The Last Day

Today is the day – the last day when my phone will stop sending me photo notifications of my life with you – of life, period – for tomorrow the only thing recorded from one year ago is the endless wander through the depths of oblivion.

On the morning of October 28, 2020, I was the happiest girl there ever was. Shortly after midnight on October 29, 2020, I had suffered the worst trauma of my life, experiencing such unbearable pain, it would shake me to the very core and essence of who I am – and who I will be, forever. Some people are marked. I am one of those people.

I’ve chosen to share this today, October 28th, rather than the 10/29 date appearing on a Los Angeles County death certificate because James Edward Wallace, Jr., the most powerful life force there ever was, took his last breaths of life on earth filled with joy, happiness and togetherness, one year ago today – unlike the first minutes and hours of 10/29 when I held his lifeless, dead body in my arms for hours and hours, enduring the deafening and deathly sound of nothingness.

They say God doesn’t make mistakes but when you live your life believing you’re one of his favorites until suddenly, everything you are, know and believe is ripped away in the most profoundly painful way, you have two choices – lie down in defeat or have faith that it’s all part of the plan.

Once upon a time, I had the greatest love there ever was – or will be…

October 28, 2020, started like any other day – a beautiful fall morning. There was that special something in the air you feel when the seasons are about to change, when you know the holidays are near – a time for celebration and joy with those you love the most. My forever love, James and I were marveling at the blessings bestowed upon us, as we often did – grateful to God for bringing us together – living each moment passionately with joy and excitement. We never stopped staring at one another in awe and wonderment.

THE LAST WEEK

In the days leading up to October 28th, James had a glow about him that I had never witnessed in all my life. In fact, I couldn’t take my eyes off him. He was like a magnet, pulling me in with great force.

I commented, “Wow Baby, you’re glowing – really glowing – more than I’ve ever seen anyone glowing before! I know I’m always telling you how gorgeous you are, but something is different this time.”

He took my hand, gave me that shy, boyish smile and replied, “You’re the beautiful one! You’re always glowing!”

But I could sense that I was witnessing something beyond the physical – something glorious and magnificent.

“Well, if I’m glowing Baby, it’s only because of you, I replied flirtatiously.

They say when you’re happy, look around and see who’s with you. ‘Nuff said.

I was always flirting with my man. I couldn’t help myself – this man was hot. He stood 6’5” tall with the broadest of shoulders – shoulders that courageously carried the weight of everyone’s problems. His beautiful, angelic, chiseled face was sculpted by God himself who hand-painted his signature in James’ eyes. This was why James could always see beauty in a world that is so cruel. When he held me tight, wrapping me in his massive, strong arms, I knew I was home – safe and warm; deeply and passionately loved and protected. His beautiful, guiding hands fit so perfectly into mine and showed signs that he had worked hard his whole life. His midbody was long and held the greatest of all treasures – the most giving, caring heart – one he had protected his whole life until he gave it to me – entrusting me with it forever. His legs held up the foundation of a monument that stood for peace, equality, justice, freedom, fairness, and love.

I remember being in our convertible, top down – the sun shining on James’ face as he drove. I swear beacons of light were coming from the sky connecting directly to James surrounding his entire body with light and energy. The warm breeze was unusual for the end of October. It never gets too cold in Los Angeles, but it felt more like summer during that week.

James was holding my hand tightly. I don’t recall a time when James wasn’t holding my hand or when we weren’t touching each other in some way. Even in the kitchen when James would make smoothies or when we would walk at the park or take a phone call – automatically, we cuddled. The intensity of the pull to one another was powerful. I have never experienced this in all my life.

We had been working hard throughout the summer, putting the pieces together for our new music publishing and record companies. We were getting ready to make significant announcements about our professional partnership, and personal one – each of us making monumental changes with so much excitement and joy about our future.

I remember James saying, “Baby, let’s get away and make time for just us,” longing and desiring to spend time alone doing the things we love… and all that – far away from people, emails, phone calls and constant interruptions.

James was so sensitive and tuned into me, he could sense that I wanted and needed to get away too. So many things were happening for us, so fast, I was in full planning and workaholic mode, some days working 20 hours with James right there by my side, working just as hard. But James never forgot to make me the priority. My needs were always first to him – always. Even when I forgot to take care of me, James never did.

He used to say, “I got you, Baby, 24/7.”

And I would reply, “And I got you, Baby, 25/8.”

I did want to get away but there was always something I had to do.

“Right after Thanksgiving, Baby. I’m so ready for the holidays,” I replied.

I was so excited for Thanksgiving to come and soon thereafter, share my second Christmas with James. Our first, and what would be our only Christmas together in 2019, will always be one of my most cherished memories. I made a book for James, which poetically told, and artistically illustrated our story from the time we met in Detroit, three months earlier on September 22, 2019, through December. It brought him to tears.

“No one has ever done something so incredible for me in all of my life.”

I remember feeling happy that he loved it so much, but also sad that no one had ever done anything like that for him in 59 years, especially after all he had given his whole life.

Christmas, 2020 was going to be like no other – the most wondrous, magical Christmas there ever was. Growing up, I have such beautiful memories of Christmas. No matter how tough things got during the year, my father always made sure that Christmastime was magical. He wrote some of the most beloved Christmas songs of all time – songs of hope and love for a brighter day that are shared by people all around the world every year. Christmas has always been such a meaningful time for me but now, it would mean even more.

For this, our second Christmas together, I planned a feast fit for a king – because James was my king. During the year, I don’t have a lot of time to cook but for Christmas, I spend days cooking and baking as my family gathers to sing, laugh, watch movies, hang lights, wrap presents, and walk around in matching pj’s. I also planned on getting the tallest Christmas tree because there was so much love and hope in the air. I wanted James to be the one to place the star atop this wondrous symbol of peace and joy. A few days before he died, James and I found the most beautiful star. I tucked it away, anxiously awaiting December and the new beginning of a beloved family tradition and celebration of us.

The holidays had almost arrived, but I remember just wanting to get through November. We had the impending 2020 presidential election, our big announcements, and a couple of things to finish up – dissolving other interests, establishing the foundation of our estate plan, and setting up the legal formation of our business. After we wrapped these items, we had planned on taking December off to celebrate it all – but mostly to celebrate our love. We both knew how to work hard, but we knew how to love even harder – and now that we were together, enjoy life’s precious and most blessed moments. Although we had been working around the clock and I didn’t want to travel, in the days leading up to James’ death, we did step away from work completely to share in our favorite pastime – marveling at the blessing of each other. Every day was a celebration of our love.

