Micheshia Norment, left, holds onto friend Christopher 2X as she prepares to release balloons into the sky in memorial of her son, Dequante Hobbs Jr. He was shot by a stray bullet through their kitchen window in the west end of Louisville, Ky. the night before. He was 7.
The accident struck while Dequante was eating cake two days before his first grade graduation. Micheshia tattooed her arm with her son's face and reminds the Louisville community of her loss by diligently painting her car windows in memory of him.
Smoke drifts into the sky from fireworks at a Louisville family gathering on July 4th, which had been Dequante's favorite holiday.
Micheshia sips a drink in Master P's bus on the way to his concert in New Orleans. A photo of Dequante was displayed for thousands to see while Master P sang "I Miss My Homies."
Micheshia rests on her mother, Priscilla's, lap after a long day at the Essence Festival in New Orleans. Family is still Micheshia's life blood.
Zanique Norment, 3, Micheshia's only other child, wraps her arm around her mother's leg at a family barbecue in Louisville. "What do you tell to a three-year-old that's been with her brother for three years, since she came onto this earth from my stomach? He's gone to another life," Micheshia says. "We may not see him, but he sees us. That's the only way I can explain it to my daughter."
Micheshia, right, looks at her daughter, Zanique, as she sits in the car driver's seat and pretends to drive. After Dequante was killed, Micheshia considered suicide but decided to fight for her daughter instead, knowing that's what Dequante would want.
"When I go in that house it's evil," Micheshia says as she packs up her old house where Dequante was shot. "I feel it should be nobody else moving in that house. It's a danger hazard, especially if a person has children."
Over a month after Dequante's funeral, deflated Paw Patrol balloons blow into the street after barely holding onto his front porch rail. These were his favorite cartoon characters.
Micheshia worships at church with her mother and answered the alter call by putting her trust in God. She often shares encouraging Bible verses.
Until Micheshia can raise enough money for a headstone, a mere dirt hole is all that’s left of her son, Dequante Jr. "I like to talk to my son face to face,” she says. “Talking to a ground ain't my thing but I don't have a choice."
Micheshia, her mother, and other family members light lanterns in honor of Dequante Jr. in New Orleans.
Knova Abshire, 4, explores the bedroom of his late cousin, Dequante Jr. in Louisville, Ky. where they used to play together.
Micheshia plays with Dequante's old bike and scooter in her new home. Only 10 minutes away from her old house in the west end, this is in a much safer area of Louisville.
"Hearing the water, the waves, come up was so relaxing," Micheshia says, soaking in an opportunity to decompress after her New Orleans getaway where she was honored by rapper Master P and experienced the ocean for the first time.
Micheshia wades in a New Orleans beach for her first time with her cousin, Neca Jones.