I caught myself ignoring the best part of my day this weekend. I was pushing my 3 year old son on a swing in our backyard, lamenting the time that I could be spending on other projects–projects that never seem to get done unless I consciously put everything else aside and focus on them.
I was irritable about my son needing me to push CONSTANTLY. There’s no giving him pushes and then going to do something else these days; it has to be non-stop pushes.
Suddenly, I realized that I was missing out on the best part of my day because I was too blind to see how great it really is. So let’s try it again.
On a beautiful, sunny, Saturday afternoon, I was giving my 3 year old son pushes on his swing in our wonderful, green backyard. I could smell the musky scent of the cedar playstructure, the gentle green of the trees, and grass, and that sweet, damp, post-rain smell that seems to come from everywhere at once. My son was laughing, having fun, and being silly. Life was perfect in that moment, and I was reminded this week of just how important it is to live in those perfect moments, while we still have them.
You may have seen the green Dad Blogger badge that adorns the right side of my blog. I wear it with pride, because it represents some of the finer men I’ve ever had the pleasure to call myself one of. The group holds strong role models, great fathers, and excellent writers, who support one another, buoying each other up when we feel overwhelmed.
For me personally, Dad Bloggers was the key that unlocked my voice as a blogger and a father. I was writing to hear my own voice before I was invited into the group; I quickly found kindred spirits, and great advice that made me want to improve everything–not to compete with them, but to live up to them.
The leader of our little group is man named Oren Miller, a stay at home dad who has been blogging about fatherhood since his first child was born, in 2007. This week, he found out that he has stage 4 lung cancer.
It’s amazing how deeply an event like this can cut, especially as Oren and I have never met in person; I only know him from reading his blog and interacting with him online in the Dad Blogger group. Perhaps it’s because his situation is so terrifying to me–the possibility of not watching my kids grow up. I know consciously that every day brings dangers that could see that come to pass–I could be hit by a bus on my way to work–but it’s personal events like Oren’s struggle that really make it hit home.
I encourage all of you to go over to Oren’s blog, A Blogger and a Father and read the piece he posted on his diagnosis. As terrible as his diagnosis is, it’s clear that he has every intention of truly living every moment he may have left.
He may have some help with that, as well. Shortly after I originally posted this piece, a donation site was set up on GiveForward. The original goal was $5,000 within 90 days. The Dad Blogger community rallied, and that goal was achieved in under 12 hours. The ceiling has been raised a few times since, and currently sits at around $27,000.
If you’d like to donate, you can find Oren’s donation site here: Give Back to Oren.
Thank you to those that have donated, and thank you to Give Forward for providing a platform to collect the donations.
Stay strong, Oren. As Ryan Hamilton put it: we’re here for you, and we’re here because of you.