Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ryan

Living in High Definition

When I started the Dad Bloggers group in December 2012, I expected, or rather, hoped to get 10 people. Maybe 20. And they were all going to be people I already knew. I reached out to a few of my blogging friends, word spread out, and gradually, something different was beginning to emerge.

Instead of it being a group of 10-20 members promoting each other's blogs, the group was becoming a community. We weren’t just sharing each other’s posts, we were also sharing our frustrations and our hopes--whether professional or personal. Word was indeed spreading, and people I would have never had the privilege of knowing, were joining the group and sharing their blogs and their stories.

Ryan Prudhomme joined at the end of December. A few days later, he told us about his terminal cancer.

Ryan was diagnosed in April 2011, on his son’s birthday, and was given less than a year to live. He then started to blog. We all know our time is limited, but we choose to ignore it most of the time. Ryan couldn’t ignore the end, and the issue of legacy had become the focus of his life.

There were some ups and downs with his health, but he and his wife seemed to accept the end, no matter if it were coming a day, a year, or a decade later, with grace and acceptance. I’m not a religious person, but if faith can bring so much good to people who go through so much, it’s definitely a positive thing.

I probably can't leave him an inheritance, a business, or a boat. I can leave him the one thing he'll need to face every situation he'll ever encounter. I can leave him a bridge to his father, his great-grandfather, and his heavenly father. I can give him something that inspires, educates, matures, and protects him. 

I will give him the most valuable thing I have... my Bible. 

A month later, he shared another post with the group. In this post, he talked about his wish to write a book:

Letters to my Son: What I want to tell him in case I never can 

It is a topical discussion of the areas of Colton's life he'll need to learn about to be a godly man. These are the things I planned on teaching him over the next 20 plus years. I pray that someday I get to read this book to him, but if I don't and he's the only one that reads it, it will be worth it.

Ryan Prudhomme lost his battle with cancer on April 9th, 2013. There’s a lesson in his life and in his writing for religious people, but also for the rest of us. His wish to live in high definition applies to all of us who concentrate on banal issues and hollow achievements, and neglect the important things in life--the things we only remember when we’re forced to face the end.

Today, I'm grateful for the community of bloggers I've met in the last few months. Bloggers have this reputation, see. We're narcissistic. We're combative, anti-social, or at best, introverts who can never make real connections. Add to that the stereotypes of men as loners who are too scared to let go of their aloof identities, and you cannot be further from the truth. I'm glad that Ryan felt comfortable enough with the group to share his stories and his dreams. We're all better because of that. Rest in peace.



Ryan Prudhomme

8 comments:

  1. Ive been blogging for almost 2 years and I too have made the most amazing friends all over the world. I have gotten to know them intimately without even having met.
    Sorry you lost your friend!

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  2. Amateur Idiot/Professional DadApril 23, 2013 at 6:22 PM

    Oren, I love the blogger group you started. I didn't know Ryan. Maybe I've only become more active recently. Or maybe I tend to shy away from blogs that I know are going to make me sad. Honestly, I probably wouldn't have read this post if I knew what it was about. But I'm glad I did. Really nice. Ryan sounds like a great dad & great blogger. I hope his son finds some comfort in what he wrote. And in what you wrote about him.

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  3. There do seem to be a lot of narcissistic bloggers, but it's nice to know there are a few like you, Oren, who are gifted with bringing people together. And in sharing not just your story but those whose paths you cross.

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  4. Sounds like a very special guy. Sorry for his family's loss and to you for the loss of a friend.

    I have 'met' a number of people since I began blogging who have enriched my life. We have shared pieces of our lives with each other and through that made a connection.

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  5. Thanks. I sent the link to Kendra, his wife, and she liked it enough to include it in the collection of writing about Ryan she's preparing for her son. I'm truly honored.

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  6. Thank you. I only knew him briefly online, though, from the dads' group and from reading his blog.

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  7. Oh my god!.. This is so touching.. God bless his soul!

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