Monday, September 22

Letter from Jan to Ann

Ann, we are 69 years of age today.  I can't grasp you are in heaven. 

We began as one egg. You pushed yourself out first and you have marched ahead of me again into heaven. You know we never really talked about death and dying except it just couldn't happen. But three months before you died, do you remember saying, "I have to die first. You have Tom. I would be alone."  I continue to have these awful mishaps, diarrhea everywhere, falling over the open dishwasher door, breaking more bones - I carry my pain alone. You are in heaven, your suffering is over. Hurray for you!  And you were right, I couldn't have made it without Tom. 

Sometimes I wail out your name. So many things I want to say to you. A new makeup I found. A new book. A sad feeling. I've talked to all your children. Brock is sending me a new blender. Mine is broken. I know you would be proud. Honey, you lost touch of all the millions who are changed today because of you. Remember Phillip Russell, your ROTC partner?  He called. The only person from school I would even recognize. We graduated 51 years ago.  He and I have had really honest talks about being haoles.  How ugly and inferior we felt.

Ann, we have laughed and snuggled in beds with our magazines, spoken on the same platforms, argued fiercely.  Never free for a day to be just ourselves. We had to always wonder what the other one was doing or getting.  I don't have to worry about my weight anymore.  It's a relief, honey. Why did you need to be so much smaller than me?

You are brilliant, beautiful, gifted and the most loving person I've ever met. I'm struggling with being overly defensive. I always have been a fighter. Another thing I wish we could talk about. While I feel a big piece pulled a part of me when you died, I carry you with me everywhere I go. Thank you for sharing your world, your great friends, your blessings. God poured great blessings into both of our lives, but I still become someone special, "magical", to people when I say I'm the twin sister of Ann Kiemel Anderson.

I crawled into your hospital bed minutes after you died, honey, and wrapped my arms around you, kissed you, cried, and knew my life would never be the same again. Wait for me, I'm right behind you!

I will always love you, darling.   Jan


  1. Beautiful writing, Jan...I can't imagine how you fill the void that Ann has left in your life. You both have been a blessing to many amd a special belssing to each other.

    1. Happy birthday, Jan. Happy first birthday in Heaven, Ann.

  2. "I carry you with me everywhere I go."

    That so speak to me! Happy birthday Jan.

  3. Happy Birthday Jan. Grieving with you and grateful for the hope we share.

  4. Jan...much love to you today...and happy birthday. Miss Ann too. I have a letter I wrote to you...and I must send it. Thank you for sharing. Please keep doing we all can love on you

  5. Happy Birthday Jan! Thank you for sharing such beautiful and painful words of love. Your dear sister Ann is missed terribly.

  6. I miss her . . . and I've wondered how you were doing. Thank you for sharing this.

  7. Thank you for sharing your beautiful letter, Jan. When I first saw Ann's blog posting show up on my Facebook feed, my first thought was, 'Oh good, Ann's written another blog! It's been a while since she's written and I can't wait to see what she has to say." I then realized, of course, that the blog was written by you and remembered that the Lord brought Ann's writing ministry to its conclusion when He called her Home. Her writing has concluded, but her ministry and influence continues to touch so many lives!

    May God comfort you and Ann's four sons as you continue to grieve; may you feel His strength and His peace and may you experience joy at the sure promise of a reunion in Heaven someday!

  8. Prayed for you especially on y'all's birthday but pray for you other days as well. Thank you so much for sharing your letter to Ann. She will continue do be missed but her ministry, her legacy lives on in the lives of so many of us. Love and prayers.

  9. Dear Jan,

    Thank you so much for sharing your birthday thoughts with all of us! You were with Ann each step of the way as she encouraged us to know, love, and serve Jesus through the ones around us.

    Your writing in "Struggling For Wholeness" really touched me and (as Ann joked she was afraid it might) surpassed her entries in that book. All of Ann's loved ones are a part of her readers' lives, and we miss not only her but you. You and your family are often in my thoughts and prayers.

    I don't know if you realize what it means to hear from you. Would you consider adding entries to this blog to keep us up on the family, and to add your own thoughts about life with Jesus? No one expects you to "BE ANN" but your own thoughts are valued ... as you are.

