Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Jan Curran -- The Tribute Continues

This is my dear friend Jan Curran as I'll always remember her: confident and elegant.

Everyone who saw yesterday's blog post knows that Jan passed away Monday evening.

She had lupus most of her adult life, but she made the most of it. She battled cancer for the past 15 years or so, and it was that awful disease that ultimately took her away from those of us who loved her.

Even in her last months of life, appearance mattered to Jan.

Five or six years ago (I've lost track), she moved to Ventura where the weather is cooler. She learned to accept residing at an assisted living facility, where she made great friends who were all ancient compared to her. It was a very nice place as these places go.

She even wrote a book about her experiences there:

I bought multiple copies when it was published about a year ago. On his blog, her cousin Mike Barer describes Active Senior Living as "a warm hearted comedy, based on life in a senior living center," and that's a very good take on it. I would add "touching" to that. It's part fact, part fiction and a great read.

You can order a copy here.

Jan started a Facebook page for Active Senior Living here.

And of course there was the blog Jan started after she moved to Ventura. We all got to see, through her, what it was like to adjust to the place and make friends. Plus she kept us caught up on the goings-on with her family.

Aside from the obvious, one of the things that annoyed Jan about chemotherapy treatments was the lack of enough current magazines and books to go around. So she began taking her own magazines to the hospital to share with fellow chemotherapy patients, and the Jan Curran Fan Club was born.

A few years ago I headed to the desert for the inaugural gathering of the Jan Curran Fan Club. I stayed at her house (she lived in La Quinta then) and we drove to the Palm Springs Tennis Club for a wonderful luncheon where 50 or 60 people gathered in an outdoor pavilion. Magazines and paperbacks were everybody's ticket in. It was a long but productive day, and Jan was exhausted by the time we got back to La Quinta. We had a fun yet low-key slumber party, just the two of us, and lingered over breakfast and a long visit the next morning.

Everyone who was there that day took a vow to donate magazines and paperbacks to chemotherapy units, and the word spread to as far away as England and Germany.

Recently Mike Barer established a Facebook page for the Jan Curran Fan Club. How about joining it in Jan's memory?

There is an article in today's Palm Springs Desert Sun about Jan's passing (thank you, Lee Goldberg).

I miss my dear friend. My heart is breaking.

XXOO, Jan. Heaven awaits.


altadenahiker said...

She sounds like a wonderful person. I'm so sorry you lost such a true and brave friend.

Irina Netchaev said...

A beautiful tribute for a wonderful friend. It sounds like she did so much in her life and touched many.

Petrea said...

I didn't know about the need for books and magazines at these places. Thanks to you and Jan for the tip. Now I know what to do with mine.

I'm glad you can share your thoughts and feelings about Jan. I'm sorry she's gone.

Patrizzi Intergalactica said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patrizzi Intergalactica said...

I'm so sorry, Ann.

Gina said...

I am sorry for your loss.

She sounded like a true friend. Your post is a good reminder to me to go out and tell the people close to me how much they mean to me.

Mike Barer said...

This article came up again on my blogger feed. Very well written tribute, Jan would be proud!