That week, we drove to the top of Topanga Canyon – a beautiful lookout point with breathtaking views of Warner Center, Woodland Hills (where we lived) and other parts of the San Fernando Valley (Los Angeles). I’m not sure what compelled us to drive up there on that day. We had never been to the lookout point together before, and I hadn’t been there in years. We had driven by several times on our way to Malibu but had never stopped there. It was golden hour just before sunset, the sky full of gold light, glowing with rare color and tone. Nobody was there, just us – we had the whole place to ourselves. The beauty was heavenly, surely painted for us by God.

We sat on a bench in a wooded area breathing in what we were witnessing and the richness of our blessings. He held both my hands and my right leg was over his left. He pulled me on top of him where I could straddle his body and look directly into his eyes. Kissing James was a spiritual experience. Yes, he had the most beautiful, warm, wet lips and the most intense, penetrating, passionate eyes – but it was far beyond the physical. He understood the intimacy and vulnerability of that moment. His masculinity came shining through his sensitivity. He brought me to a complete state of surrender where I could feel his unspoken pain – pain he had carried for so long, and he could feel all I wanted to give. As our souls became one, we exchanged a powerful energy – the physical perfection of our union, the result not the cause – slow, soft, deep, strong – like the ebb and flow of life and time. It is in this space we give to one another, the eternal gift of forever.

I never saw the sun setting behind me because the beauty before me was so overwhelming, it was all that I needed to breathe. Nighttime came quickly and it was time to go home, but to this day I see and feel us there every time I look up to a beautiful sky.

That night while James was sleeping, I woke up and went to my computer to finish a letter. He called me on my phone.

“Baby, come be with me,” he said.

“Is everything okay? I’m just finishing a letter,” I replied.

“Yah, I just want to hold you.”

I rushed to him. It seemed like he was struggling a little with his breathing.

I asked, “Are you sure everything’s okay?”

“I’m good. Just stay with me,” he said.

In the middle of the night, I woke up to see James was staring at me.

“What’s wrong, Baby?” I asked.

“Nothing,” he said. “I’m just looking at you.”

“Oh my God,” I said. “I look terrible.”

He replied, “I can’t stop staring at you because you’re so beautiful.”

I hugged him even tighter and fell asleep in his arms.

The next morning, we woke up and James felt great. Charlie, our golden retriever, would not leave James’ side. Charlie knows better than to climb up on to our bed or couch, but on this day, it seemed like he couldn’t get close enough to James. Wherever James went, Charlie followed. He attached himself to James the entire day. We laughed about it and thought it was cute. James wasn’t really an animal person, nor am I, but James couldn’t help but develop a very special relationship with Charlie, who is an amazingly intuitive, highly intelligent, sweet dog. James would talk to Charlie, and I swear, Charlie answered back. When I think back to this now, I truly believe that Charlie could sense what was happening and understand it in ways that humans can’t.

THE WEEK BEFORE

Things seemed a little off to me. James and I were on what we referred to as our “epic walk” in Malibu – a gorgeous stretch of the Boardwalk (a walking and biking path) between Will Rogers Beach (Malibu) and Santa Monica with stunning views of the ocean. We passed by an area where James was looking for a homeless man that we had seen there several times in the past month or so. I remember James being fascinated by this man. James had so much compassion for the homeless, but this was more than that.

Every time we saw this man, he was wearing a dark cape which covered his head, so I never saw his face, but I remember James telling me that he sensed something different about him. He believed that this homeless man could possibly be a spirit sent to protect the area. When James couldn’t find him on this day, it worried and concerned him as if he sensed that something had shifted. I never saw this man again – with James or after James’ death.

Starting from the time we first met, James and I walked 10 miles a day along the shores of Malibu, Santa Monica, Venice and at Marina Del Rey. We talked for countless hours about everything… each of us sharing our deepest, innermost thoughts – aware of and in awe of the changes happening deep within.

James was always positive and optimistic – always understanding. He was wise, and highly intuitive and spiritual. The week before he died, we took what would become our last walk. We shared wonderful conversation as we always did. Our walks were a journey of profound revelation… and for James in particular, it began the process of removing layers and layers of all that he had carried for so long. Much of our conversations were of things he told me he had never shared with anyone his entire life.

Whatever negativity there may have been in his life, James was above it all. He was resolved. After finally finding and knowing real love, he could now recognize the difference. He was seeing and understanding things in ways he hadn’t before. He no longer had to, nor was he willing to settle.

That same week, I wrote a text message to James via WhatsApp. I found it after he passed away but had no memory of it. James was in our recording studio downstairs, and I was up two flights of stairs in the kitchen. On what I remember to be a perfect day, for some unknown reason I wrote:

“Something is off, Baby.”

He replied, “What do you mean, Baby?”

“I don’t know. Something doesn’t feel right,” I wrote.

He replied, “You mean with Conor? Sony?”

Conor was our new employee and I had been working with Sony Music Publishing on my father’s song catalogue.

“No. It’s not that. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it feels like there’s a disconnect somewhere – like something is unplugged.”

He wrote back, “What do you mean? Everything is good, Baby. We’re blessed. #Facts. We’re in love. Business is good. I love you so much. What is it?”

I didn’t respond because I didn’t know what it was – just that something was different. In my anniversary post of September 22nd, I described a divine highway I felt James and I were given rare access to – a place that was radiating with light and energy, where everything that was ordinary became extraordinary – a magical, wonderous place that could somehow slow down time and speed it up, which allowed James and I to live a thousand lifetimes together in 13 months and experience things that most people don’t even know exist. I have often wondered that if on that day, I was tuning into some type of disconnect from the divine highway – a place I had been living and breathing in with James E. Wallace, Jr. for the last 13 months of his life.

My phone beeped. It was a message from James.

“Come talk to me, Baby.”

I don’t remember our conversation.

Later that night I had a terrible nightmare. James held and comforted me as I recounted it. I was so shaken; I wrote it down.

In this dream, I was rushing through security at the airport. There was a man in front of me who wasn’t allowed to bring his suit. He gave it to me because somehow, I could get it through. When I crossed over to the other side, James was in a car in the driver’s seat. I had a hard time getting into the car but managed to crawl into the backseat. I opened my suitcase which was full of soil to find the suit. As I desperately searched for it, members of James’ family walked by the driver’s side of the car with a stroller, passing James, going in the opposite direction. I finally found the suit which was buried deep in the soil. It was black with a purple shirt, and I gave it to James. I rushed out and ran back to the airport to catch my flight. I barely made it before takeoff. There was only one seat and I finally sat down, completely out of breath. Suddenly, I had this devastatingly, scary feeling of emptiness. The plane was headed to a place unfamiliar to me. It seemed like I was headed home but it was clear that once I landed, life as I once knew it would be different – everything gone – my family, my friends, my home, James. I couldn’t understand why I was on this plane or why I was rushing back to what felt like the end – nothingness, loneliness, oblivion. I tried to leave, but it was too late. The cabin doors were shut.

I woke up crying in James’ arms.

