothing…”She wanted to wear her favorite outfit. It was something I bought for her birthday. A purple peplum shirt with black and white stripped pants. And she had on her YELLOW flip flops that she insisted on wearing. I told her they didn’t match but as usual she did what she wanted Well, we dropped Brandon off at school and I was taking her to daycare. Normally, we would be singing and laughing but on this morning she was just looking out of the window. I call my Mom every morning and Chance would talk to her but again on this morning Chance didn’t want to talk. So I dropped her off and I went to work.

While I was at work, I was on edge all day. Literally. Everything anyone said or did ticked me off!! I didn’t know what was going on. Well that day for some reason I felt that I needed to make amends with someone. And I did. I hadn’t talked to this person in about a year and a half. So that made me feel like I was making progress. My friend Erica and I planned to eat dinner at her house after work so I went to pick the kids up. When I got there, as usual, her hair looked like I never did anything to it. Lol. She ran up to me and hugged me like she did everyday and Brandon moseyed on to the car. This time on the way home she was singing and dancing like her normal self.

When we got home it was around 5:15. So I made the last minute decision to stay home and cook dinner. While I was cooking she was playing with Brandon and they were watching Netflix off and on. When I was done we sat down and ate. And she was super greedy but this night she ate everything on her plate. I said, “Were you hungry Chance?” and she just looked up and smiled at me. Brandon was picking at his food and I knew that he would want something else later. So I went to my room and I decided to wash my sheets because she slept with me that night and she had an accident in the bed and I knew that she wouldn’t sleep on them again unless they were clean.

After I put the sheets in the washer I went to the bathroom. While I was in the bathroom they went into Brandon’s room to watch TV. Well she was running in and out of my room. And I would say, “Chance get out of here” and she would laugh and run away. When she ran out the last time, I hid by my dresser knowing that she would come back in and I was right. She came back in and I said, “what are you doing Chance?” we were both laughing and she said, “I love you Mama’. I said, ” I love you too Chance”. I went back into the bathroom.

Three minutes later, Brandon runs into my room crying. I said, “What’s wrong Brandon?” He says, “The TV fell!!!” I’m thinking to myself, “Ok, why is he crying because the TV fell?” But I look in his face and I know something isn’t right. I run in there and I see something that will haunt me forever. I see my Chance underneath the dresser and she’s unconscious. I don’t know where my strength came from but I picked that dresser up and threw it and picked up my baby. I scream her name and she doesn’t respond to me. I run out of my apartment holding her screaming for help. The neighborhood kids come and they see me holding her and they start crying. I call 911. I’m still screaming and my neighbor Robin comes downstairs and calls my mom and tells her that she needs to get to Little Rock. The paramedics came and they couldn’t get her to respond. She starts vomiting because she’d just eaten. Still they couldn’t get her to respond. So they call Arkansas Children’s hospital and they airlift her. I couldn’t ride with her so Robin and her Fiance drive me to Little Rock. While on the road, my Aunt Carolyn calls me and tells me that everything will be fine and that nothing can get Chance down. Honestly, I didn’t believe her. Not for one minute. I’m crying and blaming myself the entire time. So when I get to the hospital, she hasn’t made it there. But my cousins have. I’m shaking and wondering what is going on. Then a Dr. comes in and tells me that, Chance has arrived but that it doesn’t look good. I jump up and I say, “What the hell do you mean it doesn’t look good? That’s my baby! What are you saying?” He says that her lung was collapsed and that she has severe head trauma. I told him that the dresser didn’t hit her head, that it was on her chest. He then asks what was on the dresser. I said, the TV was. Then I remember that the TV was on the other side of her when I got in the room. He said, “well the TV must’ve hit her…” My parents and brothers got there in record time and when they got there my Mom asked what was going on. I told her that they said it didn’t look good. She was in a daze and she like me, was saying, “what do mean?”…. By this time more of my family makes it and they give us a big conference room to accommodate everyone. About an hour later the Dr’s come in and tell us that it doesn’t look good and that the damage was too severe. I know that they were supposed to say that. They don’t give us any hope at all. We’re finally able to see her and when we do, oh my God, she looks nothing like herself. She’s swollen and still unconscious. I break down and cry. My mom is crying because this is not our baby. This is not the same baby that was singing and playing with me. I don’t stay in the room long because I couldn’t take seeing her like that. My Uncle Milton goes in the room and see’s her and he says, “She’ll be fine. She’ll be just fine…” I go into a room and I start saying, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus…” That’s all I can say. The doctors tell us that we need to make some decisions. My Daddy says that we’re going to let God heal her. So the Dr’s say that at Midnight they will run more tests and they’ll check and see if she has any activity in her brain. Well Midnight comes around and they say they did a test and they detected some activity. So at 6 am they would do a scan on her to see if she’s getting better. Well that time comes and passes and they can’t do it. She has a stroke overnight. They say she’s stabilized and that at 10 am they will test again. This is by far the longest day of my life. Well she doesn’t get better and so they come in and tell us that we need to start making decisions. They say that she will never be the same. So I made the hardest decision that I’m sure I’ll ever have to make. I made the decision to remove her from the life support. I went in her room and I held her for the last time. I sang “Love on Top” to her. I remember singing, ” Chance it’s you. You’re the one I love, you’re the one I need, you’re the only one I see. You’re the one that gives your all. You’re the one I’ll always call. When I need you, you make everything stop…You put my love on top…” While I’m holding her, she feels so heavy. And it seems like she grew overnight.

