What I Know About Heaven And Hell

heaven-hell Image via Shutterfly


On Friday, 5/30/14, I found out I had a Stage 4 lung cancer. People in my condition have about a year to live on average, and treatment is now limited to making the next year more bearable. There are other options that may be discussed later, including experimental treatments, and I’m staying optimistic, but frankly, I think I know where I stand.

Four years ago, in the summer of 2010, we were at Bethany Beach, and everyone was having a great time. Our family and some friends were building sand castles, going in and out of the water, and just relaxing in general–everyone except anxious old me. I had hundreds of unread emails and dozens of ideas for blog posts I didn’t have time to write, and I was surrounded by too much sand and not enough coffee. I tried to pretend I was having a good time, but people could see I was out of my comfort zone, and worse, that I didn’t want to be there.

It was only on the drive back home that I had the epiphany. It was only on the drive back that I realized what I had been missing out on. It was only on the drive back that I realized I had been experiencing the biggest tragedy of human existence: I was having the time of my life, and I didn’t even know it.

That was a good day, since once you make that decision, man… You’re in Heaven every single second of your life. And it went on and on, and things only got better, because I made a conscious decision one summer day, on the drive home from Bethany Beach, and was able to repeat that decision subconsciously from that moment on. It made the difference between a living Hell, where I was always behind, always unhappy, and always unfulfilled–always a step behind on my writing, my relationship with my wife, with my friends, and with my kids, and a living Heaven, where even if I had wanted more out of life, I also knew I had it all.

I believe in Heaven on Earth, and I believe it’s found anywhere you seek it. Here’s where I found it:

I found Heaven on long car rides with the kids. I could have felt bad about having to drive my kids back and forth to school for hours every day, but instead, I used those car trips to chat with my kids about their worlds and about mine, to introduce them to music, and to make up music with them, to talk about values as well as about nonsense.

And I found Heaven on the dirty floor of a basketball court. My then two-year-old daughter used to finish the JCC preschool at 12, so we were stuck for hours, waiting for her brother to finish school before we could head back home. And those days of waiting with my girl will be remembered forever by me and hopefully by her. For four hours, we sat around and we shared lunch, and we went to a playroom at the JCC, where she made me plastic sandwiches and tea, and we raced to the basketball court and played basketball, which meant she was leading the parade of two by only stepping on the black line, and I was behind her, dribbling. She made up that game, calling it “Going to the birthday party.” Then we would sit down on the floor in front of each other, spread our legs, and roll the ball to each other. Then she wanted to hug, so we hugged on the floor of the basketball court while people played around us.

Even Heaven on Earth includes some caveats. We moved to a new house in March. It’s a beautiful house. It’s a dream house. It’s the house where my kids will grow up, and it breaks my heart. I don’t care about myself, I really don’t. I’ve had the most amazing life anyone could ever wish to have, but there’s one thing… There’s one thing I would give anything for: watching my kids grow up.

I’ve raised happy kids. Sure, they sometimes whine, but in general, they’re happy. They’re my masterpiece: two loving, smart, intelligent, funny, happy kids. And I can’t let that end. I can’t allow them to grow up sad. I can’t allow them to grow up with a hole in their hearts in the shape of the dad they barely remember. I want them to be happy. I want to be around to make them happy.

And I want my wife to be happy. She deserves to be happy. I wish I could make her happy right now.

So acceptance, and sadness–well, I believe they can coexist. Sadness is inevitable–I’m only human, and trying too hard to rise above it only hurts more. But I do accept. I accept that life is finite, and I accept that my time will come soon. I accept that my life had been and still is a gift, and I accept the likely possibility that I won’t see my kids grow older.

Should I complain, though? Should I cry out to the empty sky and say, “Why me?” Or should I feel that now, even now, especially now, a little confused, a little tired, and a little sad, I’m having the time of my life?

Whatever happens to my body in the next few months is still relatively unknown. Here’s what we do know, though:

We know I’m the luckiest sonofabitch who’s ever walked this earth, and we know I will be loved until my last moment by people it has been my utmost privilege to know: by a wife I adore and two kids I’m in awe of every single moment.

Just let me make this request of you.

My girl–she’s a shy one. You’ll see her play by herself sometimes, and you’ll be tempted to step back and say, “She plays so nicely by herself!” Go to her. Play with her. She needs you.

My boy–he’s so freakin’ sensitive. Everything you say will be remembered by him and analyzed for months in that genius head of his. Don’t joke with him just to make yourself smile–you’ll ruin him. Answer every question he has, or at least direct him to a place with answers. He likes to play and he likes to fool around, but you need to treat him like a grown up. He’s smarter than I am, and he’s probably smarter than you are.