THE FINAL DAYS

During the pandemic, James and I chose to dine at home rather than dine out most of the time. By summer, however, restaurants in L.A. were open for outdoor dining. By fall, it had been a while since we had been to a restaurant. Something that used to be a part of our everyday life seemed so foreign to us.

There was a restaurant nearby where we lived that I had wanted to go to with James that had recently opened for outdoor dining, Monty’s Steakhouse. Monty’s has been around since I was a child, and I knew James would love it. Two days before he died, we decided to step away from our hectic work schedule, turn the phones off and enjoy a romantic night out together.

We sat under the stars, talking, cuddling, laughing, and enjoying life. We must have been there for hours.

I remember asking James that night, “What is the one thing you love most about me and the one thing you dislike most about me?”

“Dislike? Nothing. Love? Everything. I love everything about you.”

“Come on, there has to be one thing that stands out,” I said.

“You mean other than you are the most beautiful, intelligent, loving, talented, most spiritual person that I’ve ever known?”

“Awww – you’re so sweet but there has to be one thing… ,” I said.

He thought about it for a second and replied, “You’re consistent. You always do what you say you’re going to do. You make me happy, and I feel good about myself when I’m with you. I learn from you, and you make me rise every day. It is the greatest honor of my life to know you, love you, be loved by you, and be your man.”

He had me at hello.

I held his beautiful hand to my cheek and replied, “You have no idea what you do to me, James Edward Wallace, Jr. If you only knew how much you mean to me and how much you’ve changed my life. I’m so in love with you – so in love. You are the most evolved, intelligent, intuitive, loving, caring, sensitive… most beautiful man there ever was, or will be.”

He smiled. I smiled back. It was as if we had just met. He was so happy; I was so happy. It was the most joyful night. He made me laugh and cry tears of joy. We talked about our dreams, our plans, and our wondrous future. He was working on putting the pieces together for a compilation album of my father’s songs. He wanted me and my son on the album and asked who else I thought we should have, making suggestions we could discuss and consider. James was the best in the business. He knew everyone but more importantly, he knew how to bring it all together and make things happen. I was excited about it. I was also excited that he was my new manager. I’ve produced and recorded a lot but never really focused on my own career as an individual artist. He believed so much in me. We had just finished our first song together, “Rhythm of Me,” and he was making plans to release and promote it. All I ever wanted was to make him proud.

 

OCTOBER 28, 2020

James slept in late which was unusual for him.

I was at my computer writing an email when my phone beeped, “Good morning, Baby.”

I ran to him because I couldn’t wait to see him, hold him, love him, kiss him, protect him. Since the time we met, we shared the birth of every new morning together and the beautiful lullaby of our love every night when the day was done, and we laid our heads to rest on one another.

It was rare for James to still be in bed midmorning, so I wanted to make sure he was okay. My magnet was pulling me. You would think that being with someone 24/7, you might want some space or time alone. This wasn’t the case with me and James. In fact, it was quite the contrary. The more we were with each other, the more we wanted to be. If one of us was in a different part of our trilevel townhome, it wasn’t long before the other followed.

When I got to James, he was still in bed covered by two heavy blankets and I could tell immediately, he wasn’t feeling well. But James was always a gentleman. He stood up right away and hugged me. In fact, every time I entered the room, he always stood up and hugged me tightly. He never failed to open the door for me or carry my things. He was always sensitive and completely aware of me, where I was, what I was doing, what I was thinking and what I was feeling… at all times.

My mother once shared with me that when my father used to take her out in Detroit back during their Motown days, my dad would always bring people to their table to meet her – not the other way around. This meant so much to her, especially since she was just coming out of an abusive relationship. It made her feel so loved and respected to be placed on such a pedestal. I never really got it until I met James Wallace. Before the pandemic, James took me to so many events and I couldn’t help but notice. James always brought people to me – not the other way around. And as I looked out from high upon the pedestal, I finally understood what my mother shared with me so long ago.

Normally, this kind of chivalry wouldn’t mean anything to me, but because it was James – because it was genuine, and because it meant so much to him – it meant so much to me. This moves me to tears. James was the epitome of manhood in all the magnificence of his masculinity, but in many ways, he had the innocence and sensitivity of a child – the purist and most honest of souls. This is one of the things I will always miss most about him. When a strong, fierce, independent female is in the presence of a real man, she has no choice but to be a woman – in all her feminine glory.

“Baby, are you okay?” I asked, concerned because it seemed like he wasn’t feeling well.

He sat down at the end of the bed, and I stood between his legs as he wrapped his arms around my body, laid his head in my chest, and held me tighter than he ever had before.

“I feel better now,” is all he said.

I’ll never forget that moment. There was something about the way he held me that I will remember for all my life. He never let go… we never let go.

THE LAST HOURS

Throughout the day, we never made the bed. James would work a little, and then lie down to sleep a little, and then get up to work again. He was so excited and proud of our get-out-the-vote video, “This is the Moment.”

James was very involved with the Democratic National Committee. “This is the Moment” was a strong and powerful message about hope. I had written and produced the song a few years back with my writing/producing partner, Mark Matson, and when James heard it, he fell in love with it. He booked me to perform the song for a virtual show presented by one of his clients over the summer and then wanted to get the song to the Biden/Harris camp after I shared with him that I felt it would make a great ad to support the campaign. James spoke with one of his producing partners, filmmaker Zatella Beatty, about producing our own video to grab the attention of the Biden/Harris campaign.

When Zatella sent us the finished video, I cried. She and her producing partner, Stephen Perry, did an amazing job and completely captured the meaning behind my lyrics. James decided we were going to release the video ourselves and asked Zatella to create another version which spoke more to the Black Lives Matter movement of equality, justice, fairness, and love. He believed the message could carry beyond the election and was something that could be part of the movement going forward.

When I first met James, it was clear to me how many favors he had done to help and support so many people throughout his life. I asked him if anyone had ever done any favors for him. He told me that he never wanted, nor had he ever asked for anything in return. But he also said that someday, something very important was going to come along and when it did, he was going to call in those favors. After he died, it made me cry to see that James had sent our video to almost every person he knew. I think he was finally calling in those favors for that special something that was very important to him. As much as I know how much he believed in the project, I know in my heart he did this because he believed so much in me. He wanted to be my hero – which makes me cry to this day – because from the moment I met this noble knight, James E. Wallace, Jr. was, is, and will forever remain my hero.

We were downstairs in the studio, and it was getting late. James had been on the phone talking to everyone about the video – texting and emailing the link, asking his high-profile clients to post it, share it. He was cold and had kept the two heavy blankets wrapped around him all day. 10 p.m. was fast approaching and we hadn’t had dinner yet. We decided to head upstairs to the den. I was all the way up the stairs when I noticed that James wasn’t behind me. I called out to him.

“James, where are you? Is everything okay?” I asked.

He had stopped in the living room which was one floor below.

