“I get by with a little help from my friends”
Yes, that quote is actually a lyric from a song titled “With a Little Help From My Friends” by this little group called The Beatles. But even more than that, it’s something that I’ve come to learn and understand more and more in the recent years.
I’ve been going through some personal struggles over the past couple years the likes of which I have never experienced in my life before. I’ve seen the woman I considered my partner for life hurt me in ways that I would have never imagined or expected from such a beautiful soul. A relationship, in order to survive, needs to have a certain measure of effort from all parties involved in the relationship. In the end; my marriage was not receiving the care it needed and therefore it came to an end with the same measure of effort being put into it that had been given it over the past couple years. Life really has been a struggle at times trying to get to a place of acceptance and understanding that this is NOT my fault. Sure, there are things that I do take responsibility for with regard to our relationship. But one thing I know for certain is that I never gave up on my marriage and I did put in the effort to make it work.
What does all of this even mean, Chris?
What I’m trying to say is that over the past year, when times were at their darkest, I was welcomed into a group of Dad Bloggers on Facebook. The man who welcomed me into the dad bloggers group with warm, open arms is Oren Miller from A Blogger and a Father. When I joined this cast of merry men I never expected to find a group of guys who really are a community. They truly are a group of Dads who watch out for each other, whether it’s helping with technical questions, helping get exposure for really great writing or helping someone out in their time of need. The support I was seeing within this community of dads was very foreign to me. After all, I was not accustomed to seeking out support or assistance from anyone. I’m a man and men don’t show their feelings, ask for help or cry in public. Right?!? The truth is that as I was welcomed into this group of dads who have been through many similar experiences, I was starting to realize that it is ok to reach out for help when you need it. I think my fear was always that people would judge me or think negatively of me for expressing my feelings or talking about my struggles. No – people aren’t going to judge you. Well, if you wear pajamas to the bus stop they might.
Recently Oren Miller, the man who created the Dad Bloggers group on Facebook, was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. The diagnosis of cancer cut our group of 800 dads to its core. We didn’t know what to say or do. All we had was a cumulative sense of sadness. Even at this time of fear and pain, Oren knew exactly what to say, just as he always did. I encourage you to ready Oren’s diagnosis announcement here. You’ll have a tough time reading it with dry eyes, but it’s amazing and inspiring. The man who brought me into this group, the man who made it possible for me to see the good that can come from reaching out for support is in need of support himself right now.
As expected, the Dad Bloggers group has rallied around Oren offering as much support as we can both emotionally and financially. Led by Brent Almond of DesignerDaddy.com, a fundraising site was quickly established where we could raise funds to help support Oren and his family with anything they need. I know that many people feel like they have a limited budget, and believe me, most of the dads who are members of our Dad Bloggers group, including myself, don’t have a lot of money. But ya know what?…A little contribution from a lot of people can equal huge results, and in just a matter of hours we had raised the $5,000 goal amount and began setting our sights higher. Our next goal is to reach $30,000 and be able to provide as much relief to Oren and his family as we possibly can. Here’s where you can get involved and put an end to the “bystander effect.”
Please visit Oren’s GiveForward fundraiser page and consider contributing to help his family while they cope with this diagnosis. You may not know Oren Miller, but someday you might need someone like him to help you out.
Will you remain a bystander?
I thank you from the bottom of my heart.