My cousin Jan Curran was laid to rest this past week. I was always impressed with her sophistication and wit. To my knowledge, she was the first author in our family to have a book published. I remember my excitement when I attended a book signing she had in Walla Walla in the mid-70's for her self-help book about coping with divorce, "The Statue of Liberty Is Cracking Up." Incredibly, each of her four children grew up to become published authors. In fact, the last time I saw Jan was at another book signing, this one held for her son Tod's latest book. And at that signing, Jan was grieving over the passing of her own mother earlier that day.
I've been watching the Japanese animated series "Tegami Bachi," in which one of the underlying conceits is that a person's humanity, or "heart," is a quantifiable and finite energy, and that letters or other writings are like batteries that store within them the "heart" of the person who writes them -- an energy into which the reader taps. Jan undoubtedly poured a lot of her heart into her writings. And her writings remain -- on her blog, in her Facebook posts, in the two books she wrote, and in her children's writings. The ability to preserve the energy of humanity through writing is one that should never be taken lightly. It allows portions wonderful people like Jan to remain after they themselves have left us.
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