There are love stories and then there’s the story of Kristian and Rachel Anderson. When Kristian wanted to show his wife Rachel how much he loved her after learning he was terminally ill, he ended up winning millions of hearts around the world, thanks to the now famous YouTube video he made for her 35th birthday. Social media is often seen as trivial and self-absorbed, but this heartfelt and moving tribute by a young Australian father of two in the midst of a battle with cancer, drew attention to a much larger story we all wanted to know more about and an ordeal so many families face alone.
Like Oprah, who invited Kristian and Rachel on her show, and Hugh Jackman, who helped make one of Kristian’s dreams come true by appearing on the tribute, many of us didn’t know him but we were so inspired by him that we felt like we did. He touched lives, gave hope and left behind a precious legacy that will mean a longer and better quality of life for thousands of cancer sufferers. Kristian’s faith was foundational to him and he openly shared his prayers, his struggles, and the hope he found in his relationship with God. His story, told in his own words from his blog entries, with additions from his beloved Rachel, will inspire others to know that even in the darkest moments, the light can shine through.
Days Like These: Even in the Darkest Moments, Light Can Shine Through, is a book put together by Rachel Anderson. It consist of her husband, Kristian Anderson’s, blog post and other writings throughout his battle with cancer. Rachel has added her thoughts throughout the book and at the end of each chapter.
Kristian woke one night with a sharp pain in his side and he couldn’t go back to sleep. He ended up going to the hospital to get it checked out and found out that he had cancer in his liver and in his bowel. Can you imagine going from thinking that your life is going great, and a few minutes later it is falling apart?
Rachel Anderson put together ‘Days Like These’ to let the world know her husband and in hopes that it would comfort others in knowing that they are not alone in times of need. Throughout the book Kristian talks about his faith in God. When reading this book you are never in doubt about Kristian’s faith and love of our Heavenly Father.
This book was a little hard for me to read, emotionally. It took a month or so for me to finish it, and it had nothing to do with the writing, grammar, etc. The content is what got me! Everyone that has passed away on my Daddy’s side of the family had some form of cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer and the list goes on. Kristian says that he refused to capitalize the ‘c’ in cancer and give it that power, and that is why you don’t see the word capitalized in this review.
Throughout the book Kristian never gave up his fight to the cancer. His family and him had many friends and supporters along the way, and they are named in the book. It seems to me his biggest comfort in his illness was his Faith. Without faith in our Heavenly Father what would we have?
In the end Kristian lost his battle with cancer. There is an exchange toward the end of the book between Kristian and his sons that really got me. He was helping Rachel put them to bed one night, and he was telling his youngest son Jacob that one day ‘Daddy’ may have to leave, but he would always live in his heart. He was telling him that sometimes people have to go away and they never can come back, like if you are really sick. During this last part of the conversation Cody came in, got very angry, and shouted “NO, you can’t leave! Why are you leaving and you can’t come back?” “There is only one Daddy for every family, and your our Daddy and you can’t go!”
I can only try to imagine what this family went through, but I can not imagine in all my life what it would be like to lose my mother or father so young, or at all. I am still blessed that I have my mother and father. Kristian and Rachel are a great inspiration! I had never heard of either of them before reading this book. I have since went to his website and read blog post by his wife about how she and the children are doing. I will not forget their story.
*I was given a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher on behalf of Book Sneeze, in exchange for my honest review. You can read by Disclosure Policy here.