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.

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday to ME!!

Greetings,

I’ve turned a year older and I literally feel the age increase in body! It’s funny but true. I’ve turned 36 years old on today but this year is a year of awakening for me. I’ve been in such a funk the past couple of months. Dealing with some health issues. Some deaths in my family. Raising Brandon. Working for Sydney Chance. Trying to date but not getting anywhere. (you can click on Single Life to start reading those stories).

Anyway, I’ve been working on this site for a few weeks. I change something everyday. But I’m pretty pleased with the results. I decided to start following things through. So I’m extremely proud of myself. I hope I can keep this momentum going. Because I have a ton of things I want to accomplish in this 36th year of my life.

I’m so thankful that I’ve made it this far. I know that if Satan had his way, I woulda BEEN out this piece. Lol

If you’re like me, you’ve experienced some heartache. Some disappointment. Sleepless nights. Uncertainty. Helplessness. Unworthiness, so forth and so on. And if you’re like me, these things have totally reshaped you. Sometimes they make you better. And sometimes they change you to the point where you don’t know who or what are you are anymore.

Don’t beat yourself up. It happens to everyone at some point. But the great thing about it is, while you’re breathing, you can let it break you or it can make you better than ever.

Being a woman, we have so many challenges. We’re most times single women. Single mothers. Hard workers. We’re the backbones of our families. But we’re also the ones that have to endure the most. The great thing about it is, God made us strong. And we are able to endure anything.  Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for having a hard time. Just don’t let that hard time get you too far down. But even if it gets you down, you can always get back up.

For five years, I’ve been living in a state of confusion. Chance passed away and I became lost. I became depressed. I got sick. I gained weight. Chile, my skin even broke out. I’ve just been here. And you won’t believe it but I didn’t snap out of this until 2/7/17. A month ago when I was out for a walk with my brother and his dog Mitus. I had my music set to ALL of the Beyonce’s songs that I have in my phone and this song called “Runnin” came on. And when I tell you it hit me and woke me up….It did.

See, I got so caught up in my grief. So caught up in the fact that I was single. So lost in the fact that I haven’t accomplished all of the things that I thought that I should have by this age. I thought about the women around me who seem to have it all and I realized that I could too. But then I had to keep in mind that I don’t know the roads that they had to travel to get to that point. I had to remember to, that everything isn’t always as it seems. They seem happy and I hope they are, but are they really? I FINALLY realized that, everything has a time and a place. That everybody has a purpose. And just because mine isn’t social media perfect doesn’t mean that it’s not good.

A lot of women can’t survive what I’ve been through. And I’m not able to handle some of the things that you’ve been through. That’s why we are who we are. And we should be thankful for that. We are all wonderfully made with our own unique purposes. Tap into yours. Don’t live in fear. Don’t let people tell you what you should do. Follow your heart and ask God for direction. Know that it won’t be easy but it will be worth it.

Let me tell you what Beyonce said in her song(she just inspires me so much)

“I Ain’t runnin’ from myself no more
Together we’ll win it all.
Ain’t runnin’ from myself no more
I’m ready to face it all
If I lose myself, I lose it all”

So, don’t lose yourself in your circumstances. Embrace who you are. All of your flaws. All of your mistakes. All of the pain. All of the heartache. Take all of that and be you. Don’t run from anything anymore.

Also Solange has a song called “Rise” and it’s moved me too.

She say’s

 “Fall in your ways, so you can crumble” “Fall in your ways so you can sleep at night” “Fall in your ways so you can wake up and rise…..”

So what she’s basically saying to fall in your ways, the bad ones. Fall into them so you can sleep at night but when you wake up you should RISE! And walk in your purpose.

This is the year of learning and finding myself. If I lose myself I loose it at all….

I can’t lose again. I won’t lose again! 

Keisha

 

 

 

Who’s fighting for you?

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…

The butterfly…

I’m sitting here at work and I’m a little down today because it seems like the things that I really want in my life seem to pass me by and go on to others. I sometimes think, “Dang, don’t I deserve SOME of the things I pray and ask for?” And today while I’m ALL in my feelings I started reading on the internet and I came across this.