Everyone takes their turns holding her and at 4:44 pm on April 4, 2012, Sydney Chance Bowles, my baby girl, went to heaven. I’ve never experienced pain and heartache like that. I could not believe that I would be leaving the hospital without her. But I know that she’s better off but I’ll always wish that she was with me.

This year has been extremely hard. But I made it through. I never thought that I would. I didn’t think I would be able to live without her. And there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about her. I remember the good times because those are the only times we had. There were never bad days with Chance. She was a character. She’s the funniest child I’ve ever met. The prettiest little girl I’ll ever see.

I told this story to let you all know that life is not promised. I never realized how true that was until this happened. You won’t understand until something happens to you. It ticks me off when people know my story and they still act like what happened to us won’t happen to them. You’re not exempt. We weren’t.

God makes no mistakes and everything that we go through is for a purpose. Even when we don’t know the reasons. I think about the story of Joseph. He was sold by his brothers into slavery. He was accused of rape. He was put in prison. But through it all, it was for a reason. His brothers thought that they were hurting him but God. God allowed it all to happen and in the end Joseph was the one that helped his brothers. When they finally saw Joseph years after selling him, they were afraid. But Joseph told them, don’t be afraid. God allowed this to happen so I could help you all! He kept them from starving during the famine. His brothers meant it for bad but God knew that it was for their good.

Now I’m not comparing Chance to Joseph but since this has happened, she has saved lives. A lot of people never really thought about the dangers of falling furniture. But because God allowed it to happen to us, we’ve been able to open up the eyes of others. Now do I think it could’ve been done with her still being here, yes. But does God know best, yes! My baby doesn’t have to suffer. She doesn’t have to live in this crazy world. She’s able to sing and dance in Heaven. What more could I ask for? Do I miss her? Yes. But I know that she wouldn’t come back. I wouldn’t want her to. I always wanted her to be happy and now I know without a shadow of a doubt that she is….

I want to thank my Family. You all have really stepped up for me during this year. My parents and my brothers, you stepped in for Brandon and I when I stepped out. When I wasn’t able to take care of Brandon, You all did. I love you all more than you will ever know. My Aunt Lynn, Shun, Leslie and Erika, I don’t know what I would’ve done without you all. I love all of yall and those babies!!! My Aunt Carolyn…I love you and I know you’ve been going through but I thank God for you everyday! My Aunt Shirley, I know you weren’t around Chance much but I thank you and your daughters for everything you’ve done for us! I love you all. My Uncles Sonny, Rickey and Ronnie and your wives, yall are the quiet ones but after Chance passed you came in, took over and you’ve been doing for me every since. I can never question the love yall have for me and I love you all! All 100 of my cousins. Yall have been here for me and I know yall love me just like I love yall. I wish everyone had the kind of family that I have. My cousins Bri and Arielle, there’s not a day that goes by that one of you doesn’t check on me. And if I need you, you’re always there. Even if it’s just for laughs. I love you all too. My friends, Keshia and Erica, yall have only been in my life for a year but I feel like I’ve known yall forever. I was blessed when you came into my life and I will never trade the true friendship that I have with you. I love yall squanches too. Barney, you stepped in and you’ve been there for me from day one. There’s nothing that you haven’t and wouldn’t do for us. I wouldn’t trade you for ANYTHING!!! And I’m glad that we’re friends. You mean the world to me! Tassha, girl, you are the best. You’ve done so much and you’ve always been there. I love you Chick. My HP family, even though I’m not there, I feel and felt the love that you all have and I’m thankful for you all too. True Holiness…I love yall. Enough said! Ms Jeannie and Ms Deborah, I love yall for what you did for Chance and Brandon. If I could put you in every daycare in the world I would. Twin, I love you and I couldn’t have picked a better Godmother for Chance. You treated her like she was yours, since day one!!! I love you much. SafeKids Worldwide, thank you for allowing us to tell our story and for making Chance face of that division. I know this was all God’s doing. My Earle Class of 99, I grew up with yall and when tragedy struck my life, I realized the how much yall love me and how much I love yall. I’m so thankful for yall. Macho, I love you. Enough said. God is really working in your life and you’re going to be a testimony soon!!

