Posted by Rebecca

My friend, Jan, died 2 weeks ago.  I had been expecting the news for a month or two, but it’s always a shock and very sad when it actually happens.  She was one of my mom’s best friends.  Jan lost her life to cancer.  My mom also lost her life to cancer in 1990, so it’s a sensitive topic for me.

Jan, and her husband, Ralph, took me into their home for a couple of years when I was in my late teens and early twenties, so I’ve always viewed them as sort-of surrogate parents.

Jan and her family most recently lived near Niagara Falls, in Canada, and the last time I saw her was in March of 2010; just over a month before my life took a drastic change and I separated from my husband and moved into the pink trailer. 

As you know, part of the small-space-living motto is to only keep what you love, what is useful, and what is beautiful.  And I’m so glad that Jan left me with a few things that fill my home with love and beauty.

Jan was the most amazing quilter, and when I visited her last March, she presented me with a lovely brown quilt that I keep on my bed.  It is so warm and cozy.  I love it!  She quilted an assortment of fabrics, including one that her daughter-in-law acquired in Africa.

On the back side of the brown quilt, Jan wrote me a note in permanent fabric ink to always remind me of the love that was put into every stitch.

This past winter, Jan created a quilt for my living room.  My trailer still needs some wintering and insulating.  Last year I froze.  So Jan sent me another warm quilt for curling up on the couch.  I absolutely LOVE this quilt.  It’s so bright and cheerful, and super artistic.


Finally, several years ago, Jan bought me this pretty wooden box as a gift.  I have a couple of other similar boxes piled together to create a side table in my living room.  The one she gave me is the top trunk.

Jan is going to be missed.  I think about her everyday.  And I miss her already.  We didn’t see each other often, but knowing she was just a phone call away was a great comfort to me.  So there is a gap now.  But I firmly believe I will see her again.  And until then I have daily reminders of her beautiful artistic abilities, and her love for me.

Jan and I at Niagara falls in March, 2010.

Rebecca Knabe

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About trailerchic

Somehow I ended up in a single-wide trailer, in Reno, Nevada. And somehow I love it. Here is where I tell my story about my trailer, and my passion for small space living, photography, travelling, and running.

8 thoughts on “Jan

  1. Hi… just seen this today as I was peeking at your blog. I love the picture of you and Jan, is a great picture. I too have so many wonderful memories of her. My mom studied with her in the early 80’s and then I became interested and joined their studies. Soon Jan and I were having our own studies together. I also lived with them for awhile in my teens. I was so sad to hear of her passing… my mom also passed only a week later on Sept. 7 from the horrible cancer too. Will be so happy to see the day when no one will be sick again and can have our loved ones back and we can all be together again! 🙂

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