Oren Miller: Father, Blogger, and Missed Man

Oren Miller

“I believe in heaven on Earth, and I believe it is found anywhere you seek it.” These are the lasting words written by a man who changed the world just shortly before his death. Oren Miller, a well-known and respected dad blogger, had no intention and no idea he would change the world the way he did. It is his family, friends, and those in his online circles, who are forever in gratitude for a man who brought so much into life, in just the short amount of life he had.

Oren was born and raised in Israel. After serving his mandatory time service in the Army, he moved to London. There he started playing in a rock band and met his future wife, Beth. They would then move to the United States and begin their lives together. Upon becoming a stay-at-home dad, he starting blogging about his life as a father. In an article about his life, Elizabeth Murray who writes for Today Parents said he built a strong social media community for dads. From there he would form the Facebook group aptly named “Dad Bloggers” and embark on a journey that would see over 1000 fathers join to share not just tips on blogging, but their thoughts on life in general. It was one of these bloggers, Brent Almond, who became a close friend of Oren, and memorialized him at this funeral.

Brent Almond was a great friend of Oren and his family. He first met Oren Miller in person in 2012 while at a meeting of parents with the governor of Maryland. He described Oren as having a “chill vibe” but also a commanding presence with his heavy Israeli accent. He was described as being soft-spoken unless it was a topic he felt strongly about, then he would make his voice heard loud and clear. Around his children, Oren commanded respect, but at the same time, he was generous with his compassion and his love. Almond speaking of Oren’s creation of the dad blogger’s Facebook group said “He was not personally motivated, but motivated by a sense of wanting equality for others.” This is something that was easily visible in Oren’s writing on his blog.

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Oren Miller’s writing would often give a deeper insight to the man behind the blog. Looking at his posts from the time he was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, anyone could feel his heart in what he wrote. “He often wrote to cope” said Brent Almond. Miller’s posts soon started going viral around the internet and set off a campaign from others in the group to help raise money for expenses and to support the family. It was these posts that really began to show off a deeper insight into the family oriented man who Oren truly was.

Still Thankful

His family loved him dearly. It showed in the photos Oren would share of himself with his kids. Others have said that it was a joy to watch him around his kids. It was another part of Oren that made the group he founded such a strong community for dads and online dad bloggers. He didn’t want these men to just become better writers. Miller wanted these guys to bond together to become better fathers by gleaning from those others in the group. It was this desire that turned other “ordinary bloggers” into great men, great fathers, and great friends.

There is no doubt of the footprint left behind by Oren in his online network. He started the “Dad Bloggers” Facebook group in 2013 out of a desire to connect so many of the other dads he had met online. Brent Almond once said that the group didn’t start out to be a movement, but it quickly became one. Oren loved to try new things and to give others a fair shot by sticking together. At a time when dad bloggers were starting to be noticed online, it was Oren’s leadership that ultimately opened the doors for a movement that now affects millions of fathers all over the world. He enjoyed getting to know all the members of his group and was always there to listen when a member needed it. That footprint became evident as news of his passing started to spread online.

Dads from the group took to Twitter and Facebook to express not just their sorrow, but their appreciation for the “fearless leader” that had gathered them together to form such a close community. Chris Bernholdt, the blog editor for The National At-Home Dad Network shared one of his favorite quotes from Oren shortly after he had passed. He quoted Miller of his saying “Learn to forgive your kids, and learn to forgive yourself for the mistakes that you will make.” Another blogger, James Hudyma tweeted “Oren was the first guy to welcome me to the Dad Bloggers group. It was a small gesture that meant a lot.” Hundreds of dads shared their thoughts and memories of Oren in the following days. The Dad 2.0 Summit, held annually, also changed their scholarship fund that helps dads make it to the conference and renamed it The Oren Miller Scholarship Fund.

It is this legacy he leaves behind that will continue to impact the world for decades to come. For his kids, it will be the sweet memories made in the short amount of time they had with him. As Oren described himself “The best part of being a dad, for me, is watching these babies turn into creatures that learn to love and hate and think and learn and find out about their place in the world.” There is no doubt that the memories of who their father was will help them find out their place in the world. In his online circles, he leaves behind a community that stands strong and stands together. It’s a community of fathers who now come together for the purpose of helping each other be better writers, better friends, and better fathers.

Oren Miller, the “father” of so many, leaves behind many memories for many people. While some knew him very closely, and others knew him from the community he created online, there is one thing that is very clear and very much alike for them all. It’s all thanks to Oren Miller, the man who found heaven on Earth, and set out to spread that heaven with all he knew. The worlds of those who knew him and the world in general are now greater places for the life and light that was Oren Miller.

 

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About The Geeky Nimrod

Husband, Father, Thinker, Geek, Mobile Tech Enthusiast, Writer. I am the one who.... Knocks politely and possibly not even loud enough for you to hear. Just another dude on the internet.

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