I was in Hawaii, vacationing with my family. Well, I was actually upstairs in my hotel room working while my family was downstairs on the beach. And clicking around the Facebook group I share with nearly 800 dad bloggers, I saw Oren’s June 3rd post titled “Cancer“.
In it, you can imagine what A Blogger and a Father author Oren Miller described; his fear, his clarity. His future – what he suspects, and what has been suspected of him. But he also described a scene that was too familiar: in 2010, his family was vacationing at a beach, and while everyone had fun, he was preoccupied with work. I read that between browser tabs…of work. From time to time, my wife would text me from down at the beach, asking if I was “anywhere close to done.”
I remember texting back at one point, “I won’t ever be done.”
Oren described the “aha moment” he hand on the ride home: he was missing out on good times with his family and friends. Instead, he was worried about work. And with Oren’s diagnosis of Stage 4 lung cancer, he realized that he’d been missing out on Heaven on Earth – spending those little, usually-expendable moments with family. Doctors have told Oren that he’s got, well… not a vast amount of time left. So those little moments we usually squander thinking about work instead of enjoying our family – those are Heaven to him.
I’ve read Oren’s “Cancer” post a handful of times – usually because I’d missed some detail through my blurred vision and between my tears. He’s a friend. He and I have talked over the years. We’ve talked about each other on our sites. I’d never met him in person, but I may…you never know where folks will pop up.
Oren started a group on Facebook – at least a year ago – to join together all of the dad bloggers straggling about in their own orbits. He himself thought it was an idea “so crazy that it just might work.” See, Oren, like most of us bloggers, had a couple of online spats with others in the community. Oren was always a rogue, a wildcard – I loved that about him. But I never thought he’d try to bring every dad blogger together – but he did. Now, today, at 797 members, it’s got members from around the world, including writers, stay-at-home fathers, site admins, policemen, musicians. servicemen, journalists, marketers, retail employees, rich men, poor men, married, divorced, single, straight, gay and any other type of blogger you can imagine…bound by fatherhood.
The group offers a place for dad bloggers to lean on one another. We’re not always just bouncing ideas off of each other, or trying to calculate the latest viral post; what happens is that you’ve got a group of men looking at each other like brothers. Brothers support each other.
And what overwhelms me with joy in the torrent of Oren’s cancer sadness is that these guys are all rallying behind Oren. Soon after the news broke of Oren’s diagnosis, Brent Almond, of Designer Daddy, started a fundraiser on GiveForward for Oren and his family.
This is incredible: the fund was initially started to raise $5,000 for Oren so that he could take his family on a vacation. Within 12 hours, that goal was surpassed. Two hundred and sixty nine donations later, the fund is at $27,047. With 79 days left in the fund campaign, it’s at 90% of its new goal of $30,000.
If you would like to donate to the GiveForward fund for Oren Miller’s family, please click here.
It just goes to show you, never be afraid to ask your buddies for help. I know Oren didn’t start this campaign or say “hey everyone, I want to go on a vacation” – but he wrote his “Cancer” post. And writing it said to us dad bloggers “guys, I need to lean on someone.” He didn’t ask explicitly for help, but I’m happy to say that the dad bloggers he brought together have helped. The Miller family has some money to help with medical bills, their two children’s savings, and yes – even that vacation.
GiveForward has even pledged to give a little money to the fund because they are so moved that so many dad bloggers are writing about the man that brought us all together. If you’d like to read any of their pieces, here’s an incomplete list. I urge you to click a couple at random and see how Oren has touched the lives of others:
The Purposeful Pappy – Leaving a Legacy
DadScribe – Once More…for Oren
Frank’s Place – Give a little – it means a lot
Dadmissions – Dads I Admire
Puzzling Posts – A bedtime story for adults: it’s easy to ask for help
Ay yo, Be a Father – Helping others
Josh Wilner – Help Inigo Montoya Defeat His Greatest Nemesis
The JackB – Father’s Day, Lurkers & 99 Things that Matter
At Home Dad Matters – Oren’s Corner: A Bittersweet Dedication
dadCAMP – Oren Miller, A Blogger and a Father
Big Cheese Dad – A Chance to Pay It Forward
Daddy Doctrines – Helping Oren: Break the Bystander Effect
Fit to be Dad – When One of Our Own Needs Us, #Dads4Oren Came Running
Scotchfully Yours – We Are All The Millers
Life in 140 – Why is help so hard to ask for?
Raising Sienna – A Groundbreaking Dad Blogger Needs Our Help
Nerd Incognito – A Sad Day for a Great Man
DadNCharge – The Power of People: Lifting the Millers
Confessions of a Stay At Home Punk – Sometimes, Even Superheroes Need Help
Life in the Fishbowl – My Father’s Day Wish
That Poore Baby – Are Parenting Blogs an Invasion of Privacy or a Helpful Tool?
I Hope I Win a Toaster – A Post for Oren Miller
The Daddy Files – Of Time, Cancer, and Snapping Turtles
ToMySonTommy – Dads Don’t Need Help, Right?
Another Day of Life – How Someone I Never Met Inspired Me to Do Something
One Good Dad – Oren Miller: Champion of Fatherhood and Cancer Fighter
Dad and Buried – Help a Father Out
Also, here’s a piece by Carter Gaddis (DadScribe) on TODAY Parents – Dad bloggers rally around father with terminal cancer
(the header image is from Oren Miller’s Facebook)