“I’ll be right there, I’m just catching my breath,” he replied.

James was in great physical shape so it was unusual that he would be out of breath coming up the stairs. As I ran back down the stairs, he was coming up.

“I’m okay,” he said.

“Are you sure?” I asked.

“Yes,” he replied.

We sat on the couch. He was cold, so we closed the glass sliding door. We made warm soup and brought it to the couch to watch television and cuddle.  I had just received the proof for one of the webpages for our new website and I was was anxious to see it, so I had my computer on my lap.

I remember showing it to James and he said, “That’s hot!”

Just then, he put his bowl of soup on the ground and slouched over. He began to have a seizure. I jumped up, grabbed him, and started screaming.

“James! James! Look at me! Look at me!”

He came back to me.

“What just happened?” he asked.

“You don’t know what just happened?”

“No,” he replied.

I called 911 and cried out to the kids.

The paramedics arrived immediately. At this point, James seemed to be okay. He was sitting on the couch but said he was feeling warm and asked that we open the sliding glass door we had just closed moments earlier because he had felt cold. I put my hand on his forehead and his skin was clammy.

The EMTs had him hooked up to an EKG and checked all his vitals. They told us that everything looked normal. His blood pressure, respiration rate, pulse rate, body temperature and EKG – all normal. They noted that his breathing was a bit labored but that his lungs were clear. They asked James if it was possible that he could have Covid.

“I don’t have Covid,” he replied.

“Your vitals look okay, and you seem fine, but would you like us to take you to the hospital for observation?” one of the paramedics asked.

James simply nodded his head, yes. That’s when I knew something was terribly wrong. Just then, he began to have another seizure. His eyes rolled back.

I grabbed him and screamed, “James! James! Look at me!”

Again, he came back to me, his eyes locked with mine.

I will never forget the way he looked at me in that last moment because in many ways it was like the first – intense, deep, passionate. His eyes were filled with love, hope and compassion for a world that had thrust so much pain upon him. I sensed the vulnerability of a child and the strength of the most evolved spirit. I wanted to protect him.

Without every speaking a word, he expressed to me his eternal gratitude for all we had shared. There was no longer that loneliness about him that I had sensed when we first met. I could feel his complete fulfilment, happiness, and joy as he looked into my eyes and deeply into my soul – he finally found what he had been searching for his whole life. In his eyes, there now lived the kind of peace that only love can bring – that only love can give.

But at the same time, I could feel his deep sense of sadness and loss, knowing that the time had come to say goodbye – a sadness I know he was not supposed to take with him, but did. I saw his absolute devastation and despair. This was so unexpected to both of us, I can still feel the deep pain his soul continues to carry. But as he did from the time we met, my powerful, brave, courageous knight tuned into my soul at that moment with deep sensitivity, feeling me and wrapping his heart around me to protect, guide, love and help me prepare for what would be the hardest time and journey of my life.

As he looked at me with his beautiful, impassioned eyes, his powerful spirit penetrated my soul, and I could feel him crossing over. I could almost touch the other side. It was radiating with light. I could see every moment and every lifetime that we had shared. Our hearts were full.

Then he said, “I’m going down,” and fell into my arms.

He was still alive when they rushed him to the hospital. I was going to follow in our car due to covid protocols. I never made it. As I frantically looked for the car keys, the phone rang. It was a doctor from West Hills hospital. James had suffered a catastrophic seizure in the ambulance as the result of a pulmonary embolism. He died at 12:27am, October 29, 2020.

I remember being in the hospital emergency room, holding his lifeless body in my arms for hours and hours – his massive, beautiful, 6’ 5” body. I didn’t shed any tears because I no longer had the ability to feel. His clothes were cut all the way through, evidencing a valiant effort to save his life and all I could think about was that he was wearing the same black shirt and black Adidas jogging pants with white stripes that we had bought just a few days earlier, as we strolled through the clothing store together, holding hands, laughing, and cuddling. His now shredded clothes were the only signs of life in a room that was so cold and sterile. I could see a big plastic bag next to us with his shoes, wallet, watch and phone in it.

My kids, Oliver and Ashleigh, came in and cried as they hugged James and said their goodbyes, each alone – and together. Looking back on this now, had I not felt and borrowed their life force in that moment, I don’t believe I would have made it through.

The divine highway was now closed. The sacred road reserved for very few – that magical place James and I once travelled hand-in-hand, was no longer accessible… to me. I would not be going with him on the next part of his journey.

Once upon a time, I lost the greatest love there ever was… or will be. Thus, I’ve been marked – chosen to endure life’s greatest pain, as measured by having been given life’s greatest gift. Chosen to endure the imprisonment and solitary confinement of a marriage to everything that could have been. And therein lies my life sentence which summons my faith, strength, and all that I am.

OBLIVION

When we returned home my son, Oliver held me up, both literally and figuratively. I couldn’t walk, talk, eat, sleep, think, or feel. I was completely numb and in shock. Within a 24-hour period, the weather and air had changed to the frigid nothingness and reality of my nightmare.

That first night without James was a bitter cold. I hadn’t slept in what felt like days. It seemed like I had lost all concept of time. I was on the couch where James and I had been 20 hours earlier. Oliver was hugging me. Charlie was licking a part of the couch that still had the scent of James’ blood where the paramedics had drawn it the night before.

Suddenly, Oliver noticed a little dove coming to visit. He flew right onto our deck where James and I had spent so many beautiful moments together throughout the past year. Never, in all the time I have lived in my house had I ever seen a dove – let alone on our deck – let alone when it was so cold.

I was hyperventilating from crying so hard, but the moment I saw the little dove, I stopped. He just sat there on our deck and stared at me. This was the first time I felt like I could breathe since the devastating trauma began 20 hours earlier.

For that one moment, it felt like I could see a little flower in the middle of a never ending, desolate oblivion. For that one moment, I could feel the kind of warmth that comes when the sun shines through the clouds on a cold, dank, dismal day. For that one moment I felt like I was seeing light somewhere in the distance after travelling through endless darkness. For that one moment, there was a small sign a life in a world that was now dead to me.

James and I shared a powerful life force together – strong and passionate – intense and electrifying. I’ve always been optimistic and hopeful but now, I felt dead… with equal intensity. But when you feel the intensity of a powerful life force, its light grows – shining brighter and brighter. When you feel the intensity of death, its nothingness sinks endlessly into oblivion. But in that moment – that one moment when this little dove came out of nowhere to visit me, I felt like I was being thrown a lifeline of hope. I could feel James’ presence, but not in a way that was familiar to me. I would come to recognize him in the deeper ways he taught me as the days, weeks and months passed.

The lights on the deck were twinkling, and I could hear the water from the river fountains below. The little dove sat there looking at me and out over the beautiful park which James and I had breathed in together so many times before. There appeared to be what looked like a human face surrounding the little dove in the form of a shadow which remains unexplained today.

