Re: Joani Blank [was: Two announcements about longtime cohouser ...
From: Fred H Olson (
Date: Fri, 22 Jul 2016 10:13:27 -0700 (PDT)
Dear dear Joani,

Despite all it's shortcoming, I still really like email for some things.
One thing is that tho we can make and often expect prompt responses,
one can ponder how to reply and do so after a while.

I've been thinking about you and pondering this reply.

On 24 Jun 2016 Joani Blank (jeblank [at] wrote:

>I have very recently received a diagnosis of metastatic pancreatic
>cancer. It is a very aggressive form of cancer with a poor prognosis,
>and it is likely that I do not have a lot of time left.For that
>reason, I intend to treat only my symptoms, not the disease itself,
>because I want to enjoy myself and not feel sick during whatever time
>People often don't know how to respond to a cancer announcement, so
>let me tell you what will work and not work for me.
>Please don't say something like, "Let me tell you about a book you
>should read/some herbs you should take/a meditation practice that will
>help you." In other words I prefer not to hear advice or suggestions
>at this time. Instead, try something like, "That really sucks" or
>"I'm sad/sorry you're sick" and/or if you are close by, you
>might offer me a hug. There's no need to offer your help; I know that
>I will have it should I ask for it, and I will ask if I need or want
>Watch for details of a Celebration of My Life (which I plan to attend)
>probably in September.

I'm surprized how my command of English cannot seem to come up with
words to respond adequately without resorting to vernacular.  So...

That sucks.

Thank you for sharing your sad news with us in this timely fashion.

We are also Unitarians ("UU"s).  You've noted over the years how UU's
seem to be particularly attracted to cohousing. We dont believe in an
afterlife or a god for that matter but I do believe that people do
live on in a sense in the memories of people who knew them or what
they did while they were here.  Joani you and your good efforts will
be long remembered.

Tho we live half a continent away and have long shared the interest in
cohousing, I think we actually "met" before cohousing came to the US
(ie before 1988 when 'the book' was published).  It was actually my
wife, Becca Brackett, who met you (we think in the 1980's) when she
attended a medical conference in San Francisco.  She could choose
where to stay and stayed at the B & B that you had at the time and
advertised in a UU directory.  Tho I was not with her, she shared her
impressions of you with me.  So a number of years later (1995) when
you joined Cohousing-L and introduced yourself, I recognized you.

I doubt I'll get to your celebration in Sept but you never know.
After 20 years a number of us are working on a revival of cohousing
efforts in Minneapolis to include a talk by Chuck Durret here in
September so that may keep us busy then (Stay tuned)

>Believe it or not, I'm turning 79 on the 4th of July!
>This year, I will be celebrating my birthday on Monday, the Fourth

Belated birthday greetings.  As I noted on another list recently,
announcements by email of upcoming gatherings are much more common
than reports of how the event went for the benefit of those who did
not get to attend.  Anyone care to comment on the birthday party?

Hang in there and enjoy yourself.

Fred and Becca

I support Hillary Clinton for President. ( formerly Bernie Sanders)
Fred H. Olson  Minneapolis,MN 55411  USA        (near north Mpls)
     Email:        fholson at      612-588-9532
My Link Pg:

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