Last year was a difficult time for Erick Erickson, editor of The Resurgent and a conservative talk radio show host, and his family.
Erickson became a vocal critic of then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, arguing that neither his faith nor his conservative principles would allow him to support Trump’s bid for the White House. Erickson and his family faced threats from some Trump supporters for his position — guards stood watch outside the family’s home and his children were bullied at school.
Meanwhile, Erickson’s wife battled an uncommon form of genetic lung cancer. Erickson also faced his own health challenge — after struggling to breathe, he was admitted to the hospital where he spent a week undergoing treatment for blood clots in his lungs.
Faced with his own mortality, and the possibility that he and his wife might be forced to leave their children too soon, Erickson wrote a book of letters and advice to his two children, “Before You Wake: Life Lessons from a Father to His Children.”
“Being told you might die has a way of shaking you to your core and making you reprioritize things in your life,” Erickson explains in the book.
‘I was finding it more and more difficult to breathe’
In an interview with TheBlaze, Erickson said he initially attributed his symptoms to allergies, then stress, before his wife finally forced him to see a doctor.
“I was finding it more and more difficult to breathe,” he explained. “My lungs had actually filled up with clots, and they weren’t expecting me to live.”
Erickson said he realized “I should sit down and write all of my kids favorite recipes for them and all of the things I want them to know if I should die before they wake. What do I want them to know about family, and God, and why I raised them the way I did?”
He said that he is currently healthier and his wife is undergoing chemotherapy.
‘There’s so much more to life than politics’
Erickson, 42, said that although his career is in politics, he wants his kids to know “there’s so much more to life than politics.”
The book addresses family, faith, and community — as well as food.
“You’ve got to be willing to invite people over and sit around your table and eat,” Erickson said, adding that “people find common ground over food.”
“That’s one reason all of my kids’ favorite recipes are in there, is to give them a start on, you know, invite your next door neighbor over who you want to get to know better and share food with them,” he said.
He suggested readers start with the Baked Potato Soup recipe.
“It’s super easy, it takes a long time to make, but it’s quite good,” he said.
The book also contains a list of pieces of advice he wants his kids to remember.
“Along the way as I was writing the book, little things would come to me and I would jot them down,” he explained.
“Every dad has a list of advice for their kids," he said, joking. “It’s almost my version of Proverbs here.”
“Before You Wake” is available on Amazon.