In March 2014 I met Felicia in Nashville. She shared her story. I was moved. My dad was moved. We approached her about a cowrite and the rest it history, or so they say... Or maybe this is just the beginning.....
This is Felicia's story:
As fate would have it, Sara, George and I met by chance at the Nashville Songwriters Association International spring training session last year, and in conversation, spoke of having lost a loved one to ALS, a fatal neuro-generative disease also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. I shared my story of how I had assisted my husband, Sid Valo, to transcribe the poems he wrote so eloquently several months before he died. (He had never written any poetry in his life prior to that.) By that point, he had almost lost his ability to speak, so he laboriously whispered the words into my ear, as I typed them.
Rarely did Sid edit his poems; they painstakingly flowed out of him, word by word. They are beautifully written and capture so much of what he wanted to share with those he loved. In them, he offered words of comfort, counsel, and gratitude to all those he loved and to those who had helped him on his heartbreaking journey with ALS. My husband’s whispers are a strong and lasting testament to love and strength in the face of adversity and death.
A month after our meeting, Sara and her father contacted me out “of the blue” and shared that they had been touched by my story. They suggested we collaborate on a song they were in the process of writing, something I might add I’d never done. Months later, "When You Whisper" was born as a loving tribute to my husband and to all those who long to reconnect with a loved one they have lost.The process of conveying Felicia and her husband’s story and writing “When You Whisper” started shortly after we met. Our commonality of losing a loved one to ALS (my own grandmother passed away from it as well) combined with our passion for music blossomed into a wonderful friendship. Less than a year later, we have had the incredibly opportunity to professionally produce and record in Nashville and create the film version in Central Florida. Our friendship can only be one of fate, divinity, luck (or whatever you would like to call it). There is one thing for certain: it is something bigger than us... much bigger.
I truly believe we wrote this song for a greater purpose. While it started with Felicia's story, I do not believe that is where it will end. This song was written to speak to and comfort those battling this debilitating disease. 1 out of every 50,000 people suffer from ALS. While the medical community is making scientific advancements, there currently is no cure. This song is for those dear people afflicted with ALS and for their families who are so lovingly taking care of them. I hope and pray this song brings comfort and strength to the wonderful souls on this tragic and heroic journey. Hold onto the little things, even the whispers. They are precious. Savor every moment with those you love. And remember that this life is not the end.
Please join me in sharing this song on its release day 3.3.15.