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.