So, here we are.

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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~ by Kristian Anderson on June 11, 2013.

44 Responses to “So, here we are.”

  1. May the God of ALL peace, continue to fill you as you trust in him!

  2. So grateful you checked in to update your family’s status. Thank you for being my inspiration.

  3. Sounds like you are adjusting well and will continue to process the changes, grief and excitement with the extra time you’ve been given. I’m so glad to hear and see a few pictures of your progress. God bless you and we still pray for you and your boys!

  4. It’s lovely to hear from you Rachel. You and the boys were in my thoughts so much around the time of Kristian’s death. As a mum of three kids I could not help but try to put myself in your shoes. Then time passed and life got in the way and weeks became months. Last week as I was tidying the house I found myself stopping and thoughts of you all filled my mind. I was wondering how you were doing and the boys too. How were you adjusting? Somehow I wished I could reach out and say “Hi” and let you know that you are in my thoughts but I didn’t know how. And then I saw the update and you all sound like you are doing ok. I know life has taken a path you would never have chosen but it is good to hear that you are surrounded by family. It’s lovely to see the pictures of the boys decorating their Christmas tree. You are doing a wonderful job supporting them. I hope you also get some time for yourself. Take care. Gina

  5. Thank you so much for this update, as a widow myself I know grief takes time and has many phases, the anger one took me by surprise. But the one thing that surprised me was seeing my husband in my child, especially as she is a girl. Kristian will come back to you through your boys, a mannerism, an attitude, a gesture and suddenly he is with you. The very best to you and the boys.

  6. Thanks so much! Bless you Rachel; and your sweet boys!!!

  7. Hi Rachel, you have been in my thoughts often so it is great to hear from you, I to lost my husband to cancer in Jan 2012 and relate so much to what you have said, don’t know where last year went but got through it. Its great to hear that the move you made back home to NZ was a good one, being a fellow kiwi I to have made the decision and am moving home at the end of this year from Aussie and know its the right move for me to. I know you will continue to find strength every day, my thoughts are with you, take care.

  8. Thanks for the update Rachel, delighted you are all coping as well as you can and so graciously so too! Best of luck to you in your new propoerty, I bet Kristian is looking down on you all with so much love and pride. Every good wish,
    Grace Hill, Ireland

  9. So happy to hear about you and the boys Rachel!Thankyou for the update!Your boys are sure growing up!Very handsome young men! Christian is likely very proud of his family!God bless you’s always!
    In God’s love,
    Sandra Lori Allan

  10. I so happy to hear that all of you are doing well. I have often stopped to wonder how Rachel and the kiddos are doing. What fortunate boys to have such an amazing mom.
    God Bless!

  11. Rachel

    Thank you so much for the update! What a blessing. The boys are beautiful. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to know your story through the blog.

    Darrin in Dallas, Tx USA

  12. My heart skipped a beat when I saw an email from Kristian’s blog! God bless you for having the strength and courage to update all of us while you continue to make changes in your life. I can’t imagine how hard it must still be. You are an amazing woman! Thank you for your thoughtfulness. Take care of yourself and your precious children! With love from West Virginia, U.S.A.

  13. Good luck in your new home! How great to have your parents right there with you! God Bless!

  14. I was so happy to see your update..I have looked at some of the twitters, but since you really don’t know me, felt it was intrusive to say anything. You are doing such a good and lovely job with your babes. I do know how terribly hard it is and when you do have time to think it sometimes is a very hard place to be. Just remember that there are strangers who knew your husband through his blog and still think about him and you all. Thank you so much for taking the time to drop a line for those of us who don’t twitter!

    May the great good Lord bless you, keep you and hold you in the palm of His hand.

    The Grandma from NC with non-hodgkins lymphoma (which I still don’t capitalize because of Kristian)..also known as Cathy

    _____

  15. I just thought of you the other day – saw my list of subscriptions and wondered how you guys were doing. So glad to hear from you and so glad that you and the boys are settling in where they can have the run of the place. Kids need room to run and explore. You are amazing, Rachel. God bless, with love from Wisconsin, U.S.A.

  16. Thank you for your graciousness and thought about us in your times of transition. You are an astounding woman/wife and mother! May god comfort you in His arms as you grieve and grow

  17. Thanks so much for the update. I often thiink of you and your boys and pray for you, so it’s nice to hear how/where you are. I think your husband would be so proud of all of you.

  18. I agree with everyone else, thank-you so much for the update. You have all been in my thoughts and prayers for the past few years and it’s good to know that you & your boys are alright.

  19. Thank you dearest Rachel…we’ve been thinking of you so much – especially in the last few days as your anniversary approached (one of the very best and most beautiful weddings I have ever been to!), so it was lovely to hear of your doings and yes, it is time for you to be still, to have a bit more time to grieve as well (so important), and to sit with God and just be. Not plan (not yet), but just be. Be you, be a mum, be God’s daughter and sit with Him. Love you very much dearest Cupcake! Shelley & David. xx

  20. What a poignant feeling to see that familiar “crack in everything” subject line this morning. The photos are wonderful; the boys are beautiful; it feels so nice to hear how you all are doing. Everyone here would agree that you have a place in our hearts – thanks for the update. Much love from Austin, TX.

