Love Like Jace, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization was founded in April 2021 by Makia Wallace in memory of her 21-month-old son Jace Lucas Leslie. Jace’s life tragically ended on September 11, 2020, after being left in the back seat of his caregiver’s car for more than 7 hours in 105-degree temperature. Less than a month later the State Attorney decided to drop all charges and rule the incident as an accident. After begging and pleading to reopen the case, the State Attorney still refused and called the tragedy a “Simple Neglect”. Trying to pick up the broken pieces and make sense of the injustice, Makia knew she could no longer tolerate the pain, frustration, and sadness. After constantly asking all the “Why” questions a grieving mother would do and no answers in return, bitterness, and revenge started to creep into Makia’s heart. On February 2021, Makia heard the Lord say to her, “In order for you to heal you must release and forgive”. She didn’t understand this in the beginning until she decided to obey. Overwhelmed by sorrow, guilt, bitterness, regret, and revenge, Makia made up her mind to give it all over to God and trust His plan. Now she seeks to share her story and educate others on the importance of children’s safety while offering support, encouragement, and hope to other grieving families who have experienced a loss of a loved one.
In 21 months, Jace’s magnetic personality, energetic spirit, and larger-than-life smile impacted family and friends in a remarkable way. Those who knew Jace understood that the quality of his existence far exceeds the quantity of time that was shared with us. Jace was given to us for a short time, and our lives have been changed for the good because of his purpose. Every day spent with him, his beautiful eyes gave light in the darkest room, his radiant smile was my sunshine on rainy days and his presence gave my life meaning and purpose. He was truly an Angel on Earth sent from Heaven. He brought out the best in me and kept me accountable. Love and laughter were always easy to find because of his joyful spirit. Looking upon my only son I could see the glory of God in and on him. We prayed together, worshipped together, and sung his favorite song, “I Can Only Imagine.” Jace was truly a bundle of joy, love, and peace. He loved playing basketball, eating his auntie D’s Icecapade Frozen Treats, learning animal names, mimicking their sounds, reading books, and singing nursery rhymes. Jace was not your ordinary child, he was fearfully, wonderfully, and uniquely created by God! Our memories of Jace cannot be captured in a few fleeting moments. His presence, hugs, and kisses will be greatly missed. If not in my arms he will forever be carried in my heart until I see him again. His legacy will live forever!