PS-I-love-youRoses are red,
violets are blue,
I love my mom,
I love her, too

Letters from Readers

To each of you who wrote to us, and to those who will read these letters: Thank you, and welcome to our "loose affiliation of characters!"

We thank you for reading, for listening, for being moved enough to send us your thoughts, and for giving us permission to share them with others.

Jane and Billy

PS: These letters aren't in any kind of order. Root around! It's kind of like the drawers we keep our family photographs in.

PPS: Please visit our pages on, where readers leave reviews on our book and the audio book. Have you already read or listened to Grown Man Now? We would love for you to help others find us by creating your own review there! Click here for a PDF that explains how to do it. If you have already made purchases there, it's easy!

Ann Vachon, Epiphany 2009: "how you celebrate each individual"

We just wanted to say thank you for sharing your wonderful book, i.e. your amazing story, with us. I say us — but really Ray hasn’t had a chance to read it yet: the reason being that I got a hold of it first and couldn’t put it down. You have written so beautifully and shared so sincerely, graciously with candor and tenderness. One of the aspects that struck me so profoundly is not only how you celebrate Billy — just as he is, but how you celebrate each individual, especially your family — noting their gifts and qualities whilst recognizing their challenges. You have a way of reflecting how God sees each individual, knowing he has made each unique, special and loveable and to contribute each in their own way to the tapestry of human life. God bless you — as he always has, may he always in the future. Love and thanks for touching me so deeply, Ann Vachon

Mary Parsons, October 14, 2008: "a life story told with humility and truth"

I just finished reading your book. It has enriched my life — a life story told with humility and truth. And what a life it was, meeting challenges that seemed impossible and you come through such a winner. Thank you for putting into words your journey. My heart has been touched as your family interacted along the way, and how you encouraged the pursuits of each one. Our children are such a blessing, especially when we accept them for who they are. You and Billy did so much for persons with disabilities and for their parents. It must give you a great deal of satisfaction in knowing that you were so instrumental in furthering special education.

Joe H. Owens, DPM: "your writing skills are excellent and your frankness refreshing"

I just finished your book. My compliments. Your writing skills are excellent and your frankness refreshing. I also feel I gained some insight into life with a loved one who has Down syndrome. I suspect this was one of your main goals when you began to write. I also found it interesting that by writing about your and Billy’s life that it produced a “road map” of where you have been and the pathway to your presence. Perhaps we all should do a memoir and thus understand better who we are. Sometimes I keep a book forever. In this case I will pass your book to another as I would like to help you spread your message. Rest assured that I will choose a person who is sensitive to others and that seeks understanding. Thank you for providing the opportunity to read this book.

Ginger Grant, July 30, 2008: "I admire you for helping so many besides Billy"

It was with a little sadness that I finished your wonderful book this morning! I’ve really felt part of the family as I read it. Of course, I’ve loved John since the day I met him — and now I know you all! We’ve had so many similar experiences — I really admire you for helping so many besides Billy with your outstanding career — and how beautifully you write! So consider me one of your number of ardent fans.

Note: this was written on stationery from Annandale Village at Suwannee: "a community which provides progressive life assistance to adults with developmental disabilities so that they can maximize their abilities and maintain their independence in the least restrictive environment. Their community... with our help."

Anne Hyde, July 7, 2008: "we all need someone like Billy who knows the real meaning of life"

What a wonderful gift to the world. Your book has given me a lift in my life. Your book helped me to realize we all need someone like Billy who knows the real meaning of life and is such a blessing that he keeps us grounded. I have laughed and cried remembering all our times together and only wish we lived closer to each other. I just wanted to let you know how much I cherish your book. You are both very dear to me.

Michelle Settle, August 26, 2008: "you have impacted my life in ways that make me speechless"

What a joy it was to receive your new book. Reading it brings me both smiles and tears as I reflect on our lives. I am particularly grateful to the Almighty that I’ve known both you and Billy. You have impacted my life in ways that make me speechless.

Barney Coulter, November 16, 2008: "two exceptionally significant lives"

What a wonderful story of the love, the heartbreaks and the soaring accomplishments of the mother and son who would not accept defeat, but rather would share their dedication to each other in molding two exceptionally significant lives. Thank you so much for this beautiful book. It wll remain one of our most treasured possessions. We are honored to know the two of you as distinctive human beings and cherished personal friends. With fond respect, Barney Coulter, Chancellor Emeritus, Western Carolina University

More to come
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