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ewernerhudson 8 years 4 months ago wrote:
To members and those who visit.

As the holidays approach I reflect on the dear and precious memories forever etched in my mind and heart. Thanksgiving and Christmas were Josh`s favorite time of the year, profoundly important for his family he loved so dearly. Family traditions of Turkey with all the trimmings, which one year he stayed up all night preparing, decorating Christmas cookies, (Grandma Werner`s secret recipe shared only with family), last minute gift wrapping, and stockings full of treasures. Mostly it was a day of abundant love, hugs and laughter, apparent from the warmth and excitement of our precious family. Every gift Josh received was huge to him as he would open and not throw it aside, instead relish what he had received with great thankfulness. It really wasn`t the gift itself, instead the sentimentality of how he was touched as he was thought of and felt special.
Christmas will never be exactly like it was, especially since Josh and Zach`s father/my husband/soul-mate Norm who lost his battle with ALS just 14 months after Josh lost his battle to opiates. This however will be a special Christmas thankful for Zach, my strength and sunshine, Becky his fiance,dear friends, Judy,my job working with adolescence, Caroline, and my education, my mentor Professor Rich and God`s abundant blessings. I cherish all of the above knowing that the presence of Josh and Norm will be surrounding us and the precious memories that are now and still to come are the wonderment of life.

I look forward to the New Year with the launching of this website, meeting others who have suffered with addition, personally or family members as I continue to venture onward open to the journey set before me.

Surviving Mom of Josh and Zach, Elaine Werner-Hudson
mitchsmom 7 years 4 months ago wrote:
Dear Elaine,

I am touched by Project Josh and I think you have a very neat website. First, I am so sorry for the loss of your precious son, Josh. Heartbreaking! I thoroughly enjoyed and was touched when I read Josh's journal. He sounds like a wonderful son, brother, and friend. I know this is a tremendous loss for you and your son, Zach. I have a friend in my neighborhood who brought your name, foundation and website to my attention. I will be honored to link it through my FB page.

Now, I must share with you a little about myself. I am a mother of four boys. My oldest son, Mitchell, suffered from bi-polar as well as drug addiction. Through his struggles, he also managed to land himself in county jail. We supported him and let him know that he was worth so much more than the life he was living and we never gave up on him. After spending one year in jail, he was released from jail on Monday, June 7, 2010. We spent the the week making plans to have him enter a rehab in Los Angeles. We took care of doctor appointments, probation officer appointments, shopping for a few items of clothes, shoes, etc. in preparation for him to be going away for at least six months and getting the help he desperately needed. And he was willing to enter rehab...it was to be his first time. Thursday came and we visited the center in LA. He spent four hours there by himself, meeting the staff and allowing himself to be assessed. I know he was scared yet he seemed to be excited about going away and turning his life around. Thursday night, someone came by our home, unbeknownst to us, and dropped off some black tar heroin. Because he was sober, his body could not handle the amount that he took, for the first time in over a year. I saw him and questioned what he had taken and he shrugged it off and said he was fine, that he had taken his anti-depressants and bi-polar meds and that is why he was a little off. I should have gone with my gut instinct. Fast forward to the next morning...6 a.m....I awoke to the faint sound of a television on. I went downstairs to turn it off but instead I found my son, too late. I can not rid myself of this image. Mitch was only 22 and has left behind a broken family. Just a weekend away from him entering the rehab and only 12 days before his brother's graduation from high school. Needless to say, I barely can remember what was supposed to be a day of celebration. It is a good thing I was still in shock.

So I am also a surviving mom. And I want to tell you what a wonderful thing you and your son, Zach are doing! I hope and pray that you can help other addicts and their families so they do not have to suffer this tragedy. Bless you in all your efforts to help make a difference and save valuable lives.

Surviving Mom of Mitchell, Jared, Sam and Jack

Never, Never, Never Give Up!
wernerz 7 years 4 months ago wrote:
Quoted Response mitchsmom → This is the all too surreal reality of addiction. The striking parallel between how you lost your son and how we lost Josh at first seems surprising, but yet I think it indicates a certain level of predictability in terms of how any one addicted to a drug will act - even if it is lying straight to the face of your loved ones when they confront you on what you're doing. Similarly, my Mom begged and pleaded with my Brother, trying to convince him of the hope he would get better. He too hadn't used in months and nearly the first opportunity he had, he drove to Denver and acquired some black tar heroin. Needless to say, his body couldn't handle it. Fortunately I found him that night in the bathroom, an image I would rather not remember given how he was teetering on the edge of death. For the next half a week, his hands were black and blue from the hypoxia. Just a little over a half a week later, he was gone - the medics working on him for 45-55 minutes past the time they found them (them realizing the impossibility of saving him, but knowing they had to do whatever they could to try to bring him back).

Anyways, thanks for sharing your story with us and deciding to join the site! We hope in the future to make this a leading source of educational information, help/advise, and employ programs to help combat many gaps in treatment that exist today.
If you encounter any problems with the website, please contact me through private message. If you for whatever reason are unable due to an account problem, or the private messaging system not working - then please use the contact form.

My life mantra: 愛 Ai (Love), 知識 Chishiki (Knowledge/Wisdom), 真理 Shinri (Truth).
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