Linda Bates can rest much easier these days, "well I certainly don't want River and Leland's memory to be forgotten." For more than a year she says she suffered with the loss of her grandchildren; River, 3, and Leland, 5, but now peace has found its way to her heart. "Because of the Lord, the peace that passes and the understanding that he's given to us. I thank him for that," she says.
It was in late June, 2012 when the boys died after their core body temperature rose to fatal levels. The two had been left in a hot car.
Late last year the boys mother, Tasha Bates, was sentenced to two life terms in prison for the death of her sons. Prosecutors painted a picture of anegligentt mother who abused drugs. Since then River and Leland's older brother, Skyler, started a campaign to fight meth and drug abuse, a push that's still going strong two years after his brother's deaths.
"We've seen where lives have been changed because of our story and that's why we want to get the story out. We want to see that other people don't go through the same tragedy we did," Bates says.
Faith, family and friends have helped Bates get through these trying years but when she thinks of her grandchildren now all she can do is smile. "They were brothers, they loved each other dearly. Where one was the other was so now one is in heaven and the other is in heaven," she says.