And my wife–just give her a break. Please, allow her to take a break. She’s a Type-A personality at work, but at home she’s always just wanted to relax and have fun. Help her have fun. She’ll want to take all the responsibilities over everything herself–don’t let her. Tell her to relax. Tell her to take it easy. Help her enjoy life. And don’t label her or limit her in any way. Don’t use the W- word with her. She’s not that word. She’s not an easy simplification. You know who she is? She’s the daughter any parent could wish for, and the mother any kid would long to have. Although I’ve stayed home and took a great share of the credit for raising these amazing kids, nothing could have been done without her. And she’ll continue to raise them, and they will continue to grow and be even more amazing teens and adults because of their mother.

And she’s the woman of my dreams.

About the writer


Oren Miller was born in Israel, met his wife in London, and moved to Baltimore, where he raised two Pit Bulls who mentally prepared him for raising two kids. He has been featured on The Huffington Post, Redbook, CNN's Raising America, and The Baltimore Sun. He writes the blog A Blogger and a Father.

From Around the Web


Eileen Fischer 7 months ago

May God bless you and your family. May he hold you in the palm of His hand. May He give you peace. You sound like an incredible person. Those who know you are truly blessed. You will all be in my prayers. Thank you for writing your deepest and most precious thoughts and sharing them with me. You inspire me to live each day to the fullest and to thank God for that previledges.

Amber Sunshine 7 months ago

<3 <3 <3

Heather Mazzeo 7 months ago

The news of his passing broke my heart. He was a great person, and his love and pride for his lovely family was heartwarming and inspiring.

Meg Reilley 7 months ago

Oh shit, I was really hoping it wasn’t him. I’m so sorry for his family

Sofia Correia 7 months ago

RIP. :(

MaryShah 7 months ago

Scary Mommy–can you update?
Sounds from Oren-RIP, like the guy just died.
Wonderful article, btw.
Condolences to family.

Ally Tiddles 7 months ago


River Goldenhawk 7 months ago

My son’s name is Oren too. I had never heard it before at all until after he was born and it started popping up randomly

concerned 7 months ago

Me too

Basketcase 7 months ago

Yeah, I should have known.

Izabela 7 months ago

You are a beautiful soul x x x

Jenn Hardesty 7 months ago


Lambrini Z. Andreou 7 months ago

RIP Oren…you were truly an inspiration…so sad for your beautiful family.

Sari Lauer Colbry 7 months ago

Such a beautiful piece. He had such grace about his lot in life. I pray for his family ♡♡♡

Tammy Sipe 7 months ago


Jessica Schaeffer Beatty 7 months ago

What an angel of a man.

Charis Andrews Hanberry 7 months ago

Oh no, he’s gone? What a truly beautiful piece. Prayers and peace for his family.

Lainie 7 months ago

Thanks for changing my day.

Lisa Carlisle Norrgard 7 months ago

Amazing words he has left for his family.

Gretchen Gaborik 7 months ago

R.I.P. ♡ It sounds like he has lived his life beautifully, and his family will have no doubt how much he loved them. Still…so sad :( Cancer sucks!!!!

Gina Skofich 7 months ago

I cried when I read this post when it was originally shared and my heart breaks now for his family.

Angie 7 months ago

What an awesome letter! Now I have to try and stop the tears! Gratitude is a beautiful thing. May the odds be in your favor. God bless you and your family!

Vanessa Hernandez 7 months ago

RIP! So sad!!

Patricia Sibr Kuchy 7 months ago

How to tell his family ‘thank you for sharing him’ continues to be on my mind. Thank you Oren’s people. He was wonderful.

Erin Getting 7 months ago

Wow. The world has lost a good man, and my condolences go to his family and all who loved him. I am sorry not to have learned of his blog before today. I know I don’t really live my life to its fullest – I spend way too much time in my head, not enough time really enjoying my family. I’m sorry it takes the loss of this man to put it in my face, but I want my family to know and love each other and I don’t want to have any major regrets. Thanks for the post.

Paige Frances 7 months ago

RIP, good sir. Prayers to your family. May the world take care of them as lovingly as possible.

Andria Kuzeff Rosell 7 months ago

Thinking of his family today.

Jennifer Talich 7 months ago

Absolutely beautiful.

Carole Mulrooney 7 months ago

Rest in peace sir. Prayers for his family.

Ashley Cooper 7 months ago

Waterworks over here!

Ashley Brouillette 7 months ago

Such a heartbreaking read. Brought tears to my eyes this morning. Condolences to this mans family and friends, he sounded like a wonderful man.

Nadhira Naidoo 7 months ago

Sad beautiful story….

Diana Ratliff 7 months ago

Just Beautiful

Christy Dougherty 7 months ago

As a cancer survivor, I know that exact moment that he had. I had my own. It is scary to face your own mortality. May his family find peace in all the moments that they had with him and know that his memory will live forever in them.
Never take any moment for granted and remember that today is a gift that is why they call it the present.
Stop and hug your kids, hug your loved ones and remember that nothing is more important than them!!

Sandra Newman-Walton 7 months ago

Tough read, but beautiful.

