Home > Blog, Faith, Interest, Medical, Uncategorized > Message To My Girl 1.0

Message To My Girl 1.0

Spring descended on Auckland this weekend, with glorious warm blue sky days. Chores, laundry, groceries, catching up with friends in familiar places and spaces – it felt good to be outside. I found myself thinking back to spring last year when there was a very different sort of activity in the house: Jared was home from the hospice, Elise was 7.5 months old, the daily rhythms were Jared’s care and Elise’s routines. On one hand, Jared was dying and every day for him was an arduous mountain of fatigue and symptom management punctuated by visits from the hospice, district nurses, pain team, pharmacy, GP….on the other hand we were together again as a family, Jared was where he most wanted to be, and the changing of the seasons was accompanied by a new sense of hope and purpose.

David Williams, previously a stranger to us, had arrived on the scene to help Jared write his book – the book that many who read this blog had encouraged Jared to write. Each day, at 12pm, David would arrive with his iPad and camera, climb the stairs, sit with Jared for an hour and record their conversations. There were 21 conversations in total, covering everything from the story of Jared’s life to the reality of dying to Jared’s hopes and dreams for the book, and for Elise. These conversations, together with excerpts from Jared’s blog, form the basis of “Message to my girl”.


Jared’s commitment to the project was absolute. In many ways this was his “best” hour of the day, or, at least, the one he poured all of his available energy into. While battling pain, muddled thoughts and crippling fatigue, he would press on, aware that this final task was worthy of everything he had. Words can’t express our gratefulness to David for taking on this project. His courage, sensitivity and commitment to seeing Jared’s final dream realised were extraordinary.

“Message to my girl” is told in Jared’s words with his trademark openness, honesty and humour. It is a beautiful account of his life, and the purpose, courage and love that motivated him to the very end. My first copy arrived last weekend – I was struck by how proud Jared would have been that he had co-authored such a book and how precious this gift will be for Elise.

For me, the public release of the book is both exciting and anxiety-provoking – the spotlight was very much easier to share with someone as gregarious as Jared. However we were always united in wanting this story to be told authentically and honestly and the courage I need to gather for the next little while is nothing compared with that Jared displayed in his final weeks.

“Message to my girl” will be in New Zealand bookstores from Monday 28 September. It can be bought online at Fishpond and Mighty Ape (NZ). It is listed with the Book Depository (UK, ships worldwide) and may later be available through Amazon.


The official book launch will be on Monday 28th September at 6.30pm at “Crave”, 25 McDonald St, Morningside, Auckland. We’d love you to come – there will be refreshments, some of the key people telling the story of the book and copies available for purchase.

Finally, Spring presented the opportunity to introduce Elise to the snow. Her frown belies her southern roots….I have great hopes that future snow experiences will be more successful!




  1. Theresa
    September 14, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    This book is such a taonga / treasure and I am nervously looking forward to reading it as soon as I can in Australia. Think of you Hannah and pray for you often – what a miracle your daughter is there on mountain with you!!!! Thank you for posting so eloquently – we miss reading Jared’s words so much – amazing feat he managed to write his story like this with such focus & courage. Go well at the launch!!!!!!!!! . From Theresa a fellow Dunedinite in Australia. X

  2. Maree
    September 14, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    Dear Hannah and Elise,

    Thank you so much for posting this! It’s lovely to see you both in the photo and I still think
    Elise looks very much like her Dad 🙂 Jared would be so proud of you! Jared wasn’t the only brave one in his long journey with cancer, you were such a rock for him Hannah! I love the title of his book (so apt), and this will be a wonderful gift for Elise and a precious blessing to her life. He loved you both so much! I will be at the book launch and will be praying Jared will continue to touch many lives – his ministry continues… what a legacy, and what a blessing 🙂
    Much love and biggest hugs,
    Maree xxx

  3. Lyssa
    September 14, 2015 at 11:51 pm

    Hi Hannah
    I spent the early stage of my pregnancy in early 2014 reading Jared’s blog. I was so nervous following 5 previous miscarriages. Your story taught me of adversity. Mine suddenly paled in comparison & I found great strength in Jared’s blog. I read back through every post & soon felt like I knew you both. Along with so many, I became an avid follower, hoping for the best for you both all the way.
    On the 13th of October 2014, my beautiful baby boy was born at 12.46. I looked out the window & thought of you, Jared & Elise. I silently thanked Jared for helping me get there. It was poignant that it was the day he was farewelled.
    Thank you for sharing your story. I think of you often. Wishing you & Elise love & warmth.

  4. Dee Karena
    September 15, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    Dear Hannah
    I have been waiting for the release of this book since you mentioned it earlier this year. It looks wonderful. Thank you to David for completing this in time. Elise is definitely growing and I laughed at your comment about introducing her to the snow. Finally, thank you for keeping this blog going as it’s good to see how you are both getting on. Love and blessings to you Hannah and your family. Dee *hugs*

  5. Wilma ROzema
    September 15, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    I’ve also been waiting for the release of Jared’s book – I’ll definitely be buying it. I’m sure that the book launch will go really well! Such a special book for Elise to read when she is older.
    I hope that the film/documentary showings went well. I must go online and watch it.



  6. Leza Hooper
    September 22, 2015 at 9:51 am

    Thank you for being generous enough to keep us up-dated with how you and Elise are doing and about the book. The photo is lovely and how Elise has grown. Take care. Leza

  7. Dee
    May 17, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    Dear Hannah and Elise. I often wonder how you both are doing and how big Elise is now. I wanted to pass on that I FINALLY got around to getting Jared’s book yesterday (Yay Mighty Ape) and it was poignant reading the first few pages where he describes the travels you’ve been on and the ones he would have taken in the future. Jared described the best meal he ever had and stipulated you don’t make bacon cabonara with cream. In his own inimitable style he talks to you and draws you in – like he did with his blog. Perhaps you no longer monitor this blog but if you do I wanted to say you are both still in my prayers and think of you often. Dee

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