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  2. It was the best part of my day to run into Johnny yesterday. Brought back many memories of the times we spend at his mom & dads house playing in the pool. I sensed there was a message when he gave me the website for the book you both wrote about your son. I too lost a son and know that pain. I could see it in his eyes. I look forward to reading your book. Many blessings.

  3. Johnny, Darla, Maggie,

    There is never a time when I see a post by you Darla, or something related to Joshua on FB that my heart doesn’t ache for you. I know I told you that we didn’t’ even know he had died until way after the fact. My heart still aches for you, being no stranger to that pain since my brother also took his life after years of depression. He was 35. I have watched Joshua’s video clips, as has Keith, and we both are amazed at the depth of his talent, and just getting that glimpse of who he was. WE love the picture of him and Aunt Stacia, at a much happier time.

    Overall, we are sorry we live so far away and never get back east – and that Johnny and Keith have lost touch. Just know our thoughts and prayers are with you. Your grand daughter is precious, and we love seeing her on FB. We will always hold you in our hearts!! Karen for Karen and Keith

  4. Heart. Truth. Passion. Love. Life.

    It was all real. Every part. And that heightened every part of the book.

    My parents and I are very proud of John, Darla and Maggie. Out of true bravery, passion and love for Josh and the desire to change the mental health care system, these incredible human beings shared this story.

    I learned so much about John, Darla and Maggie through this book. It can be difficult when you want to be there for those you care about, but in certain times, you cannot because there was so much they needed to do together. So, this enabled me to truly see the inside… And I was filled with emotions from all areas.

    So well written. So real. So raw. I have passed it in to many and they have felt it within them as well.

    A change will happen. Thank you for your courage to bring it all to the surface, for sharing every aspect of Josh’s life and your life with him (it was a great one…) and creating the ripple effect of change for so many.

    I love you three and have a high respect for you as individuals and as advocates of change.

  5. Dear John, Darla, and Maggie,

    My heart goes with you for your courage and my respect and appreciation go with you for your passion to educate those who are not sensitive to our mental health care system and how (and why) beautiful people fall through the cracks, and die. I loved the book because it is so honest and so filled with the truth about what is needed to help those who suffer from depression, and hopelessness. When someone we love is suffering, the whole family suffers. I believe you have shared your story to give others hope. May it find the right hands and save some lives.

    God Bless you all! Sincerely, Joanne.

  6. I commend John, Darla and Maggie for writing such an honest and beautiful look into their world which became shattered. It was intense, made me smile, laugh, cry, wonder, all the things a good book does. But- magnify all those emotions by 100 because it was real and about someone I knew and loved.
    Thank you for your gift
    xoxo
    Laura

    • Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments Laura. We love you very much. <3

  7. Darla and Family,
    Thank you for writing your poignant memoirs about such a beautiful man.
    I’ve had my own sad trials and tribulations with my only daughter.
    I can only imagine and have and lived so close to the tremendous loss that you and your family have had to endure.
    We, as a “village” have to see and band together to help all who struggle in these and all times.
    Thank you for sharing something so close to my soul.
    Hope to meet up with you someday again.
    You were my only real friend at FA when I was 15. You have helped to impact my life always and now forever.
    Love to you and all who take action.
    Kate (Kathy? 🙂 Gardner Ruscio

    • Kathy,
      I do remember you, of course I do! Thank you so much for reading our book and leaving a comment. I hope you and your daughter are well and that your days continue to get better. It’s a horrible roller coaster. My best to you both! We will make a difference.
      Darla

  8. My overall reaction to this book is what an awesome family – for their support of their son/brother, and of each other, and their commitment to making a difference for others now. It’s awful that the system is so broken that even when somebody has a strong support system and a family that does all the right things, he can still fall through the cracks. I have a good friend who deals with mental illness, with none of this support, and I wonder all the time what it would be like if her family situation was different, or if she lived here, where the population is better educated and more mental health services are available. Reading about Josh’s story made me so sad, for his family and for the country as a whole, that this is where we are, no matter what. There has to be a better way to treat mental illness, for real, so that people can not just survive but enjoy life again. Thank you for sharing your story, and for talking about a topic that is way too often shrouded in secrecy. Awareness is the first step in creating change, and this book is sure to raise awareness.

  9. What a fantastic story and book. It’s sure to help many out there struggling with the same issues in friend or family circles.

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