Oliver said, “It’s a sign from James. He wants us to know he’s okay and that he’s moving on.” It brought comfort to me to know that both Oliver and I felt James in that moment, but it made sad because I didn’t want James to move on. I wanted him to stay with me forever… because that’s what he said he would do.

It’s not a coincidence that Oliver noticed the little dove who flew onto our deck for that brief moment, a symbol of hope and a sign from James, as it would be my own child who would lead me out of the depths of endless darkness to restart my heart which was no longer working.

The next night some of Ashleigh’s friends came over to help comfort me. I was sitting on a chair in the dining room. The kids were all on the floor listening intently as I cried about James. We were all sharing fond memories of him. He had become such a big part of everyone’s life. Charlie was sleeping in the corner. I was grateful to have youthful energy all around me but that feeling of deep despair got worse and worse with every passing moment.

Everyone – Oliver, Ashleigh, Cece, Kylie and Z were all so loving and supportive. I still hadn’t slept or eaten anything after 48 hours. I had been crying for so long, I could barely see because my eyes were so swollen. I was talking about the little dove coming to visit the night before and just then, we heard a loud noise on the deck. Charlie woke up and we all ran outside to see what it was, but there was nothing there.

Charlie excitedly wagged his tail as he ran all around the deck.

“Charlie! What do you see? Who’s there?” I asked.

He just kept wagging his tail.

“Is it James?”

When we came back inside, Charlie went right to James’ spot on the couch. Charlie knows he’s not supposed to jump on the furniture, but he did, the way he did in the days leading up to James’ death. It looked like he was kissing someone’s face.

“Charlie, is it James? Do you see James? Is he here?”

As he kept wagging his tail, Charlie looked at me for a moment, as if he wanted to show me something he discovered.

We went back to the dining room and continued talking about James. About an hour had passed; Charlie was in a deep sleep, and I was having a difficult time. I was sharing with everyone how tightly James held me the morning of the day he died.

I began to hyperventilate as I repeated what James said to me that morning, “I feel better now.”

Suddenly, Charlie awoke from a dead sleep, went to the den, and came back with James’ pillow. He walked directly to me, through where the kids were all sitting on the floor in front of me, and placed the pillow on my lap.

The pillow had James’ scent and holding it comforted me in a way that no human could. It felt like James. I held it to my chest where James had laid his head. I was crying and squeezing that pillow so tightly – the same way James held me on the morning of the day he died. Something came over me.

Without a word, my spirit spoke to James, “I feel better now.”

Only James could wrap his soul around me in that moment to help, love, comfort and guide me through my pain and intense sorrow.

I felt his protection and love, but I could also sense the deep sadness and despair he was carrying and a feeling of unresolve – like he was caught off-guard – like this wasn’t supposed to happen.

Everyone could feel that James was there.

Then Ashleigh said, “If it’s really James, then Charlie would go back to the den, get James’ blanket and bring it back.”

At that very moment, Charlie went to back to the den, got James’ blanket and brought it to me.

From the moment he died, James has been here with me, the whole time. Early in our relationship, James moved to L.A. to be with me and never looked back.

I remember him saying, “You’re never getting rid of me. You are stuck with me for life.”

It’s clear that he meant it. Over the past year, James has continued to send me countless signs – signs that comfort me when I feel like I can’t make it – signs that protect me and keep me safe from harm – and signs to let me know that he loves me and that he’s not going anywhere.

Nonetheless, the road has been long and unbearable.

In the first few days, weeks, and months I didn’t sleep. I was afraid.

Since I was a child, I loved awakening to the sounds and hope of each brand new day – the excitement of adventure, challenge, and triumph. When I met James, this took on an even deeper meaning. For us, every morning was a joyous and wondrous celebration of being together and knowing that our dream had come true… waking up in each other’s arms.

After James died, waking up to what used to be our most joyous moment now meant reliving the endless, unbearable pain of losing him – morning after morning after morning. When I woke up multiple times during the night, that just meant reliving death and the end of the world, over and over, and over again.

Fear has never been part of my constitution. It is an unfamiliar, negative, unproductive timewaster that serves no purpose in my life. Throughout my life I’ve often started my days with boxing gloves on, anxiously awaiting to take on the world’s problems and fight for those who can’t protect themselves. It’s not possible to be afraid, nor is there room for failure when you’re on the side of what’s right.

After James died, the darkness of fear found its way in. I would scream every time I woke up, desperately reaching for James to no vail, calling out to anyone who could be with me. I was afraid to open the icebox for fear of finding a half-eaten salad that James left. I was afraid to look in our kitchen cabinets and see his blender or the shot glasses he used fill with apple cider vinegar and fresh squeezed ginger that he would bring to me every morning.  I couldn’t go to places we had been to together, nor could I drive any of the roads we had been on, which is almost every street, bike path and walkway in L.A. Everything is him – everything. His phone wouldn’t stop ringing. His emails kept coming. The texts wouldn’t stop. I couldn’t understand the cruelty of a world that would or could go on without him. But the world kept moving – and I just stopped.

It would be months before I could go through all of James’ things – each inanimate object, the only signs that life once existed in my new, dead world.

I was afraid to acknowledge any signs of life because that would mean that life was going on without him – something I was not willing to accept.

There were many who offered prayers, support, love, and guidance and there were some who took advantage of my vulnerability. There were others concerned only with themselves and rewriting history or remembering it in ways to serve their own guilt-ridden, self-serving interests. It saddened me but confirmed a lot. It’s not a coincidence that James entrusted his legacy with me.

There were many who shared their eternal gratitude because they never saw James so happy in all the years they knew him. There were others who shared conversations they had with James about me. This moved me so deeply, it still makes me cry – his feelings, identical to mine… as if we have always been one soul… so grateful to God for all he had given us in each other.

When I finally found the courage, I drove to Malibu – our favorite spot. James loved it there. I would go every morning and cry from sunup until sundown just staring out at the water. James loved the water – he was a Pisces – dreamy, romantic, sensitive.

The mystery and magic of the ocean heightened my senses and awareness which had been fatally dulled. But every day I tuned into my man and with each passing moment, I began to feel James’ powerful vibration more and more, and the energy he taught me to recognize while he was still alive. I could sense his presence in new, powerful ways but alas, I couldn’t see him physically, so I kept asking his spirit, “Where are you?”

