Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Inviting your remembrances & photos from memorial service

Hi all: Thanks again for all of your support. It has taken me a couple of days to go in as an "administrator" of the blog (which I didn't know I was:) and set it up to receive comments. I know a lot of you, particularly from out of town, would like to share memories, stories, or comments about John's life. To prevent spam, the comments will be quickly reviewed before posting--probably by Diane who works with me. More to come---text from all who spoke at the memorial service--not all have sent them to me yet.
Attached below are the photos that we blew up to poster size for the service. Of course there are so many many more photos of John that we didn't have time to find. I love you guys, all of you.
Hugs all around, Anna


Blogger anna said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John I love you so much! Mom you are amazing. Love, Mason

3:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting these pictures! They are a beautiful representation of John and his love of life! all my love, Diane

11:23 AM  
Anonymous Michael said...

I only found your site a few days after John passed away(my birthday). As a 44 year old CLL survivor I am saddened by your loss. Not knowing you or John, I am encouraged by John's(and your)courage to post stories, thoughts and the journey that you have been through. I am ever inspired by the courage that one has after being diagnosed with a disease such as cancer, especially chronic Leukemia.

...Look to the Lord; Be strong and of good courage: O look to the Lord...Psalm 27

Hashem is with me, I shall not fear..Adon Olam

Peace and blessing

8:10 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

I'm deeply saddened to hear of John's passing. He was my dissertation chair back in 2000, and shepherded me through a seemingly endless writing process with enormous grace and patience. I'd moved to San Francisco, so I read aloud my chapters on tape and sent them to him. He commented on them with wonderful depth and insight; I was amazed how he could do it without having the text in front of him to scan. The extra labor was well worth it, too, because hearing myself read each chapter aloud was the best proofing process I could have had.

I've known John since 1988, when I took a modernist poetry class from him in my first year of graduate school. My gosh, that's twenty years. I can hardly believe it. At the time he still had enough vision left to read. By the time I was finishing up in 2000 he was blind, though that made him not the slightest less skillful as a dissertation advisor.

It's funny; I was visiting some folks at Google last month and mentioned that John had been my chair. Turned out his successor at W3C is working there and remembered him well.

Death comes to all of us, but John's spirit and influence lives on in the gifts he gave me as I was building my own career as a writer and scholar. I am very proud to have been his student.

Michael Chorost

2:50 PM  
Blogger Mary-Elizabeth Sierra Lanham's Mom said...

I am the thankful Mom of Mary-Elizabeth Sierra Lanham. She was diagnosed with leukemia on Friday the 13th in August of 04. During her treatment I found John's blog. We sent him something for day 13 of this 130 days. I read his blog from the beginning and realized very quickly that this was not one of the Whinny, why me cancer people. He was open and constructive and took what came his way.

I was so sad to see the end posts. It seemed to all develope so so fast. In some ways I guess that is good, in others it is a great reminder that each instand in life is to be taken as a special gift.

I know this is a hard time, one I have not had to face. I hope that you find somecomfort in all the love that is around you.

4:14 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

I grew up with John in Buffalo, and we were very close friends during high school. Although I moved to Austin in 1975, and John came a few years later, we were not close friends here. We re-established our friendship for a few months in the early ‘80’s, but he met Anna and I met my husband at around the same time, and our lives quickly became very full. Reading this blog, I feel as if I should have pursued the friendship more aggressively – that I am the loser for not having done so.

My favorite memory of John is a high school memory. We took public transportation to school, and the bus came every 10 or 15 minutes, so we were frequently on the same bus. One day (my memory says that it was a Jewish holiday, and our best instructors weren’t going to be there anyway), we decided to cut school. One of the only times I ever did that, and probably one of the few times John did. We got off the bus at the University campus, spent the morning writing poetry (his better than mine), listening to music, smoking cigarettes, acting cool. In the afternoon, we went to a poetry reading (again, my memory says it was Lawrence Ferlinghetti, but I may be making that up). We looked up to see John’s father standing right next to us.

Phone calls were made. Parents (four of them) became involved. Punishments meted out. I was grounded for what seemed like the rest of my natural life.

But the “favorite memory” part of this is the letter that John wrote to me to commiserate with my punishment. It came in the mail (remember, I was grounded). It was written in brown ink on cream-colored paper. No caps. Spaced on the paper like a poem. He assured me that I would outlive my sentence. He assured me that my friends weren’t going to forget me. He suggested that this was character building, and that I would be stronger for it. It was dramatic in the way that teenagers are dramatic. It was sweet, caring, and eloquent.

I’m glad that you all had this sweet, caring, eloquent man in your lives. And that he had you.

Rachel Cohen

8:17 PM  
Blogger Max said...

I've enjoyed getting to know John, Anna, and, yes, Dillon. Although we only knew each other a short time, I came to realize what hopeful and optimistic people John and Anna are.

We met as fellow bone marrow transplant patients at MDA in the fall of 2006. We kept up with each other on a regular basis over this past year and would meet at MDA when we both had to go back for check ups.

John was always an inspiration to me. We talked every couple of weeks after we got to go home. I have to admit that I would call sometimes when I was down because talking to John would always pick my spirits up.

I am so sad that John is gone from this life now. I'll miss him. As you walk the hallways of MDA and talk to other patients you realize what a precarious path we all tread. Although I will miss John, I am glad that his suffering, which at the end must have been substantial, is finally over.

Anna, please let me know if there is anything we can do. We'll be back in Houston frequently.


8:58 PM  

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