Son’s Memory Lives On Through ‘Justin’s Journey’

WRIGHT TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- As Julie Winsock sits down to cover a rock in yellow paint, she's doing it with a greater purpose than just making sure she doesn't miss a spot. She's doing it to honor her son Justin who passed away earlier this year.

"Justin had a workplace injury and unfortunately it was very tragic, and he died instantly," Julie said.

Winsock says shortly after Justin's death, she found this rock on a trail in West Virginia.  Its message of "Just Breathe. You Can Do It!" spoke to her as she was mourning the loss of her 18-year-old son.

"It was very shocking, very shocking, to say the least. You know it's a club that no one wants to be in, so we just do our best every day to get up and make him proud and keep living our life like he would have," added Winsock.

Finding this rock inspired Winsock to paint rocks of her own in Justin's memory, most with the phrase "Live Your Dash" painted on top.

"It's all about from the time you're born to the time that you die and that dash in the middle and making the most of it. So all the first rocks I painted all said, 'Live Your Dash' on them," explained Winsock. "Ultimately, it would be amazing for me to be on our travels and find one of those rocks myself."

Winsock has marked each rock with "#JustinsJourney" and started a Facebook page where people who find the rocks can learn about Justin and his memory can live on.

"I just suddenly realized that, wow, this could be even bigger," added Winsock.

This week some of Justin's rocks are heading across the Atlantic Ocean to England and France. Winsock says it's the community she's created on Facebook to honor her son that makes all the difference.

"The private messages about Justin from people, the messages about their own families and why this is so special to them, our friends spending time with their own kids and it's all for a purpose. It's for all of us to know that life is not guaranteed, and tomorrow is another day and it may not be here for all of us so today we have to live our dash," said Winsock.

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