If I forgot anyone, charge it to my head and not my heart. I thank everyone for everything and I appreciate the love and support you’ve shown and given my family during this difficult year.

Keisha

Beads from heaven…literally

So, I think everyone that knows me can tell you that this is a rough time of year for me. Everything makes me think of Brandon and Chance. We really enjoyed her last Thanksgiving and Christmas. The shopping, decorating the tree, riding around looking at the lights and listening to holiday music. Chance and Brandon trying to open presents before Christmas. So many memories. This is a hard time for me.

Well last night I went to bed and as usual, I dreamed about her. I woke up with an extremely heavy heart. I wanted to stay in bed all day. But I made myself get up and go to church. So while they were conducting the devotional prayer, I looked down and saw the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in a while. Beads!!!!

image

I saw all of these beads scattered at my feet. Chance made her presence known. Even when I can’t see her, she’s with me! It’s so amazing. Chance loved having her hair braided and she loved these beads. She really did. And I always find them in the most random places.

I’m so glad I pushed myself. I would have missed out on this beautiful gift…

Beads from my angel…

Side note : If you’ve lost someone in your life, the connection you had is still there. Just look for the signs. Some are obvious. Some are small. God knows what you need and He’ll make sure you receive it. Stay in tune. Stay open. Your loved one is always there.

 

Dear Chance…

You have no idea how much my heart aches from missing you. My life has a void that I know will never be filled. You’re gone. My life is incomplete. I will never be the same.

It’s been three years since I’ve gotten one of your sloppy, juicy kisses. One of your hugs. Heard you sing a Beyonce song (I know we would have danced to 7/11).Three years since I’ve seen you dance to anything that had a beat. I haven’t been kicked in the face by you when you came and got in bed with me around this time of night. Three years since I’ve went to Popeyes and bought you a two piece dinner with the Cajun fries. I miss hearing you say,  “Mama..” and “Bannon”. Three years since I’ve had to make you stop being mean to my other baby Brandon.

Life is definitely not the same. Everyday,  Brandon and I bring up your name in conversation. You’re never far away from our thoughts. Our future….what is that? It’s hard to plan since you’re not here. I feel guilty about doing new things because I can’t experience them with you. Everything is so bittersweet.

I wonder what you would be like now. You’d be 5 years old. Going to the first grade. Did you know that you have your own kindergarten diploma?
image

I wonder how many friends you would have? How would you have liked your teacher? Would you be riding your bike yet? Would you still be a mini fashionista? Would you be excelling in the gymnastic and dance classes I planned on putting you in? Would you know how to swim yet? And would we have problems because your mouth would be smart and sassy like mine? Probably…

But I know that where you are, those things I wonder don’t matter. You’re doing so much better than you ever would here. You wouldn’t want to come back here. In a way, I wouldn’t want you too. You’re with Jesus. You won the race. I’m still running. I’m trying to make it there. The way this world is right now, I’d worry about you. People are so cold and uncaring. I wouldn’t want you to experience this. I’m glad you’ll never experience heartbreak. Being lied to. Turned against. Mistreated. Misused. Taken for granted. That would hurt me. God knows…

I miss you everyday. Through your leaving me, I’ve learned my purpose. I’m carrying on your legacy baby girl. I’m “helping the babies” like you’re doing. I’m helping their mothers. I’m fighting for you while missing you. These tears I’m crying are not all tears of sadness. I’m proud to be your Mom.

I’ll see you again. We’ll be together again.