Mary Schneider 7 months ago

Cant read, having lost my own Dad to cancer, but condolences to his family and those who were obviously deeply affected by his life and passing. The best eulogy a man can receive is to be remembered fondly.

Leslie Lovins 7 months ago

Ah. The Sunday morning ugly cry. Found it.

Maura Linkowski 7 months ago

What’s most notable to me is that this man had the most important epiphany way before a terminal diagnosis. He made a conscious choice to see his whole life through the most positive lens possible, and it seems to have allowed him to end his life with very few regrets about doing things differently. How lucky we are to have the benefit of his insights. Wishing his family peace.

Tammy Ward 7 months ago

He passed yesterday; so sad

Dawn Wachtel Caskey 7 months ago


Lizzie Ramsey 7 months ago

Beautiful piece. Prayers for the family and friends who will miss this man.

Tanya Frey 7 months ago

My son’s name is Oren. I see it so rarely this made me wonder if I was still sleeping.

Amy Reed Fromm 7 months ago

Wow, just amazing.

Lindsay Siedmann 7 months ago

Sad sad:( will try to take this with a grain of salt.

Muffy Hogan Grigsby 7 months ago


Coles 7 months ago

Fuck cancer. ;_;

Cassie Nesheim 7 months ago

RIP Oren

Mary Currier 7 months ago


Deb Sutherland 7 months ago

Being so interested in the title, I didn’t notice your R.I.P. comment.
Broke my heart a little when I noticed it. :'(
Clearly, the world is a poorer place when someone like Oren passes.
My sincere condolences to his family & friends.

Rae Chelle 7 months ago

We should all live like that because the reality is none of us know when our time is up. Some of us, like Oren, might get to know it’s coming, but most of us will have no idea that our last day is our last day. Seems like there was a country song a few years ago that summed it up perfectly – live like you were dying, like tomorrow is a gift.

Stephanie Seales Gabbitas 7 months ago

Incredibly sad but an inspiring perspective. RIP.

Niki Richmond 7 months ago

Man, heart wrenching.

Amanda Harris 7 months ago

My sons middle name is Oren!

Siouxqie 7 months ago

God. I’m a wreck now. My dad was stage 4 when we found out he had colon cancer. I was 22 and pregnant with my first child at the time. He was so much more concerned about us than himself. He said his onky regret was not being able to see his grand kids grow up. I feel bad for my boys, because they didn’t get to know him. Cancer fucking blows.

Amanda 1 year ago

You sound like a great guy, who loves his family. I happen to also believe in heaven on earth too especially because Jesus told us to pray and bring heaven on earth…”as it is in heaven so it shall be on earth”. I believe that there is healing for you. Jesus died for your healing. And you have the authority for you to be healed in His name, as it is in heaven: no cancer. I believe that you are deeply loved by the Father. Speak life into your body, cancer has no place in your body in Jesus name! Amen.

Lilia 1 year ago

It’s a sad story. Your kids are lucky to have a good father like you. You and your family are in my prayers.

Heather 1 year ago

My mom died when I was 7. She didn’t have a year, she had 3 hours in a hospital alone and in pain.

I want you to know that for the rest of their lives your kids will always be thinking, would my father be proud of me right now. They will never ever forget you, they will grow up sad, they will grow up with a hole in their hearts, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be happy. It is a weird kind of sad happy, where I am happy because I know my mother would be proud of me, but I am sad because she couldn’t be here to see it.

My Dad, I don’t know much about his struggle. He changed completely after my Mom died, it was probably worse because of the suddeness of it all. In his weakness he was used by some awful people and he had several miserable years because of it, but eventually happiness finds it’s way in. I know for a fact he is happy now, maybe that same sad happy I talked about earlier, but happy regardless.

I don’t know if this is comforting or not, but from the sounds of it you wanted to see a little glimpse into the future of your family. Obviously milage will vary, but I promise the end will be the same happiness will always return.

Courtney 1 year ago

There is hope! My step dad was a smoker until 2010, then diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer a year later. He’s very much alive & kicking and all is under control. We all realize it could not be that way tomorrow, but so far so good!!

renate 1 year ago

You might be interested in this: http://www.chrisbeatcancer.com/ann-cameron-cured-her-cancer-with-carrot-juice/

She had metastatic colon cancer but is, so far, now cancer free. I’m not sure I would follow this advice if I had decided to do chemotherapy or radiation, in case of any interaction, but she didn’t do either (she also didn’t have a second surgery after it went from stage 3 to stage 4), just carrot juice. A LOT of it. :) There are other testimonials in the comments at the link.

