The first time I participated in Movember I had some interest in Men’s issues, but mostly I participated because it gave me a “legitimate” excuse to mess around with my facial hair. 4 years ago however Movember took on a more serious meaning for me. Men’s health was brought very close to home because, you see, my very good friend Zack died unexpectedly from complications from diabetes.
There wasn’t anything specifically important during that last drink at the bar, other than it was our last, we just didn’t know it.
Losing him had a serious impact on me; he had been one of a small group of friends that I had stayed in contact with since high school. I had a lot of good times with him. There have been quite a few times I have recalled the last time he and I were together. I have played the conversation in my head more times than I can even count. There wasn’t anything specifically important during that last drink at the bar, other than it was our last, we just didn’t know it. We were both so full of life, so full of plans and so full of good intentions, we parted ways 100% sure we would be getting together again soon…He was aware of his condition, managing it better than he ever had in his life, and was really working on improving his overall health. His death was quite a surprise to all of us. To be honest some days I still can’t wrap my head around it. Just a few days before he died I had been bantering with him on Facebook about the next time he and I would get together for a drink to catch up… a time it turned out that would never come.
Losing him was tough, but it has caused me to put more effort into the relationships that I have now that I really value. I don’t know if one more phone call, one more e-mail, or one more anything would have made a difference in the way Zack left me. I doubt it would have. What I do know is that I would give just about anything for one more chance…
Another chance to sit down and have one more beer with him, to watch one more ballgame with him, to take one more trip to the lake, and/or hit the road for one more road trip.
There are so many “one mores” that I could list, and to me that is what Movember is about now, seizing as many of those “one mores” before they are no more.
Look around at the friends, fathers, sons, brothers, grandfathers, uncles, etc… in your life and imagine losing one of them because they were unaware of the men’s health resources that are available to them. Imagine losing one of them because they were unaware or uncomfortable to ask for help with their mental health issues.
Look around…how much would one more day with them be worth?
I want them to know that I am going to fight like hell to be around for as many of their “one mores” as I can.
You see I am a dad and I have two little boys. I have two little boys that I want to see grow into young men, good men, and even fathers if they choose to. I want them to know I take my physical and mental health seriously. I want them to know I take their physical and mental health seriously. I want them to know they can always talk to me about anything. I want them to know that I am going to fight like hell to be around for as many of their “one mores” as I can.So here I am on the dawn of my 7th Movember, there are people out there who have raised way, way more money than I can even imagine, but I’m still going to do it. There are people out there who have a much larger social reach who can raise so much more awareness than I can, but I am still going to talk about it.
Look around at these friends, these fathers, these sons, these brothers, these grandfathers, these uncles, these men in your life, if even one of them is participating in Movember this year tell them ‘thank you’, and ask them how you can support them. Let them know men’s health is important to you and that you are in to help us raise awareness and research for men’s health so that we might all enjoy a few “one mores”.
If you are interested City Dads Group is joining Life of Dad, The Dad 2.0 Summit, and The National At-Home-Dad Network in raising awareness for men’s health through a Movember Team. If you’d like to support our effort you can join the team and/or donate here: moteam.co/movemberdads
(This post originally appeared on The Good Men Project )