So, here we are.

•June 11, 2013 • 44 Comments

I’m sorry it has been so long since I have updated Kristian’s blog. We (my boys and I) had a huge year last year, and to be honest, when I look back on it I’m not entirely sure how I survived with any sanity intact. But, we are all still alive and moving forward… sort of!

Cody had a fabulous first year at school. His teacher was beautiful and was so loving and gracious towards him, and he thrived under her. He is such a star and I am so proud of him.

Jakob is a hilarious little character and it was so much fun watching him grow and change under the love and care of his amazing kindy teachers.

Me, well, I kind of feel like I made it to the end of the year by the skin of my teeth. Teaching full time and raising my two boys kept me so busy that I don’t know if I really took enough time to grieve. I’ve been reading through comments on this blog tonight with tears streaming down my face so I guess I’m still in the process and probably will be to some degree, forever. I was surrounded by exceptional friends, work colleagues, church folks  and an enormous amount of prayer and somehow we made it through. 

On the 15th of December, the boys and I left Australia permanently and returned to New Zealand, my country of origin and where my family are. Kristian wanted us to move here and had he survived we probably would have ended up here all together. I believe this is also where God has wanted us, and through the whole process of packing up and moving (which is an incredibly stressful thing to do without a spouse) I never once felt any anxiety about relocating. And, we’ve been in New Zealand now for almost exactly six months and we are very happy. We now live on a semi-rural property with a couple of acres of wide open space and bush to play in, and my parents are converting the garage into a cottage and will be moving in soon to help support me, which is so exciting.

The anniversary on the 2nd of January was not a day I was looking forward to. Before Kristian died I suggested to him that perhaps I could take the boys back to the US for Christmas as we knew that the anniversary would fall sometime around that time, and he thought it was a great idea. We took my parents and spent three weeks in America with an amazing time in Disneyland to begin with, then a lovely two weeks with a white Christmas thrown in, staying with incredible friends in Minnesota.ImageImage

 

On Kristian’s birthday this year the boys wanted again to put up our Christmas tree. It was beautiful watching them decorate it, and it warmed my heart that they wanted to carry on the tradition that was their own idea. We talk about Kristian as often as we can and have put photos of him all over our new house. I feel further from him in this house though, because he has never been here with me and we have no memories together in this place. But I know that he would be thrilled with this property, with it’s stream and bush and surrounding farm animals. It’s a little boys wonderland, the sort of place we would have loved to raised our children together in. And that makes me happy.ImageImage

 

I’m not currently working which feels very strange. I’m not used to having time on my hands and I feel guilty about it, but at the same time the thought of having to live at the pace of life like I did last year makes me feel slightly nauseated. I know God wants me to be “still” and to get reacquainted with Him. He is supplying all our needs, and I am constantly being blown away by how generous He is and how He is taking care, and has taken care of EVERYTHING. God is so good. He is worthy to be praised! We miss Kristian everyday, but in the midst of it all the boys and I know that God has not abandoned us, and that Daddy is OK. Better than Ok, actually!

 

Thanks for stopping by.

 

Rachel xx

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We’re ok.

•May 28, 2012 • 67 Comments

The boys wanted to put the Christmas tree up to celebrate Daddy’s birthday. I think we might make this an annual tradition. They were so proud of their effort.

Hi everyone,

I’ve been thinking for a while now that I should really post something to let people know how my boys and I are doing. So, here I am.

It has almost been five months. Five whole months. I honestly thought things would be getting easy by now. Particularly because the first days and weeks were so, so hard. But the truth be known, it’s still just as difficult now as it was back when I first lost him. The reality has truly set in. I miss his voice, his smile, his compliments to me in the mornings once I’d dressed for work, his companionship, his hugs, his spaghetti bolognese, his fettucini and prawns, his laugh, sharing stories of the boys with him. I miss watching him be a Daddy. I hate doing this alone. I don’t know why he had to go. I know God has it all under control, but it doesn’t make the day to day business of living any easier.

Cody and Jakob are doing incredibly well. They miss their Daddy all the time, but they are so resilient. Cody loves school and is growing so tall. Jakob is such a funny little guy with such a sensitive streak. I love them so much and am so, so proud of them every day. They are the reason I keep putting one foot in front of the other, and try to keep functioning. They ask a lot of questions about Daddy – why he had to die, what is he doing in heaven but they have bounced back amazingly well. I am so grateful for all the prayers people are praying for us, as I think that is the reason my little chickens are doing so well. Thank you so much.

It is so exciting to have had Kristian’s blogs published. I am thrilled to have in hard copy his journey, which I’ll be able to give to the boys to read when they are older and ask what it was like for Daddy when he was sick. They will be able to read in black and white about how hard he fought for them. How his faith in Jesus never once wavered.

Thank you for praying for us. Thank you for thinking of us. Thank you for believing we will be ok.

love Rachel

Both boys love Star Wars. I think it’s because it’s a tangible link to Kristian. He’d be laughing if he knew how often I had to watch it (before he died I’d never sat through even one of the movies!).

We found our book for sale at a bookstore at the airport. Just a little bit excited!

Celebration

•January 12, 2012 • 75 Comments

For those who are interested, Kristian’s celebration can be viewed at:

I miss him every day.

Rachel

The Final Call

•January 2, 2012 • 385 Comments

The following is Kristian’s final blog, posted after his death. It was posted by his wife, Rachel after he had an inkling it was his time to go.

How the light gets in.

As I mentioned at the start of this journey it’s a Leonard Cohen lyric. The truth being we’re all broken, we’re all cracked and what so many people see as a fault or a malfunction really is something to be considered useful. I’m not sure how much longer I have left but it appears that the physical and medical signs are all pointing to my end.

