The letter John wrote to Marlena when he was awaiting execution for Tony's "murder":
If you are reading this letter, than I have been executed. No man is without sin, but God knows that I did not kill Tony. I have gone with the faith that death is not the end but a summons to a new existence, a summons to live with God in Paradise.
Of course, I feel that my time has come too soon. But God works in mysterious ways. I leave with few regrets. One is that my children will never know their father. The other one is leaving you, Doc.
I know that our life together has been complicated. You've been in love with other men, and I've been in love with other women. But the love we shared was something special, Doc. There never was and never could be anyone to fill that special place you hold in my heart.
I love you. I know now I always have, and I always will.
After four years, a presumed-dead Marlena returned to John in 1991.
For their third anniversary, John gave Marlena a gold charm bracelet with the sun, moon, and stars on it, to symbolize the light she has brought to his life.
In 2002, John learned that he and Tony shared the same DNA, and concluded that they were brothers. At first, John feared that Stefano was his father, but when a scrap of a letter written by Daphne Dimera was found by Marlena, John and Tony learned that they were only half-brothers, sharing the same mother, Daphne.