I have the pleasure of being part of a dad bloggers group on Facebook that has incredible vibrancy and cohesion unlike any I’ve found online. In this group, we have dads from all walks of life and a multitude of perspectives. From stay-at-home dads to authors, lawyers, musicians, policemen, plumbers and comedians, it’s great ensemble cast. We all unite there to share ideas, triumphs, frustrations, and family stories. We are advocates for fathers, and for each other.
I wasn’t part of this group for more than a month when we received news that hit like a Mike Tyson uppercut. One of the founders of the group has stage 4 lung cancer.
His name is Oren Miller, and I haven’t talked to him but maybe twice directly in the forum. He was prominently involved in discussions and jokes, always quick to pick someone up who was having a hard time of it. He was clearly the rock of the group. And now, he was telling us that he has a terminal illness. A young vibrant man with a wife and young kids that he most likely will never get to see his grow up and become their own fine adults. It hurts to hear this because we can all envision how devastating this would be were it to happen to our own families. Facing mortality sucks for everyone, even those you only know peripherally. We rallied like crazy to support him because of who he is, and he came back into the group with such a sense of gratitude that is hard to believe. No really, read it for yourself.
A donation site was set up quickly to help with his medical bills. (Click here and give if you can. https://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/ytv4/give-back-to-oren Anything will help!) We all did our best to lighten things despite the weight of it all. We joked and listened, and all were welcome to contribute in any way possible. I cannot do this outpouring justice with words, but I’ll try: it was awe-inspiring, it was emotional, and it was given freely and accepted with a grace and humility from Oren and his family that was heart-warming.
That’s because we are ALL the Millers.
We have all, every one of us, had loved ones get sick and shuffle off the mortal coil, many way before their time. It has hurt us, made us cry and question life itself. The pain bludgeoned us and made us resilient in ways, but we always crack open when someone else we love stumbles toward the end of their own path. We are showing strength outwardly while we are fragile internally. We have all stared into the yawning chasm of mortality and hurt just as horribly each time a person we treasured gets near this edge.
And that is why we are rushing to help this man and his family. We want to soften the hammer blow that will inexorably come and hope like hell that he can defeat this seemingly insurmountable challenge..
We are ALL the Millers.