Love you,

Mama

P.S. I’m almost there…

About last night…

So last night during the Super Bowl, the company Nationwide Insurance, aired a commercial about a little boy. He may have been 5 or 6, I’m not sure. Anyway, during the commercial the kid says, this is the link
Make Safe Happen – Nationwide 2015 Super Bowl Commercial: http://youtu.be/dKUy-tfrIHY

“I’ll never learn to ride a bike…”
“Or get cooties…”
“I’ll never learn to fly…”
“Or travel the world with my best friend…”
“And I won’t ever get married…”
“I couldn’t grow up because I died from an accident…”

What’s happening is, Nationwide insurance has added Home Safety to their services offered. How they’re going to keep your homes safe? I have no idea. However, they want you to “Make Safe Happen”. So many children die from preventable accidents in their homes everyday. But if you’re wrapped up in the love of God, you’ll know that He allows things to happen no matter how many precautions you try to take.

Most people didn’t know that I was a part of this. In September in Washington, DC, me and a group of other parents that have lost our children or have children that have been injured due to accidents in the home, individually met with a marketing representative and they showed us a few possible commercials that they would like to air. When it came to this story, I cried so hard that I had to catch my breath. We had to take a break so I could compose myself. Imagine being in a room of strangers and you break down. It’s very uncomfortable. They asked, “Keisha, why did these words cause this reaction?” I told them, “This is reality for me. Chance will never get to do any of those things and that hurts me.” They asked if I thought this would get the attention of parents? I said, “Definitely”…

I had no idea that so many people would be so upset about this. But it served it’s purpose. You’re talking about it. And if you never thought about the possibility of your child being injured by drowning in a bathtub, or your child getting into the cabinets and drinking bleach or ingesting washing powder or do you think that a TV can’t fall on your child when you turn your head? Well if you didn’t think about it before, I’m sure you’re thinking now.

I don’t like the thought of children dying but they do. We can’t control it but we can definitely take the necessary measures to make sure that we’re doing OUR part.

Obviously, it’s not in good taste to show the MILLIONS of people that watched the Super Bowl that hey, while you’re watching this game, your child that you’re supposed to have your eyes on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week could be exploring your house and since you told them to never touch the Clorox, while you’re cheering for the Patriots, they’re being curious kids and they’re wondering what’s so wrong with the bleach. I mean, you did tell them to never touch it right? Or your child that’s in their room watching a movie on TV and they can’t change the channel. Well you’re so engrossed in the game and you shoo them away so they have to change the channel themselves. So they pull out dresser drawers to make stares to climb to reach the TV and their weight pulls the dresser and TV on them.

Hmmmmm….Nationwide is wrong though?

I was on Social Media last night and I can’t describe the feelings that I felt. People felt that it was distasteful. That it was shown at the wrong time. It was depressing. You didn’t want to see a dead kid. But guess what? Children die. I’m a grieving mother that lost my 2 year old daughter to a TV and dresser falling on her. I still feel that guilt. The shame. I think of dead children daily. These are children of parents that wish the world would talk about their kids. But now, the world is talking and now you’re upset.

There is never a right time to talk about children dying. Never. I don’t care how you try to paint the picture, it’s not going to come out the way you want. Because, hey, it’s a dead child.

But I’m not taking away from the families that feel hurt and anger behind this. I’m just asking for you to understand. Not all children die from accidents in the home. And if yours didn’t, the commercial wasn’t for you. If your child was murdered, kidnapped, had SIDs, Cancer or any other kind of freak accident—from the bottom of my heart, I’m sorry. But because MY daughter Chance left this earth in a way I NEVER would have dreamed of, I want the world to know. If that commercial only made ONE family buy an anchor or strap for the TV’s, I’m completely happy.

That’s what the commercial was trying to do. Make you aware! They weren’t trying to open wounds. They weren’t trying to make you feel guilty. They wanted to give a voice to those of us who lost our children in our homes. The place we thought our children were safe in. That’s all.

Honestly, anything can trigger a grieving mother. I was looking a picture of Chance’s hands a couple of weeks ago and said, ” I will never be able to hold her hand again…” this is my reality. But because I have God as my anchor, I’m able to see the good in it. I’m able to see that HE wasn’t trying to hurt me. He’s my foundation. And if only ONE child was saved, that’s enough.

So Nationwide Insurance, thank you for making people aware. I hate the backlash that you’re receiving. Thank you for unknowingly giving the world another day, another CHANCE to get their homes safe. Together we can all “Make Safe Happen…”

Go to http://www.makesafehappen.com to check out safety tips based on your childs age and locations. It’s a really great thing….

Be blessed.

Keisha