Ever since Oren started blogging he has asked me to write a guest post. I would be venting or kvelling about one thing or another and he always, under his breath, encouraged me to post about it. I, on the other hand, had tons of excuses. I’m not the best writer, his readers would actually hate me if they knew me, I have too much other stuff to do, I do enough writing for work. It just isn’t my thing, and that’s ok. But today I am ready. I’m ready to write because I have something important to say.
On August 28, 1997 I walked into the Dublin Castle, a pub in Camden Town, London, ordered a half pint, and sat at what I thought was an empty booth. It was probably the first time I had ever ordered a beer from a bartender or been to a bar by myself. As I took my seat, I realized that I was not alone. There were two guys huddled in the corner of the booth, talking. I quickly stood up, they encouraged me to stay and we all began to talk. They were musicians who were dropping off a demo tape to see if they could get a gig there. They didn’t know much about the bands playing that night but they invited me to go down the street to see their friend’s band. Feeling pretty impressed with my new found sense of independence, I agreed and we bounded down the road to the Laurel Tree. It’s at this point in our story where the facts are slightly blurred. There is Oren’s story and my story, but the short story is, the next day I told my Aunt Marlene that I had met my future husband, that I was in love and that I would be back in London. And I was right, about everything.
On that balmy, August, London night, I met the man some people only dream about. From the moment we met, I felt completely and utterly fulfilled. Every cliche is fitting. Four years later we were married, six years later Liam was born, two years later Madeline was born, and in March of last year we moved in to our dream home. The first few weeks in the house, every night, I would look at Oren and we would just marvel at how far we had come and how lucky we were.
It was two months after we moved in when Oren was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. (Holy shit, I know I have written those words before but every time it is a punch in the gut.) The early days of Oren’s diagnosis are a blur, and the last several months have been hectic and a total roller-coaster. But there are some things that I have learned over the last several months that I want to share. First, kids are incredible and resilient and we don’t give them nearly enough credit. Second, when something like this happens in your life, your friends will be there. Don’t worry, they will be. This whole thing has refreshed my faith in humanity. The goodness in people is like a life raft in the abyss of the ocean. I may not always return your messages but your words are keeping me going.
But there is one more final lesson that I have learned and keep learning. Oren Miller is the most incredible human being I have ever known. In our march through the grueling and cruel battlefield of cancer, it is Oren who is our North Star, our light in the distance. His determination, focus, sacrifice, tolerance and grace are that of an Olympian or a superhero. He is fighting. He will keep fighting. It inspires awe and has deepened my love for him at a time where I thought it was as deep as could be. I cannot imagine my life without him. He has sacrificed a lot to make our family work and it is totally worth it.
And this brings me to the ever so important thing that inspired me to write this post. I asked you all (BloggerFather fans) to join me today and raise your glasses (hopefully filled with his favorite white wine--you know, the good, kinda sour-tasting one) to wish the love of my life the happiest of birthdays.