One day, I looked out at the vast ocean and before I could even ask, I wrote down these words:

Yesterday I knew
Every road I travelled always led to you
I believed in everything that we could do
Just me and you
In yesterday

Now that you are gone
They say I have to find a way to carry on
But where is our tomorrow
Where do we belong
Are we just an unheard song
From yesterday

There you are
You’d come so far
You finally found you could believe
And love will never leave
You’re here inside my heart
You own every part

It took you long to find
All the things that suddenly you had to leave behind
But love, it lasts forever
You’re forever mine
Until the end of time
Love, light our way

There you are
You’re never far
For now, we had to say goodbye
And I just don’t why
But there will be someday
Love will find a way
Forever, there you are

There you are
The brightest star
You light the way so I can see
I feel you here with me
And I will find my way
Until the dayI’m back with you

I love you forever, James Wallace

This became the lyric for music I had written years ago but could never complete the words to. I’ve always believed that if I’m unable to complete a creative writing, it’s because the story is still being written. All this time, I couldn’t find the three words for the top of the chorus and title for my song. Suddenly they came, “There you are” – a revelation and answer to my question to James, “Where are you?” It was such a resounding affirmation that he wanted me to know he’s been here all along. Being a songwriter and singer is one of the greatest blessings because as an artist, you can communicate, express and feel things in deeply profound ways.

Years ago, I wrote a song with my father entitled, “You Can Believe Again.” In his lyric he writes, “Please tell the children, the answer is in the question – it always has been.” As I looked up to heaven and asked James, and God, the many questions for which it seems there are no answers, I started to understand the wisdom of my father’s words and thus, began the long journey that would eventually help me to understand that I was chosen – not marked… but finding strength and faith would be hard.

Thanksgiving came and went. This was going to be the beginning of the most happy, joyous, magical celebration for me and James – so much excitement about our announcements, our wondrous future – professional, but mostly personal… and time for just the two of us to relish and marvel in it all. Now it was just another day I couldn’t wait to be over.

CHRISTMAS

Christmas was fast approaching. I remember feeling physical pain every day as it drew closer and closer, thinking about everything that could have been. I reached into a drawer looking for something and found the star James and I had gotten together that he was going to place atop our tree to represent the beauty and hope of the future – of our future. I got down on my knees and begged God to make the excruciating pain stop.

It was around this time something happened that would change the trajectory of where I was headed – something that would help me begin the journey to understand things I couldn’t see – something that would get my heart started again for the long, arduous climb ahead. No, it didn’t come from and an old, wise prophet. No, it didn’t come from a religious leader or spiritual guru. It didn’t come from the many friends trying to comfort me. It came from my 20-year-old son.

CHASING TIME

Oliver is a student at New York University Tisch School of the Arts. In 2020, he was tasked with creating a short film that would be broadcast to the entire NYU community. Originally, he had planned on writing a political satire but after James died, he changed the subject of his film to an exploration of love, loss, and connection – the ways we grieve and the ways we move forward – in a brilliant masterpiece, “Chasing Time.”  Unbeknownst to me, while Oliver was holding me up and comforting me by day, grieving with me and feeling my pain – by night, he wrote, composed, performed, recorded, directed, produced, and edited “Chasing Time,” in honor of James’s memory.

When Oliver was much younger, I remember being at the park with him looking at our house and all the twinkling lights on our deck – so many signs of life… of love.

I remember saying, “I wonder what our home will look like a hundred years from now. Right now, it’s all lit up and glowing with the life force of our family – our shared times, memories, and journey together. In a hundred years from now, there will be a new family, with new experiences – new memories. There won’t be any trace that we once lived here. In fact, the house may not even be here anymore.”

Oliver begins “Chasing Time” with the song “In a Hundred Years,” where he asks the things I had wondered about so long ago, and he poetically and musically articulates the beauty of the great force of love, laughter, togetherness, and life.

As he moves through the film, Oliver shares the deep despair of loss he was feeling through me in “Come Back” and expresses it in ways that only the pathos of his voice and soul could – “A little less music today, filling our lifetime with quiet…”

He shares what he witnessed I was going through – my fear of opening the icebox, my fear of the phone ringing, my fear of sitting in James’ chair alone, my fear that the world was moving on without James. This made me cry because I didn’t know anyone could hear me in the deep sea of never-ending darkness.

In the song “If Time Could Stay” Oliver talks about time. There are moments in life where if given the chance to go back in time, we may do something differently or have greater appreciation.  Sometimes, we want time to stand still – like I wanted after James died. My life stopped and I didn’t want life or the world to carry on without him.

But here, Oliver describes how “time isn’t waiting for hearts in the past” – that time continues to create millions of moments… but that maybe in one moment, “time won’t stop the love… ‘cause love is meant to last.”

This made me realize that the love James and I shared and will always share, survives… yesterday, today and tomorrow. It also made me realize that the only thing that is powerful enough to give me back my own life force is love.

There’s a picture I keep of something Oliver wrote to me when he was a little boy. It reads, “Thank you for teaching me how to love.” How could I have given my child the kind of love that would come shining through and defy the mystery of time to find me? How could he have returned that love with such depth of soul, strength, and wisdom? How could there have been anything powerful enough to reach into the abyss of darkness and pull me out? As the one being saved, I was grateful – but as a mother, I was proud… and it reminded me that my greatest blessing is being a mother. Now, it was my child who taught me how to love. In my darkest moment in a far, far away place, where I could no longer find my way… when I no longer knew how to feel… love survived – and came shining through to save me. Maybe I still was one of God’s favorites after all.

In the song “Last November” Oliver reminisces about all the things that could have been “When life was waiting to begin” and asks, “Will the lights still shine without you to guide me along?” He answers, “Will the world find you in a life or two ‘cause you never knew how you changed my song.”

In the days just after James died, I was talking to his cousin Douglas who was like a brother to him and he told me, “I’ve known James for a long time – since we were little kids. We used to talk about everything – all the time. James knew a lot of people in his life but when he met you Lisa – you changed his song.”

This really made me cry. I shared what Douglas told me with Oliver.

In “You Changed My Song,” Oliver writes, “You changed my song with words I never knew – You changed my heart with love that never grew till I met you.” Then he writes that he will “hug a little tighter, knowing time will move along,” and answers the question posed at the beginning of “Chasing Time,” and from that day in the park we were together, “In a hundred years from now, the world will rearrange… ‘cause you have changed my song.” Words appear on the screen: “In Loving Memory of James Wallace – And the Beautiful Souls Who Have Forever Changed Our Song.”

I’m not sure there is a greater legacy than this – but I know James is smiling and I can feel his overwhelming warmth, love, and pride.

I know now that James lives on through me – every day. When I touch someone’s life, it will be guided by what James gave to me, taught me, and continues to teach me every day – even in his death. I won’t lie down in defeat because if I do, James died. It is through my life that he lives on and that he will continue to touch lives forever.

I hope you will watch the video and read Oliver’s profound lyrics.

