To everyone who helped raise funds for his family through our t-shirt campaign, you have my immeasurable thanks. Between our efforts and those of so many others, over $30,000 was raised, and it made a huge difference. But I’ll tell you who made a difference.
Oren Miller made a difference.
I’ll let you in on a little secret. I started this blog because I was lonely.
It wasn’t that there weren’t any people in my life. It was that there weren’t a lot of people who could relate to the specific life I was having… the life of an engaged, caring (dorky) husband and father. I had visions of this blog becoming a hub for other nerdy dads to come together and share their love for nerdiness and fatherhood.
And then I found Oren’s group. It’s a community of fathers and bloggers that started off small and has grown to over 1000 members strong. It’s a support group where we can come together for advice. It’s a therapy session where we can find a virtual man-hug if we need one. It’s a safe place for us to share our victories, our failures, our laughter and a well-placed dick joke. It’s a community. It’s the community I needed. It’s the community more than 1000 of us needed.
Oren built that.
Not two days after hundreds of us returned from a powerfully positive, uplifting, life-affirming dadblogger conference, sharing our stories and our pictures and our misadventures, Oren – our friend and leader – shared with us the news:
The treatment wasn’t working. His body can’t handle it. There are no more options. The fight is over.
We love Oren and he has many legacies. Of course he has his children who, although they may not remember him well, have been immeasurably affected by his influence on their lives. Of course he has his writing, which exists on a talent-plane beyond the reach of all but the very best of us and will live inexorably on as long as there is an internet. But he also has this community, which he cobbled together. He built this community that I needed, that so many of us needed, and for that I can only say two words which sound so desperate, so weak, so insufficient:
Oren, count me among the chorus of lives in which you have made a profound difference. May your remaining time be spent with love, warmth and comfort. May you feel your children’s kisses on your face and may your ears be filled with the sound of their laughter. May you feel ever more clearly the warmth of your wife’s embrace. May you feel the sun as spring blooms and know peace in your heart. Know that there are men, writers, fathers all over the world holding you at the front of their hearts, grateful for the fact that you walked on this planet.
We love you. We will miss you.