Nara 1 year ago

This. I was recently diagnosed with an illness that is going to kill me. I’ve also spent some quality time recently in ICU. Hell is never being able to go home. Heaven is spending a day at home, cleaning, baking, hanging out with the kids and spouse, just living day to day. The normal stuff. This article, so much.
Good luck to you. *salute*

Jaden 1 year ago

Tears in my eyes. I hope that the rest of your life- however long it is- is filled with many more happy memories, time on the beach ignoring all emails, and lots more hugs from your two amazing children. I am so sorry.

jen 1 year ago

Thank you for your message. I am going to keep you and your family in my prayers tonight. Clearly, you are a WONDERFUL father. You have given your children a strong and solid foundation. They know how deeply they are loved, valued and appreciated. You may have several more years left. I hope that you do. May God bless and keep you and your loved ones always.

Violet Shehan 1 year ago

I will be praying for you and your family. I hope you have your heart right with The Lord. God bless!

C’dar Pinder-Sommerville 1 year ago

I feel like my heart just broke a little. So sad! :'(

Erin 1 year ago

I know your daughter will remember those afternoons at the JCC with you. Beautiful piece.

Renee Stamper Copeland 1 year ago

Please don’t give up! My mother had surgery and her lung cancer had already spread to major organs….they closed her up and told us she had 2 months to live. She did an experimental trial at Centennial Hospital in Nashville, TN…Dr. Anthony Greco. That was 20 years ago. If you need any info please shoot me an email. I will be praying.

Fuchsia 1 year ago

Thank you for writing this. My husband was also just diagnosed with lung cancer and has about a year. These thoughts are in our minds a lot right now too.

Good luck. Be well. Enjoy your year with your amazing family.

Lea Bifano-Vozzella 1 year ago

Wow…beautiful post.

Tonya 1 year ago

Beautiful and yet so sad. What a heartbreaking and important read. God bless you and your family.

Carol Kramer 1 year ago

Thoughts n prayers to you n your families. Praying for a miracle.

Judi Stuart 1 year ago

Fighting & NEVER give up!

William C. Woods 1 year ago

There are Angels and we unaware.Thank you for being the voice of that which will never die, love.

Kim 1 year ago

Thank you for sharing your heart. You are truly brave. And you are right: Heaven is here now in accepting and enjoying and loving the life and people we have been given.

You will remain in my heart and prayers. May you continue to have such strength of love and spirit. And may your family give you strength and be lifted by yours.

So much love to you.

Vânia Silva 1 year ago

Thank you for sharing… My prayers are with you and your family (from Portugal).

cp Powell 1 year ago

Great article! My mom was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer exactly 2 years ago this week; she has been cancer free since December 2013. You can beat it…just take care of yourself, let your family and friends love you, and keep being positive and living in your “Heaven on earth”. Peace.

Jessica Lamb Martini 1 year ago


Ann Weidner 1 year ago

My uncle has fought lung cancer for 13 years, and has been able to watch his son grow up. He is an amazing fighter. May God bless this man and his family, and bring him healing.

Cheryl Lage 1 year ago

Beautiful piece, cancer brings such blessed clarity amidst the anxious moments. FIGHT ON! My husband, our twins’ Daddy has been fighting melanoma for 8 years now…the past 2 at Stage 4. DO NOT GIVE STATISTICS the time of day! You are YOU, not a number…you have the love of family and there is SO much being done in immunotherapy.

SO much is being done….have you sought out clinical trials? Look at Nivolumab (or other PD-1 options) ….it is working for my husband amazingly well and has shown great promise for Stage 4 lung cancers as well. http://www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials/search/results?protocolsearchid=6371785

My former boss, the amazing Mike Hughes, lived over 10 years with Stage 4 lung cancer…how I wish he’d lived to see the new drug advances.

Peace, love, healing, prayers to you and your family. Thank you for this beautiful articulation.

Starr Anderson 1 year ago

Praying for a miracle for you, for your family.

Marcie Baker 1 year ago

Great story. Not everyone can get to that place of acceptance & being so aware . Much love in this family.

Betty Taylor 1 year ago

I hope things turn out better than you expect! I lost my husband when my children were 2, 4, and 6. It’s not easy, but we survived. After a few years we began to thrive. They are now three wonderful adults. They each have parts of their father that I see every time I am around them. They were young so their memories are limited, but they remember being loved by him. I tried to tell them stories as they were growing up to give them more memories to hold on to.

I hope you can make this year the best year of your life!

Debra Laukaitis 1 year ago

Thank you for writing this, think you for sharing this

Melissa @ Married My Sugar Daddy 1 year ago

Oren I am wishing you the biggest refuah shelaymah and am keeping you in my Tefilot

Mónica Rivera-Ruano 1 year ago

I hate this post. I’m BRCA2 positive and I’m facing a bilateral mastectomy and a full hysterectomy at 30. It’s either that or cancer. I hate cancer. I hate what it does to families, I hate what it’s done to my family.

Ashlea Davis 1 year ago

So painfully and refreshingly honest and sad…and beautiful.

Lindsay Hamilton 1 year ago


Dana Bodry-Hurst 1 year ago

Peace and love to this man, his brave wife and his children. Good luck on your journey.