LAST NOVEMBER
Last November you were happy
New horizons clear as day
I remember being happy
But last November’s far away

Last November rain was falling
But it didn’t hide the sun
‘Cause last November life was calling
To a world that just begun

Time is racing by
Can’t help but wonder why
I’ve spent a lifetime chasing daydreams from my mind
That I left the world I thought I knew behind

IN A HUNDRED YEARS
In a hundred years from now
I wonder how the world will see
In a hundred lives from here will life appear to be
In the lights that house our bedroom
In the love you always bring
In a hundred years from now will time sing
(da, da, da-da, da da….)

Sing with me forever
Dance with me through time today
A life ago, I never thought the world would find a way
‘Cause life can fill with sorrow
Hiding out in fear
But now I see tomorrow with your light and laughter here

COME BACK
A little less sunshine today
A little less laughter to borrow
All of our dreams far away
Facing the pain of tomorrow

So, wake me up when the nightmare’s ending
Wake me up when life is real again
Wake me up to prove that time’s pretending
But until then

Come back to your chair, Abby
Come back to your chair
I sit in your chair, Abby
It feels like you’re there

A little less music today
Filling our lifetime with quiet
A little less dancing today
Scrolling through time to deny it

So, take me back when life was endless dreaming
Take me back with millions of miles to go
Take me back when time was full of meaning
I’d never know, until you’d go

So, come back to your food, Abby
Come back to your food
It’s waiting for you, Abby
Spoiling for you

Come back to your phone, Abby
Come back to your phone
They’re calling your phone, Abby
I sit here alone

So, fuck the sun for shining today
Fuck the busy streets for moving on
Fuck the world for finding a way
When mine is gone

IF TIME COULD STAY
If I could turn the clocks back
If I had known tomorrow – back then
If I could rewind time’s track
If I could see your smile once again
Maybe I would open up my eyes
And never compromise
One moment chasing echoes that are bound to fade away
I’d imagine
If time could stay for a moment
If time could stay
I’d find way in this moment
To say the things time took away from you

If love could paint tomorrow
Building monuments to mark the endless climb
If love could reform sorrow
In a world where we might live untouched by time
Maybe I would open up my heart
And never hold a part of time we have with anger
From a day that’s come and gone
I’d imagine
If time could stay for a moment
If time could stay
I’d find way in this moment
To say the things, I should have said to you

But time isn’t waiting
For hearts in the past
Though time’s still creating
A million more moments
And maybe in one moment
Time won’t stop the love
‘Cause love is meant to last

YOU CHANGED MY SONG
I hear the breeze of last November
On every road we could have been
With lasting footprints to remember
When life was waiting to begin
Will the lights still shine without you to guide me along?
Will the world find you in a life, or two
‘Cause you never knew how you changed my song

You changed my song with words I never knew
You changed my heart with love that never grew
Till I met you
Now I hug a little tighter
Knowing time will move along
So, in a hundred years from now
The world will rearrange
‘Cause you have changed my song

In Loving Memory of James Wallace
And the Beautiful Souls Who Have Forever Changed Our Song

Christmas arrived and there was still wonder and awe. There stood the star that James and I found together, high atop our Christmas tree, radiating with the beauty of James’ soul – glowing with the hope and promise of tomorrow. There’s always hope on Christmas.

My kids gave me a beautiful canvas with a photo collage of me and James.

After everyone had gone to bed, I called out to my love, “Come find me, beautiful man.” James made sure I knew he was there.

New Year’s was particularly hard because looking back on 2020, it wasn’t just a catastrophic year for me, but it was devasting for so many around the world. It was also a reminder that time kept moving and that I must begin to take the steps necessary to move with it.

MOVING, BUT NOT ON

James and I had set up offices in our home during the pandemic. I moved my desk 10 times. We were side-by-side 24/7 and it was hard for me to be in a space where we shared so many memories. I tried moving all the furniture around.

I moved the desk upstairs where we had set up an area in our home for employees. That lasted one day. I tried moving to the den so that I could look out over the park. The desk lasted, but I didn’t. I found an excuse to not sit there every day – choosing my car to be my office instead, driving and running away from everything that James and I had planned.

Finally, I decided the only way I could move forward with my business was to find a new physical place to work from. I decided that I should lease a commercial space. It would give me somewhere to go every day where I could start anew – filling time and space with new energy, people and memories. I leased a beautiful office space on the 17th floor of a building in the heart of Warner Center with beautiful views of the city and mountains.

My new landlord said, “I know you’re going to be successful because in our 20 years here, we have never seen someone come in, find an office space, negotiate the lease, clear credit, obtain commercial insurance, sign the lease, close the deal and start to move in on the same day!”

I wanted and desperately needed to do this. I thought I would hit the ground running in 2021 and I didn’t want to waste time. I wanted to be ready on the first day of the new year to start my new life. Little did I know, being in a new physical space would help, but it wouldn’t stop the pain as I continued my climb.

I am blessed to have so much love, support and help around me. As I began to put together my new office and recording studio, it was also time to go through James’ things at home which I had been avoiding for months.

Despite my efforts to hit the ground running with my business in the new year, January and February became an extended time of acceptance, reflection, and the organization of my journey so I could move on. With this, came the very difficult task of going through James’ things, one by one. For me, each inanimate object had something attached to it – life… his life, our life together. Each item was filled with cherished memories and moments I shared with James that I had to relive without him.

I sobbed going through every piece of clothing, his personal effects, documents, medical records, his wallet, mail, computers, iPads, phones, toiletries, medication, important personal possessions, notes and stationary. Organizing the memories of our journey was a long road for me.

I had made personalized notebooks for James with his name on it. As I turned the pages of those notebooks, I found that he had written down everything he was learning from me about intellectual property rights, and he took notes about important meetings we had. It made me cry. He was always reaching higher – always wanting to learn and grow. I could see the shakiness of his hands in his handwriting. I keep his journals and the energy of his guidance close to me in my office.

James used to carry a man purse with him when we met and sometimes, a fanny pack or a nylon backpack, but for Christmas 2019, I gave him a black leather, Louis Vuitton backpack personalized with his name on it which became the only bag he ever carried. He had thrown out a lot of the things from his previous bags, consolidating everything into the Louis Vuitton. This clearing out of the old to make way for the new, was also symbolic of what was happening in his life. He was so excited about our future and new beginning.

I could no longer bear to look at that bag, but I knew I must find the courage to open it. When I finally did, other than a few business documents, pens and keys, the only thing I found inside was every card I ever gave him. He kept every single one safely tucked inside one of the pockets. Inside one of the envelopes, were several beautiful photographs that his cousin Douglas had taken of us just before we attended our first red carpet event together in the winter of 2019.

Going through James’ clothes, I unfolded and refolded every shirt, his shorts, socks, briefs, pants, sweatpants, sweatshirts, and hoodies. I kept every single one of his things with my things in my drawers. I hung every dress shirt, every tie, every pair of slacks, every jacket, and every coat with my things on my side of the closet where I also keep my father’s beloved Chicago Cubs jacket and my mother’s favorite coat.