Quick little story…

A man found the cocoon of a butterfly. One day, a small opening appeared. The man sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force it’s body through the little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and that it could go no further. So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small shriveled wings.The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected at any moment the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body which would contract in time. Neither happened. In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It was never able to fly. What the man, in kindness did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. If God allowed us to go through our lives without any obstacles, it could and would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. We could never fly.
When you ask God for strength, He gives you difficulties to make you strong. When you ask for wisdom, God will give you problems to solve. If you ask for prosperity, He will give you a brain and will to work. Ask for courage and He will give you dangers to overcome. You can ask for love and He will give you troubled people to help. Ask for favor and you will get opportunities you weren’t qualified for. You may not receive everything you want, how YOU wanted but you will get everything you NEED.
So basically (and this is what I’ve always known) everybody won’t run the race at that the same pace. Some may come in first. Some come in third. Some come in last. But at the end of the day, the goal is to cross the finish line.
A few weeks ago, I dropped Brandon off in Brinkley but on the way back  I said to myself, “I’m taking the back way home.” It was raining and I know that traffic can back up any time on Hwy 70. So as I was driving I can still see Hwy 55. Well, I drove at a good pace. Enjoying the scenery and I look over at Hwy 55. The traffic is slowing down. And I’m just cruising along listening to my music. Minding my business. Lol. Then I look over again and traffic is at a stand still. I’m thinking, what happened? They were just moving. I drive up and I see that there’s a car accident. But while their lane has stopped, mine is still moving. So I speed up and I pass the car accident but then I’M stuck! Other cars and trucks decided to take a shortcut and it stopped me! By now, I’ve passed the car accident on 55 but their lane is moving and I’m stuck. Then it hit me. We’re all going the same direction but our trips will not be the same. Those that know me KNOW that I got emotional. We were all going in the same direction. 
 With all of that being said. Trust your journey. You may see other’s getting married, getting promotions, having babies, buying houses and traveling while you’re wondering when you will be blessed with these things but GOD knows. You don’t know what they’ve gone through to get to that point. You will get there too. Your journey isn’t theirs and theirs isn’t yours.
So I will TRY to be patient and know that God is getting me ready and when I’m blessed with the things I desire, I’ll be able to appreciate them.
 
Remember your journey is YOURS! What I’ve been through could have killed you. What you’ve been through, could have harmed me. Learn the lessons so you can pass the tests.
You’ve got this!
Be blessed.

Going up…

Brandon and I were driving home tonight and I had my music playing from my phone. Now, I have some of everything in my library from Evanescence to Beyonce to Tupac to John P Kee, lol. I love music and if I can get meaning out of it, even better. 

Well, it’s quite ironic that this song I grew up hearing came on. I haven’t heard it in a while but it’s so befitting right now. So many people are suffering from painful, life threatening, difficult illnesses. They want to get better and they try so hard to hold on. Or they are involved in freak accidents that leave them on ventilators and leaving family members with the heartbreaking tasks of removing them from life support. (My family and I have been there with Chance). A couple of months ago, I lost a relative to a motorcycle accident. He fought for a few days. Until he couldn’t anymore. (Another blog for another time)

Anyway, we want for them to make it out of these situations. For us. But they are going through so much. It’s almost unbearable for them. They hold on in pain and agony for us. Because they know how hard their leaving will be on us. They love us that much that they’ll go through the chemos, the therapy, the surgeries, etc just to be here for us. But they’d rather be free from the suffering. 

Back to our ride home. This song came on that most people in my age group( I know my brother Zrano knows it because our parents played it ALL the time) and older know. It’s called “Going up Yonder” by Walter Hawkins and the Love Center Choir. Now, when you’re a kid, you can’t really understand the meanings behind these songs. But when you get older and you experience some things, these words can speak to your heart like nothing else. The part in the song that completely broke me down tonight’s says, 

I can take the pain

The heartaches they bring

The comfort in knowing

I’ll soon be gone
As God gives me grace

I’ll run this race

Until I see my Savior

Face to face

So to me, what this says is, our loved ones can endure the pain of their illnesses. They will take on the hurt but they find comfort in knowing that once it’s over, they’ll be safe in the arms of Jesus. They know that God gives them the strength to gracefully enter His Kingdom. Once the temporary suffering is over, they’ll be face to face with Him. 

Let me tell you that Brandon had to ask me if I was ok because I cried like a baby. I told him I was great because as long as we have breath, we have another “chance” to get our lives together. 

So for those that are facing illness and possibly death. Those who have lost family members. Those who have family members that are in pain and facing some difficult situations, pray for peace for them while their transitioning. For those family members that have gone on, they’ve gone up yonder and we wouldn’t want them here in the state they were in. God has made them whole and new. They are soooooo happy. Be thankful for that. 

I’m going to leave the song here for those who’ve never heard it. I promise, it will bless you. 

K. Bowles 

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…