Anita Sheldon 1 year ago

I personally wish I’d had that much time to say all those things about my husband, especially to him! Who ever posted this that hated it apparently has never been there! I’m thankful for the W word it was a hell of a loving ride!

Amy Clothier 1 year ago

Thank you for your message, I am sorry for what you have to endure

Toni Savastano 1 year ago

Extreme proof that every moment counts, and we do have the ability for profound joy every moment, even though surrounded by darkness.

Marilyn Huntley Henry 1 year ago

Very sad.

Nicky 1 year ago

My father did not beat the odds, but I can tell you this: your kids will never stop missing you, they will remember everything you taught them (even the things you wish they would forget), and they will always know how much you love them. Be comforted in the fact that they are awesome because of you.

Michelle Bytheway Bandy 1 year ago

Life is a gift. We choose to enjoy it or miss it. Great post to remind us of this. Thanks!

Kelly Schmitz Kutzler 1 year ago

Please don’t give up. My mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer that had spread to her liver at age 72 in September 2008. They said they could only offer palliative care. We insisted they try chemo. She had chemo with barely any side effects and has been in remission for 5 1/2 years now. Miracles do happen. God bless you.

Mary Ann Stower 1 year ago

Just wow

Sally Jensen 1 year ago

Wow, just wow…

Brenda Irving 1 year ago

Such an insightful, heartfelt message of how to live until we die. May your journey continue as long as possible. ❤️

Linouchka 1 year ago

Yeah, that’s exactly what I wanted to say, except I would have said “Holy Fuck !” ….

Aebbe Sheppard 1 year ago

Good journey sir
Love to you and yours x

Brandy Strahorn 1 year ago

Sweetest post. Heartbreaking that it had to be written, but I’m sure it has touched many lives. I know it has mine. I try to be great-full for every moment with my daughter, but it gets hard sometimes and this sweet fathers words have opened my eyes tonight. Thinking, hoping, and praying for your precious family.

Victoria 1 year ago

May the next months be filled with heaven on earth on all the everyday small things. You won;t leave a hole when you start your next great adventure, you’ll leave a flame that will burn all the days of their lives, that will light their paths when they are lost and all who look upon them will see your love.

Ongell Moran 1 year ago


Carolina Guntenaar 1 year ago

I just lost my beloved mom a little over a month ago. Had a stroke and then the diagnoses lungcancer it had spread to her head , causing the stroke. She was left paralysed one half of her body. 4 weeks after the diagnoses she died. I am thankfull for you and your family that you can find acceptence.
This might sound strange but if you can do this you can enjoy the time you have left , wich i hope is longer then you expect. And it will help your family dealing with it.
I wish you a lot of strength and courage and above all beautiful days to enjoy with your kids and family.

Grace Manter 1 year ago

2 am and up with my newborn. I am holding her close and feeling happy to be with her, despite my exhaustion. Thanks for the perspective and God bless this family!

Sherry Sterrett 1 year ago

Oh man that just fn sucks :( blessings to you and your family. I love your writing. It always gave me a smile

Melissa Downing 1 year ago

I’m so glad that you began appreciating the oft overlooked moments before unexpected news pushed you to. Thank you for reminding us why it’s important for us to the do the same. Praying you are once again the exception.

DT Love 1 year ago

Counting blessings, praying for blessings, for healing, for peace.

Simone Bettinger 1 year ago

I am awed. I pray for you and your family. Thank you so much for sharing and letting all of us know how lucky we are. This reminds me how important it is to live now.

Billie Welch 1 year ago

:( so beautiful

Angela 1 year ago

Hugs to you. We just lost my grandfather to a six year battle with lung cancer.

Eva Silva Vieira 1 year ago

Omg… I am crying my eyes out

Melissa mom of 5 1 year ago

This is one of my biggest fears for me and my husband. So sorry

Lisa Cunningham 1 year ago

Prayers for him, his family and friends.

Jackie Crandall 1 year ago

Wow that makes u put things in perspective!! God bless this father/ husband and his family!! These people are in my prayers!!!

Peggy Carpenter 1 year ago

Plenty of people have beat cancer with a detox diet and I love this website, which has a lot of testimonials as well as diet tips http://www.chrisbeatcancer.com/

Colleen 1 year ago

I pray that you find a miracle, but I also pray that whatever time you have left, be it 2 weeks or 20 years, you keep this great attitude and make amazing memories with your family. It’s always the little things that those of us left behind remember!

Rebecca Walters 1 year ago

I agree.

Rebecca 1 year ago

Praying for recovery and for you to be able to watch your kids grow up. Will continue to pray for your family.

Valarie Hurtado-Alvarado 1 year ago

Great words to really read and understand. Thank you sir!!!!

Alisa Noonan 1 year ago

I just ugly cried.

Heather Alawawda 1 year ago

I want to cry so much right now and your story really puts things in perspective for me:) Even the annoying everyday things we do with our children is a blessing, each and every day is a blessing regardless of whether we are having a bad day or a good day.