    I was wracked with sobs when I found out (late) that Ann was no longer running with us. She has been a dear friend and mentor for me for more than 30 years. My tears were selfish ... but they were also for a world that needs the kind of love Ann gave so freely.

    I'm all the more determined to love the people around me to Jesus with whatever time I have left. Ann isn't here to do it any more.

    Much love in Christ from one who's world was changed by your sister.

  10. Thank you so much Jan for giving Ann's many followers an update. I had wondered how you and the boys were doing. She encouraged so many and never hesitated to share the love of Christ.

  11. Jan please continue to write. We love you and the boys. Persevere to the end!

  12. you and ann are always so.......needy and pathetic. JUST LIKE ME! that's why i have loved you both for over 30 years. you two helped me to remember that it's ALL about Jesus. we can't even get out of bed without His help. may the Lord Jesus richly bless you and give you so much grace that you can't even take a step without feeling His Anointing. in my darkest days, your books comforted me.

    soon, we will be seeing our King and i can't wait to hug the both of you as we lift our voices in praise to our KING OF KINGS. love ya'!

  13. Her book "I Gave God Time" is my relationship bible. May her beautiful soul rest in peace...

  14. A year ago. Already.
    Still. Missing ann.
    Grief unsettled.
    Love unforgotten.

    Many times I have tried
    To pay tribute to God
    For the brief friendship we held dear.
    Maybe someday... :)

    Jan and loved ones, I'm remembering you all at this other significant marker (March 1, a yr after ann's death). I found this quote today that helped. Please be comforted by my continued prayers for each of you. Love, Janel


    it is hardly fair to sum up a
    beautiful life
    in a few paragraphs
    to honour an
    ordinary woman who
    has touched us in
    extraordinary ways - Ani Holdsworth

  15. I miss Ann's blog terribly. I miss her heart, her input, her wisdom, her honesty, her realness, her always pointing me to Jesus! I was glad to read your post Jan. Beautifully written! Love and hugs to you..

  16. I also miss Ann's blog (I have many of her books which is a blessing). She was so real, authentic, appreciating this aspect of her. One day, I hope to meet her in heaven.

  17. Today I submitted my first manuscript, Green Grass & Still Waters, (Woolfred Lamb Explains Psalm 23) to be published by Xulon Press. It is a children's book Linda Boswell is illustrating. It will be released in English later this year, and in Spanish soon after.

    I wanted the dedication to read:
    "for ann keimal anderson
    who noticed an over-looked little girl in 1975
    & took time to make her feel special;
    taught her to dream big dreams and watch God make them come true;
    and invited her to change the world with Jesus' love.
    i never forgot."

    i looked Ann up to see what has become of her in all these years since I use to save every letter she ever wrote to me and she always told me she saved all of mine. but today i leaned ann died just a few weeks after my mother passed away in 2014.

    she will never get to read my book. but she left an impression in my heart i have never shaken. ann taught me my own insignificance is irrelevant, except in as much as it makes room for God to act thru me, loving the people He loves. i have never forgotten her message: a small woman and a big God are enough to change the world. dream big dreams. invite God to live out His biggest dreams for you, thru you.

    the many who were blessed to know her, carry her legacy forward for the next generations.

    1. I was that girl as well- met Ann in college while attending one of her talks - I told her how she impacted me and she said, "someday someone will need to take over for me. Maybe that person is you..." - she believed in people, she was humble, she dared to dream big dreams. Congrats on your book ;)

  18. Jan- I have loved and appreciated Ann's simple message of "Hi, I'm Ann...I am only one, but I am one...God and I and love are out to change the watch, you wait, you'll see..." I met her in college after attending a talk she gave - it was so encouraging to meet her- I told her how she impacted me and she said someone will continue to take her message to the world when she is gone...and it looks like many are doing that today...I try to dream and make a difference one person at a time. I too am a writer and am now renewed in my vision, after seeing this post. I am sad she is gone. I am sad for you- I have identical twin sons age 20...i cannot imagine them not having one another- God bless you- cornelia