And, what a great time to go, right at Christmas-time.

Just wonderful.

The time my Saviour was brought into the world is the very same time he decides to call me home. The irony is astounding.

While I struggle to find any logical rhyme or reason in all of this my commitment to following Him has not changed. People look at me like I’m crazy. How can I trust God to deliver me from this madness, when this madness means losing my wife and two beautiful children? And the answer is, I simply don’t know.

It’s the light that permeates the brokenness. It’s the light that the three wise men followed that night when Christ was born. It’s the light that just came to be when God said: “let there be light” on the first day of creation. It’s unexplainable. And as I said before even though it makes no sense, I will follow it until my very end.

It’s the light that shines for every man and woman, and thankfully it shines for me, lest I be lost in the darkness that surrounds me without it.

Thank you for journeying with me this far. I pray you find the same peace I have.

Kristian went to Heaven on 2nd of January 2012, just after 8am at Manly Hospital. His passing was truly peaceful and he had a tear in his eye as he left, and I have no doubt that he was looking on the face of Jesus.

Please check twitter @rachelacj or @krisPA for funeral details and times. We are also planning to have the funeral webcast live for those who are unable to attend.

Would the real Reality please stand up?

•November 27, 2011 • 174 Comments

It’s been a while now since my prognosis was updated from ‘treatable’ to ‘terminal’.

We’ve prepared as much of our lives as possible for the (medically) inevitable. Our parent’s and friends have been a great help in getting this rolling, flying in from Perth and Auckland. Physically we’ve had to sort through 3 years worth of stuff in storage. Electronically it’s been getting all finances and authorisations sorted and flowing into the one right place. That’s nearly done except for a couple of small things. But otherwise we’re on track.

I’m being visited every day by NSW Home Nursing so a nurse can drain my stomach port to bearable  levels. They’ve also given me a wheelchair, which is very handy as I can’t walk without becoming breathless or exhausted after a few steps. My stoma/bowel is incredibly active and quite tender as a result so that’s been added to the pain management schedule. Yes, I have a ‘schedule’ for managing my pain. The first few weeks were trial and error but now we seem to be settling on a preferred treatment style that the palliative oncologist is happy with. In his mind, pain management is key… if I’m not comfortable then he’s failing, he says.

Anyway…. the drugs really alter my perception of reality. They also severely diminish my ability to actually use my body other than for standing up or laying down. I really hate it.

I feel so much less than human but there’s nothing I can do unless I want to leave this earth a bawling mass  of pain. That doesn’t really sit well with me either so…. excuse me while I go back and put my zombie outfit on.

In Defense of Daddy

•November 6, 2011 • 126 Comments

The other night I was helping Rachel put the boys to bed, as we do, and I was cuddling up to Jakob in his bed. He loves to tell me all about his day and what he did. It’s very cute. I began to test the waters with him and told him that Daddy will always live in his heart, no matter what happens. He looked at me and said “In my heart? Oh. Ok.” Then we tested it a few times… where will Daddy live?

Jakob: “ummm…. kindy?”

Daddy: “Noooo…”

Jakob: “In my heart?”

Daddy: “Yes, that’s right. So even if I have to leave I will always love you and live in your heart. Sometimes people have to go away and can’t come back, like when they’re very sick.”

Cody walked in at that exact moment and got very angry. “NO!” he shouted. “YOU CAN’T LEAVE!”

“Why are you going, and why can’t you come back? There’s only one Daddy for a family and you’re our Daddy….and…. and… You can’t go!”

He had tears running down his cheeks and the look on his face was pure fury. He was angry.

At that point I couldn’t contain it anymore and collapsed in sobs. We talked it through a bit more and then we prayed with them. Pretty soon they were asleep but it wasn’t easy.

Somehow I have to help my boys understand what’s coming.

Dear God, no father should ever have to do this.

Numbering my days

•October 19, 2011 • 193 Comments

It’s been a very hard few weeks. The SIRT recovery is continuing but not without it’s own battles. The exhaustion is extreme and the night sweats and fever are very unpleasant. But I’m getting there. I have been in hospital for the past week with a case of pneumonia. Not an uncommon side effect of the SIRT but enough to put me in a hospital bed for a week. While I was there they found I had fluid in my stomach which is why I have been bloated lately. It has been drained but it indicates a possible significant deterioration in my condition. If my stomach fluid isn’t draining then it means something is blocking the drains. In my case, as a cancer patient, it usually means it’s being blocked by cancer cells.

Which leads me to my updated prognosis…

On Saturday my Oncologist sat down with myself and Rachel and told us I have 3 to 6 months left to live. I’m not responding to any of the drugs available to me anymore. To continue might bring minor results but the painful side effects would far outweigh any curative benefit. Living life is one thing but the quality of that life is important, too.

It was awful. It was like we were right back at Diagnosis Day all over again. I was devastated because it means all my hard work, all my fighting has really been for nothing. We’re nowhere near remission and certainly nowhere near a cure. Heartbreaking.

So Rachel and I spent a lot of time crying and hugging each other and telling each other how much we love the other….  both of us… our hearts shattered again.

So here it is now… my days are numbered. Unless God intervenes and brings a miracle I am going to die. Rachel will become a widow and Cody and Jakob will have no father. I’m in the process now of writing a book for them with photo’s and letters… full of memories and anything I can pass on to them that may be of use as they continue living their lives. Winding up loose ends, financially making sure they are taken care of, etc. I have to do these things. To leave them undone would be irresponsible and unfair on Rachel. It’s going to be hard enough as it is.

Please pray for us, as a family… for me as an individual… for healing, for the miracle.

I haven’t stopped believing.

I never will.

“Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him.” (Job 13:15)

 
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