Bobbie Diedrichsen 1 year ago

Life is so short :(

Marnie 1 year ago

Painfully honest and a good lesson to us all to realize we need to recognize heaven when we see it.

Cindi Beffa Ripp 1 year ago

My dad past two years ago from lung cancer. When the hospital minister asked him what was driving him each day he pointed to his wife, me and my sister and then to a picture of his four granddaughters and said us. I will never forget that. I miss him everyday. I understand this blog more than I want to.

Ally McMurtry 1 year ago

….wow…. :( what a message..

Danyell Nicole-Group 1 year ago


Kathy Butler 1 year ago

Thank you for sharing & God bless you & yours

Amy Williams Adams 1 year ago


Erin Dreger 1 year ago

Tear jerker

Dee Dee Hensley Kasitz 1 year ago

I need to comment but I simply have no words. Mortality is a scary freaking thing and having had my daughters so “late” in life, I’ve been secretly mourning the time I know I won’t have with them and my future grandchildren but THIS………. This smacked me in the face to live for NOW and not what will or will not be 40 years from now……

Anastasia @ eco-babyz 1 year ago

Sad. I can’t imagine how much it sucks thinking of kids growing up without you. But on the bright side, I know many people who beat cancer! Although pretty much all of them didn’t go the conventional chemo route (which kills both healthy and cancerous cells). Have you heard of Chris Beat Cancer? An awesome resource! http://www.chrisbeatcancer.com/ Also this site explains it much better than a conventional doc ever would, i.e. we all have cancer cells forming all the time – but normally our immune system kills them before they multiply enough to be diagnosed… Here is that site: http://www.cancertutor.com/ Cures have been found many times, but I’m not going to go into why our government and certain organizations are preventing real cures from becoming well known.

Brandy Hayes 1 year ago

So so sorry to read this. Beautifully written. Sending u m ur family my prayers.

Jennifer 1 year ago

I cried reading this. My husband is in stage 4 brain cancer. I have to imagine he would say something like this. At this point he can’t say anything anymore.

Stasha 1 year ago

Prayers and good thoughts for the coming year. A diagnosis like this is one that can really show you how much wonder and grace you already have around you. Enjoy every minute you’re able to with your kids and your wife. Continue to find the heaven here on Earth.

Rachelarmour 1 year ago


Claire Collins Thompson 1 year ago

Oh man. I just want to hug him. And my son. And my husband. And his family.

Raina 1 year ago

This is heartbreaking! Hugs for everyone! May the odds be ever in your favor! Thank you for reminding us of what’s really important!

Steph 1 year ago

My mother lived with stage 4 lung cancer for 7 yrs., out lived the doctors predictions by 5yrs. She chose not to do any treatments, quality was more important then quantity. She also decided to keep her mind set on living, the mind is a powerful thing. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Marisa Rodriguez Byers 1 year ago

May this man know the impact he’s had on the lives of those who read this, and truly live their lives differently. Thank you.

Penny De Meola Gallicchio 1 year ago

Heart wrenching!!

Chris Becker Omerod 1 year ago

Live life to the fullest. Love to you and your family .

Kate Roettger 1 year ago


Ashley Evans 1 year ago

Now I’m crying. Damn pregnancy hormones :(.

Alisa 1 year ago

I wish I could send you a miracle!! God bless you and watch over your family

Joanna Evenson 1 year ago


Judy Kendrick-Winlock 1 year ago

You can truly live in Heaven just admit you are a sinner and believe that Jesus died for your sins May God bless you

Kel 1 year ago

And Michele Partain is exactly spot on. Life does continue, slowly but surely, and your family will be okay. You’ve given them the love and strength so that they may.

Michelle Applestein 1 year ago

So so so sorry….so so so beautiful. I wish I had a magic wand.

Chrissie Quez 1 year ago

Very powerful, n some of us can relate closely. Thank you for that, sometimes i have no words for feelings.

Kel 1 year ago

May your family enjoy what time you are blessed with. I lost my dad to lung cancer last year, it was awful, but we cherished every moment right up until the end. Some of mt best memories are of those last months, as I was pregnant with his first grandchild. Prayers sent your way for peace and comfort.

Nikki Taylor Brauning 1 year ago


Karen Koski Chovance 1 year ago

Thank you for sharing such a powerful message

Melissa Scully 1 year ago

This was beautiful and heart breaking at the same time. ❤️

Michele Partain 1 year ago

P.S. I’m a woman whose husband died of cancer 20 years ago; my son was 6 at the time. Yes, it was hard, and it was painful… but life did go on, and we have both found joy and healing and laughter and purpose.

With the freedom that you’re giving them to be okay – they WILL be.

Ingrid Walerius 1 year ago

Thoughts put into words; thank you for posting; so easy to forget

Em Heil 1 year ago

Wow! Powerful, powerful piece! May you beat the odds or, at the very least, find peace in your coming days.