I brought James’ watch, eyeglasses and four of his hats to keep near me at my new office – his black fedora, Pittsburgh Pirates hat, and black Adidas and Nike baseball caps.

I brought his shoes to my office – shoes that were worn and torn from the countless steps he took to prepare for the eternal journey… as he laid down his pain, thoughts and hopes on all those walks we took together, hand-in-hand, from the time we met until the day he died. I placed them in a cherished armoire where I keep treasured items of my parents.

I am surrounded by James’ things at my new office and recording studio. I feel his energy all around me. I look at his beautiful face in all the photos on the canvas my kids gave to me for Christmas, which sits directly across from my desk. Above it is Billboard’s Hot 100 (not songs, but top 100 major label artists) who have recorded one major song – my father’s classic, “For Once in My Life,” a song about me and James. Below the canvas is the multi-platinum record for the album with my father’s song “I’ve Never Been a Woman Before,” by Barbra Streisand – for my one and only forever love… my man, who stirred in me and helped me discover things about myself I didn’t even know exist.

I remember before we were set to launch our new company, I asked James for his professional bio so our art director, Jeanne Quinn, could add it to our website. I was surprised to learn that he didn’t have one. For all the accomplishments in his life, he never had a professionally written bio.

He said, “I’ll have to hire someone to write it for me.”

I replied, “What?! Are you serious?! Don’t be ridiculous. I’ll write it for you. Tell me everything I need to know.”

Within 30 minutes, I had the most beautifully written bio full of the many revered achievements of his decades-long career. After he died, I saw that he had sent that bio to many people. James was such a humble guy. He spent so much time promoting others, he never promoted himself – but I made sure he knew that amongst all the celebrities he booked and managed, he was always the brightest star.

Although James inspired and did a lot for so many people and made it his business to know and care about everyone, very few people knew a lot, if anything, about his personal life and innermost thoughts. Those closest to him were so happy that he finally found what he had been searching for his whole life and that he discovered things he didn’t even know exist. There was so much excitement all around about our wondrous new beginning and future together.

SOARING

March was here and it was time to soar and be the woman that James fell in love with. Every day was and remains a struggle, but I am inspired and driven to fight for all the things that mattered to him… that matter to us – being the voice of change and making a difference in the world. Making him proud is all I ever wanted to do. If I can make it all come true and change the world, with James right here with me forever, then he is alive and well… for all of time. And my dream? Our dream? Well, it already came true – we got to live and breathe our dream every moment we were blessed to be together… and it continues because I feel him with me always.

 

On March 11, 2021, on what would have been James’ 61st birthday,
I officially launched LDM Publishing and J-Wall Records,
named in honor of James Wallace. The name J-Wall Records was conceived,
along with our company logo, by my sister, best friend and art director, Jeanne Quinn.

 

 

Our tagline, “The Legacy Continues,” is something James thought of days before he passed away when I was searching for the right words to describe our new company, our new creative projects, and our management and ownership of my father’s intellectual properties. Yes, #TheLegacyContinues. #JWallRecords #LDMPublishing #RonMillerSongbook There are no coincidences.

I invited only those closest to James to the celebration of our launch and James’ birthday. It was a night full of love and togetherness. Suddenly, the evening became what I think it was meant to be all along – a beautiful gathering of souls memorializing this man who touched all our lives so profoundly. We went around the room and all talked about James. Beautiful words were said – memories shared. His cousin Douglas said something that moved me to tears:

“James and I used to talk all the time. I remember when he told me that he had met the most beautiful, young lady – on my birthday, September 22nd – and she really – I mean, really – changed his life.

One night he said, ‘I think I got it now. I think that all my time that I’ve put into people has now come to a crescendo in this one person… and I want you to know… that this is the one.’

And it was this young lady here, and I just want her to know that out of all the people that he had a chance to be with, he chose to spend the rest of his life with just this one, and that’s the key. When you find someone that you care about, who cares about you and has the same dream as you – that’s really what it’s all about. So, I want to take my hat off to you Lisa… the man loved you… he told me… from the bottom of his heart.”

Looking out over the water, I can feel James soar high above the clouds in heaven as I tune into my man. I feel myself soaring with him.

From the moment we first met, to the moment of complete surrender, to the moment of crossing over, to the moment of eternal connection and love, thank you for choosing me, my forever love, James E. Wallace, Jr., the most beautiful man there ever was… or will be. #LuckyMe #Facts

OCTOBER 28, 2021

Once upon a time, I was given the greatest gift, period.

Since James’ death, I have searched deep within to see if there still existed a life force. Love was and remains the light that guides me. Faith is the power that inspires hope. The climb has given me strength. No, I didn’t lie down in defeat, nor will I.  No, I’m not marked after all. I have been chosen – chosen and entrusted with the blessing of the greatest love so that I would understand its true power – for in our darkest moment, it is only the power of love that can light the way.

It’s not a coincidence that I met James E. Wallace, Jr. His death didn’t signify the end, but rather, the beginning of a greater journey… a journey that I will forever share with the most beautiful soul there ever was… or will be.

I can hear him telling me, “Stick with the plan, Baby. Stick with the plan.”

I would like to thank the people who continue to hold me up, inspire me, love me, support me… and that I have been truly blessed to have in my life – Oliver Richman, Ashleigh Hackett, Ron Miller, Aurora Miller, Sandy Hackett, Jeanne Quinn, Sherice Bellamy, Douglas Michael Webb, Zatella Beatty, DJ Robinson, Howard Richman, Mark Matson, Joy Wallace Clinkscale, and Lena Bender. There are more… and you know who you are.

To my man up in heaven, it’s not possible that it’s been a year, but I feel you here with me… always. Thank you, my love, for all that you continue to give me every day. I know we will be together forever. There isn’t a moment in my life that goes by that you’re not the biggest part of, nor is there a piece of my heart that you don’t own.

I love you. I miss you, my forever love. #Facts #MyKingForever #JamesEWallaceJr #TheLegacyContinues #MostBeautifulManThereEverWasOrWillBe

Next to James’ shoes in the armoire in my office, are my shoes – shoes worn and torn from the countless steps I took helping James prepare to cross over… on all those walks we took together, hand-in-hand, from the time we met until the day he died. On one of those walks, my shoelace kept coming untied. James kneeled down and tied a knot so securely that it remains today. I could never pull it back through the shoelace hole and thus, it never became untied again. After walking thousands of miles together on the magical road through life – yesterday, today and tomorrow – our shoes now rest side-by-side, forever joined – a symbol of our journey, of eternal love, and of life… and the marriage of two souls who became one… for all of time.

 

The Day We Met
September 22
Happy Anniversary
My Forever Love, James E. Wallace, Jr.
❤️🤴🏿#MyKing #LuckyMe xoxoXXX

Click HERE to visit the James E. Wallace, Jr. Memorial Site.