  21. i, like many others, felt my heart skip a beat at the appearance of a blog entry from your direction and then findiing that you were in the states not long ago. it is so good to hear that you are each continuing to move forward. i’d say your year certainly has been full…but, as you say, God is providing and giving you this time to catch your breath. the boys are beautiful…and so lucky to have such an amazing mom! kristian chose and prepared each of you wisely. he must be smiling as he shares each minute of your every day. hope that you can feel his presence. abundant thoughts, much love, many prayers and every blessings your way…still. be well, rachel!

  22. It gladdens my heart to know you are all well.

  23. Thank you for updating. So happy to hear the way that God has paved the way for you and that you are placed where you should be.
    It is so lovely that you informed us. As a regular reader of the blog I often wondered what you had done.
    Wow, not working, bliss. Enjoy the luxury of being a full time mum while you can. I think that’s awesome.

  24. Hi Rachel, I am Italian, so be patient for my english… I follow this blog of your husband from many time, but I never wrote any comment to your husband’s post on this blog.
    I lived an experience very similar.. My wife gone away on january, 2011 for lung cancer, after two years of illness. I have two male children like you, Andrea and Francesco. Now they are 8 years old and 5 years old. Francesco was only 7 months old when our world began to crack.
    You say “when I look back on it I’m not entirely sure how I survived with any sanity intact.” … that’s also what I think of me.
    Hi Rachel
    Antonio.

  25. Your and the boy’s happiness, that is how you honour Kristian, May God Bless your new life.

  26. Wonderful to see you all smiling and enjoying NZ……take care of each other :) x

  27. This is the legacy left behind by Kristian and truly, shows how great our God and Master is. Am thankful to Him that you guys are doing well.. :)

    Praise the Lord!

  28. i’ve just recently moved to Perth from the Philippines.. a few weeks ago, i picked up a book from Kmart thinking i needed something to spend my time on… honestly, i ‘ve never heard about your family’s story but somehow the picture at the back of book has touched me.. it was only a few days ago that i started reading it because i became preoccupied with work…
    But now that i finished reading it, I WANT TO THANK YOU for sharing this to the world… there were a few moments where i hold my tears back because i was in the train or in the bus while reading it… for a bloke, i don’t usually give in to my emotions…but how Kristian described it… I just understood and felt the pain…

    he has opened my eyes and showed me how it is to really live…

    I’m happy for you… I wish you all the best..

  29. Hi Rachel, I am again another follower of Kristian’s blog since the beginning and the first time leaving a comment. Kristian made a huge impact on my life – there isn’t a week that goes by now where I don’t check back into his blog to see if there are any updates from you and the boys and also to read part of his blog. I always seem to be able to land on one that resonates with me and what I might be going through.

    I am so happy to hear that you and the boys have found a peaceful and happy place for you to grow together surrounded by your family, love and support.

    I wish you all the best in the days, weeks and months ahead. You are always in my prayers and thoughts xoxo

  30. Hi Rachel,

    I think of you, Kristian and the boys often. It sounds like you are exactly where you are meant to be, surrounded by family. I hope that you can find peace and happiness, while you follow this path of grief. There are so many of us who have never met you, but I’m sure we are all wishing for the same thing for you – lots of love, laughter and a peaceful and happy life.
    Please check in from time to time if you want to say hi :)

    Cheers,
    Snappz

  31. Rachel and the boys;

    I feel like a relative newbie to this since I only stumbled upon the book a few weeks ago but I just want to say thank you. Thanks to you, Kristian, and the boys for letting us into your lives and teaching so much. I’m so, so, sorry for your loss and I hope that as your family continues to grow in new ways you will get stronger in the peace of God knowing his arms are around you and that he’s fighting for you today and always.

    The book gave me so much hope and helped me reaquant myself with beautiful Jesus I can’t even put words on what it did for me but please know how grateful I am, and how much strength I’ve drawn from you. I’m living with my Grandparents, both of who have terminal illnesses, and for so long I was flat, blaming God and not able to make any sense of it. Thanks to Kris’s story I’ve resolved to make everyday count.

    I finished reading in two days flat but it’s resonated in me. It sparked a match and lit a flame of hope, and fanned a dwindling flame of passion for God. Since that moment I can honestly say your family has not left my mind and I’ve been lifting you up in prayer constantly.

    John 14:1-3 says “Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God believe also in me. In my fathers house are many mansions: if it were not so I would not have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and receive you to myself; that where I am, you may be also”. I firmly believe Kristian has the BEST seats in the house to watch your beautiful boys grow up.

    I’m so sorry your family had to experience this, but I don’t believe in coincidence and I know people are being, and will continue to be, touched and changed by this continued story.