Michele Partain 1 year ago

I can’t say enough how sorry I am about the diagnosis, but so grateful for your family that you have chosen the attitude that you have. I will repeat what others have said – the doctors don’t always know best – leave room for miracles.

God bless you and the ones you love through this incredibly challenging time.

Amy Thompson 1 year ago


Dawn 1 year ago

As a child that lost a mom to cancer as a pre teen I can say your children will always have times when they will need, want or miss their dad. But by doing what you are doing everyday you will leave them so much to fill those empty spaces when they arise. Fill every moment with your laughter, smiles, knowledge and your love. It will help take them through life when they need it. As a grown woman with two young children now I share stories I still remember about their grandmother. By living every minute she gave me an undying gift after she was gone even though I did not understand it at the time. You seem to be doing the same for your children. I admire your courage and even more your love for life and your family. May God bless you and yours. Stay tough in your fight!

Christine L Clement 1 year ago

we lost our amazing mum to stage 4 her age 54. she was diognosed on the monday sadly passed away early hours friday leavin behind 7 children youngest was 14. thouts are with u and ur family a truly amazing post your family will treasure it

Tracy S 1 year ago

Hi Oren, my cousin pointed this blog out to me. My mother passed from lung cancer 8 years ago. She lasted 15 months. However, the reason I decided to write a comment here is because I also co-founded the Lung Cancer Action Network (LungCAN.org). It’s a network of lung cancer nonprofits (itself is not a nonprofit), but rather a consortium. Anyway, the 20 or so nonprofits that belong to LungCAN have great resources, access to clinical trials, and access to doctors. It would be worth you pinging them on Facebook or their website to inquire. But that’s not why I write either. The one thing I wanted to tell you is that through the past 8 years I have met many people through my lung cancer advocacy. I just met a woman who was diagnosed at Stage IV and has survived 18 years. And another at Stage IIIb who just celebrated her 10 year anniversary. I have met and know many who have survived longer than what the statistics say they will. The statistics are statistics. But everyone’s body reacts differently to treatment. So, be your own care advocate. Don’t give up Oren. I’m sure your mother didn’t raise a quitter. :-)

Kathy Stewart Malone 1 year ago

Thankful for the beauty in the midst of this horrible diagnosis. I HATE cancer!

Jeannie Henry 1 year ago

No words….prayers for the family.

Julie Summers Alspaugh 1 year ago

I am believing with my whole heart and begging God for a miracle here, an honest to God, no logical explanation, 100% total healing miracle. Hope. We can always have hope.

Jennifer Zannone 1 year ago


Jennifer Parnell Dahl 1 year ago

Lucky to have a beautiful life. Hopeful your last months are glorious and full of life and celebration. Peace be with you.

Sylvia 1 year ago

This just broke my heart. I hope you continue to live your life to the fullest and I will pray for you and your family. May God Bless You.

Anne 1 year ago

God Bless you. You sound like an amazing dad and husband, and your kids will remember you for the dad you are. Heaven does exist, however it’s through accepting God’s son Jesus as your savior that will get you to the real Heaven, a place of peace, love, light, and joy. You and your wonderful family are in my prayers.

Leah Marie Jacobs 1 year ago

Lost my father to lung cancer four years ago, and this really struck home. Beautiful post. Prayers to this family.

Julie Harley 1 year ago

Beautifully written-

Rochelle Brooks 1 year ago

Amazing words

Nick Liz Callao 1 year ago

Beautiful post

Brittny Stansfield 1 year ago

Absolutely beautiful perspective

April LaBar 1 year ago

Beautiful words. So sorry for your diagnosis.

jengd 1 year ago

Fabulous message. I hate that there’s a need to write it. Hang tough and hang onto that amazing outlook on life Oren.

Erica Nance Unger 1 year ago

This is beautiful and horrible at the same time. My deepest sympathies to your family.

Leena Mather 1 year ago

Thank you sir. I will treasure every single moment with my children. Prayers of strength for your family. Good bless you :’)

Stacey Ward 1 year ago

Beautiful, xoxo❤️

Katie Vight 1 year ago

So touching and I’ll take it as my reminder to live each day to the fullest. And to hug my son and husband that much tighter.

Marilyn Michels Dennison 1 year ago

Very sad but very beautiful. You will never be forgotten by your family. They have you now, that makes them very lucky. God Bless.

Love 1 year ago

Total ugly cry. So beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time.

Meghan Ballard 1 year ago

I lost my mom to lung cancer 4 years ago. I wonder if she felt the same. I hated her for leaving and never meeting her first granddaughter. These are words of wisdom I promise to live by. I hold his family in my thoughts.

Amanda Nicole Stricklin 1 year ago

Lovely to see so much perception and emotion from a father. I pray his journey be as painless as possible.

Stacey Page 1 year ago

A circle of prayers to surround you with Angels flying to protect you and your family. There is no “good” way to leave this Earth but you do have the insight to cherish the small moments that most of us take for granted and give us hope that we may do the same. Thank you.

