People in the Sun: The Loss of One Very Good Human | Do Try This at Home: People in the Sun: The Loss of One Very Good Human

Thursday, March 05, 2015

People in the Sun: The Loss of One Very Good Human

I don't believe there are good and bad humans.  Probably I'm naive, but I believe in good humans, and less good humans: humans that are weak, damaged, hurt, unloved, hungry, addicted, mentally ill or otherwise not their best selves. Good people are not so hard to come by, I think, if you let yourself see the good as easily as you see the bad.

But some are very, very good. We all know some of them, even if only by name.  But they are fewer on this planet than just your run of the mill good human, and now the world has one less.

If, by chance, you have read of a blogging father that recently succumbed to cancer, you might already have read of one of my oldest blogging friends, Oren.  He was probably my second blogging friend, third at the outside.

If you read about him in the Huffington Post or the Baltimore Sun or on his own blog, you already know that he helped people, that he fought for causes that he believed in with all his might, that he loved his family beyond belief.

Oren will be remembered by fathers everywhere.  He is well known for his work in building community among fathers, advocating for fathers, and even encouraging fathers to improve their parenting.  I knew he was building this community and I admired him for it.  Yet I only skirted the sidelines on occasion because...not a father.  Obviously.

I remember the day Oren announced his qualifications for what would become a major part of his life work.  Just as I couldn't believe my eyes from my own pregnancy tests, I looked at Oren's picture on my computer screen over and over as if it couldn't possibly be JUST a plastic stick with some pee on it.  Because a pregnancy test never seems like the thunder claps and confetti and general hullabaloo that should accompany the announcement of new life.

But even before he started working on  A Blogger and a Father, Oren was an amazing, amazing person.   For one, he was an incredible storyteller.  This story from his old blog, People in the Sun was one of my favorites of his, perhaps because it shows how one imperfect human can do his best and have it be good enough.  Or perhaps because Oren and his father reconciled in the end, even if in the most heartbreaking of ways: One Day I Cried.

I can't say anything about anyone with 100% certainty, because hearing or reading a person's words is the closest one can ever come to crawling inside someone else's head.  But I know that there were some things Oren wanted.

So I, with my measly, practically non-existent media influence (it is thanks to Oren that I even know how to tweet), will do whatever I can for his causes:

Oren wanted the media in general, and some companies in particular to stop portraying dads as imbeciles, dependent on their wives to make every last parenting decision.

He wanted Amazon to change the name of their mom program to include dads.

I hope this works so people can just tweet it.  Because despite Oren teaching me to tweet...I wasn't such a great student:

Click to tweet about changing "Amazon Moms" to "Amazon Parents"

Apparently he also wanted people to go for a walk and tag it #lovewalkforOren.  I'll be way better at that than at Tweeting:


I could go on a long, long time.  And I could proofread even, but I've already made myself late for work.

So I only have this to say: Beth, Liam, Madeline, I am so very, very sorry. Oren's mother whose name I can't remember but distinctly remember arguing with Oren over Israeli politics, I am so so sorry. And the same for Granny Franny, who I never met even on Facebook, but I think must be Beth's mom.

The world is so unlucky to have lost him, but so lucky to have had him in the first place.


If you'd like to read more kind words about and for Oren:

Eulogy for Oren Miller

This is another of Oren's great stories.  There are way too many, but here's one: Chicken Nuggets.

A tribute to Oren in the Chicago Tribune.

A tribute on The Good Men Project

And I almost forgot - the tribute video from his funeral and reception:


Theresa @ Shoestring Elegance said...

Thank you for such a moving tribute. I tweeted and G+. I'll do more, if I can. Oren was a rare man.

Beth said...

he sounded like a wonderful man, I did some reading once I saw your post, so sad.

Unknown said...

Oh wow. I've not heard of him or his blog but I went over and started reading some of his work. I'm in tears. I will go back later when my kids are away and read more. Thanks for sharing his legacy.

Julie is Coco and Cocoa said...

Beautiful tribute. I wasn't familiar with Oren, but I am off to read much more of his writing now.

Janet said...

Beautifully written, Jill. I have not read his pieces but you have certainly inspired me to do so.

Jill said...

Thank you Theresa and Beth.

Aimee and Julie, you really should. His got some great stories.

Thank you Janet and I hope you enjoy what you read.

Arizaphale said...

I remember Oren as People In The Sun and I am deeply saddened by this news. Beautiful tribute Jill. This blogging world connects us in such extraordinary ways....

Jill said...

It's funny Arizaphale, but even my 19 year old (Sweet Pea) remembers him as "People". I'm still trying to remember and figure out who did and didn't know him. It's harder when it's from blogging than just a Facebook group! I'm going to message you about telling Chris I guess.

Jennifer said...

Its so hard when the Truly Good ones are taken away too soon. I can't say I knew Oren, but I knew of him and was always impressed by his passion and dedication. He left a legacy that will last.


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