    “Ad maiorem Dei gloriam” – For the greater glory of God. (Isaiah 55:9 – His ways are higher).

    Carry on doing what you’re doing, you’re doing brilliantly. Remember, all in good time – Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.

    Much love, and abundant prayers, always;
    Lauren (UK)
    xxxxx

  32. I am so thankful you stopped by to let us know how you are all doing these days. I also suspect that you will always continue to have good days and not so good days. Hopefully, the moments with your children will help the not so good days feel a little less painful. Thanks for sharing the pictures as well. I live in northern Wisconsin and after the winter we had this past winter…I was happy to hear you guys were able to find joy in something that I often found quite frustrating. :) Best wishes as always for many more happy days to come!

  33. Thank you for the beautiful post and the photos! Your strength and belief in God is a much-needed inspiration! I’m so happy about your book…what a gift to your children! I don’t know how to put my thoughts into words as eloquently as you or the other posters, but I am happy that you keep going every day! I think that your husband is with you and the boys even though you don’t physically see him, and I think you are courageous and a great mom!

  34. I have just read ‘Days like these’. I stumbled upon it in a book store at GC Airport. Thank u Kristian for being so open and sharing yr painful journey with us. U have inspired me and I only wish I cud have had the privilege of mtg u. I was diagnosed in Jan 2012 with cancer in my neck and I am a CUP patient, cancer of unknown primary. My website has just been completed and is cupofhope.net.au. Bless u Kristian and I lk fwd to meeting u when God calls me home xxxx

  35. u are awsome and very strong ,at least there are lots of smiles now good luck for the future

  36. Thank you so much for sharing your life with the world…it has touched me in a way I thought it never could and I will never be able to thank you enough..I wish you and your boys all the best for the rest of your long lives…go out and enjoy them again.. love to all

    Sheldon from Canada :-)

    CHEERS

  37. I just finished reading the book Days Like These. I want to thank you for putting it together to reach out and move the hearts of those who read it. Something that really grabbed my attention was the part that you, Rachel, put in the book about nothing is a coincidence; that everything works into God’s plan. Right as I was reading that part, and to the rest of the book a song on the radio came on that was truly the perfect song that could come on. The song is called See You Again. It is sung by Carrie Underwood, an American singer. I thought that you should know that Kristian will indeed “see you again” Rachel. And I hope to meet Kristian someday as well. Thank you for the inspiring story and I am glad to hear you guys are doing well!

  38. EXCITED EXCITED EXCITED, to see your entry, please never think that your entry is not uplifting or not important.. I am a fan of the 4 of you. I’ve read everything from beginning to the end. I’m a Christian also and I’m inspired to love God more and more each time I hear from you and read your blog. It speaks volumes of how wonderful you are , each time you TAKE the time to stop in and say hi and show us pictures. Thanks again and we love you guys

  39. Our God is a gracious God, who supplies our every need. And one day. One day, He will wipe away every tear.
    Much love and prayers….

  40. Hi Rachel. I just came across with this blog today. This made me cry a bucket. I lost my dad to cancer when I was 11.I’m already 41 but I still miss him. I know it will be very hard to really moved on. The pain of losing someone you truly love is unimaginable. But I know that God gives favor to all the widows, just like what He did to my mom. God bless you and and your boys.

  41. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers! The love you have for Kristian, your boys and God inspires me to live a richer life. Thank you for sharing your life journey with us. Know that you are a blessing in my life!

  42. Hi Rachel – I just wanted to drop by and let you know that you and your beautiful boys are still being thought of and prayed for. I reviewed your book this week on my blog. It’s WAY too long(!) and I had even more I wanted to say. :-) Your family has blessed my life immensely. I cannot even begin to imagine how painful this journey has been for each of you. I pray that you continue to feel God’s love and grace strengthening you and embracing you when you are weary and lonely. You are an amazing woman. Thank you for sharing your precious husband’s testimony of faith and courage with us…and YOURS! Sending you much love and blessings across the oceans, Amy

  43. Hi Rachel

    Thank you for taking the time to update us all. I wish you much love and peace and hope you are all able to enjoy your new home.

    I’ve read Kristian’s posts multiple times and recently bought the book so i could keep it forever… Not too long ago, I read your Eulogy again and was so moved by your words.

    You are right, I didn’t stumble across Kristian’s blog by accident. I found it shortly after your beautiful husband passed away and was so moved by it. Little did I know my world would be rocked by this terrible disease soon after. My beautiful, loving father has been diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung cancer. Since his diagnosis I have read Kristian’s entries multiple times, even dowloading his music recommendations. They provide me with peace.

    His words will forever guide me through this process as do you with you strength and courage.

    Thank you for sharing your story, it really has had a significant impact on my life.

    I wish you all love and good health.

  44. Hi. I stumbled upon your blog googling my favourite quotation (Leonard Cohen). I just wanted to say my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, and I think your strength is getting me through my current lack of bravery. I think I was in need of goodness today and I’m glad I found your words.

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