Chrystal Flourentzou 1 year ago

Heartbreaking. I’m so sorry you all have to go through this.

Kat 1 year ago

My heart hurts for you. Please treasure every moment with your wonderful family.

Michele Cleveland Watkins 1 year ago

Such an amazing epiphany, and luckily, not too late. Many prayers sent above and hopefully many more years on this earth. No one should ever not get to see their children grow up.

Sara Amdall Spalding 1 year ago

Tears flowing . . .

Angela Marie Sundby 1 year ago

I also lost my dad to the same. 16 years ago now, and my heart breaks for those kids…he is obviously an awesome father and will be sorely missed <3. This beautiful love letter is going to be cherished.

Nicole Fitzpatrick 1 year ago

So sweet and so so sad.

Nikki Rockwood 1 year ago

My dad passed away on 5/30/14 of melanoma, I believe that he truly lived Heaven on Earth. He was the best dad, best grandpa, best husband and always enjoyed life and lived it to the fullest. It was just 14 weeks from when he was diagnosed until he passed away. I keep thinking of all the things we could have done together in the future and it hurts, but I have the memories of all the things we did together and that makes it all hurt a little less. It could be any day for any one of us, the phrase live like there’s no tomorrow should be everyone’s mantra. ❤️

Nancy McFeeley Cagno 1 year ago

god bless you oren I loved this post thank you for sharing

Susan Smith-Vandergriff 1 year ago

Beautiful post. Prayers for this family.

Jamie Blagg Benson 1 year ago

You have such a way with words…so honest and thoughtful. Prayers of comfort for you and your family.

Mandy Barrett Gabbard 1 year ago

Eff cancer

Debbie Ng 1 year ago

Something is in my eye. Very beautifully written. Your wife and kids are so lucky to have you right now.

Jackie Gramme 1 year ago


Amanda M Mathews 1 year ago

Beautiful, and very sad. Great lessons for us to learn.

Mechell 1 year ago

my husband beat lung cancer in 2000. He is currently undergoing dialysis 3x per week due to end stage renal failure and also has heart disease and COPD. Your story is very relatable. Your words sound much like his and the life he is currently trying to live and things that he says to me. I wish you the best in your journey and hope that you beat the big “C”. You sound like an amazing father, husband, and man.

Libbie Clarahan Shields 1 year ago

:( cancer SUCKS!!!

Danielle Ambler Ponta 1 year ago

Cancer does suck. Been there with my mom. Many blessings for him and his family.

Megan Stokes Kidd 1 year ago

My awesome Dad died 4 yrs ago from the same, and I miss him every second! You sound like a great Dad. Prayers for you and your family!

Rhonda Waller 1 year ago

Heart-achingly sad yet such a hopeful message and solidly good to hear. Heaven is on Earth and the world you make. Thank you for that reminder. (If it’s any hope, my father was diagnosed with stage IV and give. 6-12 mos to live. He lives 3-1/2 years and most of that was spent with a quality life.) Peace and much love to you and it sounds like you both a-plenty. :-)

Lindsey Obremski Wertman 1 year ago

Cried. God Bless this family. A eye opener for sure.

Andrea 1 year ago

God bless you.

Gina Jina 1 year ago

My dad has lung cancer, advanced. Cancer SUCKS!!!!

Dana Lopez 1 year ago

I was about in tears by the end.

melissa 1 year ago

I have been doing a lot of research on healing cancer with food. Look into the budwig protocol and tamara st johns book about beating cancer. She healed herself from breast cancer and her book talks about how she did it without conventional medicine.
Also It is so refreshing to read about dads who are there for their kids! Good for you!
hope the best for you and pray for your health to be restored!

Jamie Easton 1 year ago


Melissa Senk Killebrew 1 year ago

This broke my heart.

Lauren Tramonte Toups 1 year ago

Makes me think of my father in law… He would have written something just like this- cancer sucks!! Sucks big time!!

Dana Schultz 1 year ago

Utterly heartbreaking! Sending prayers!!!

Mary Rorex Harden 1 year ago

Bless you. Beautiful.

Kami Mayer 1 year ago

I lost my uncle to lung cancer. He had 5 children–3 teens and 2 little ones. My heart is aching for this family. Prayers…

Yadira Espinoza 1 year ago

What a great story , what a message to hear , I wish the ones I love could read it .

Franny Marzol 1 year ago

Shit!!! I’m so sorry xxx

Jessica Laffey-Fitzpatrick 1 year ago


Michelle Asuega 1 year ago

This made me ugly cry

Karen Kegowicz-Youngman 1 year ago

Well written! Great outlook.

Jenny Ball Tufford 1 year ago

Well crap. Cancer sucks. I wish him so many good memories to be made in the upcoming months. And his family peace. :(

Bryna Darling 1 year ago


Linda G 1 year ago

May you beat the odds. You sound like a fantastic dad.


Enjoying this? Then like us on Facebook