What Clint Miller Taught Me About Life

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Clint Aaron Miller
March 8, 1971 – December 11, 2011

It is not often that I sit and stare at a computer screen, and have no idea what to write…

Last night, Clint Miller passed away after an incredibly courageous battle with testicular cancer. Cancer that spread to his brain and elsewhere. It ravaged his body, but it could not touch that man’s huge heart.

Clint was 40 years old, and left behind a wonderful wife and some beautiful children.

He also left a legacy second to none, and taught me a lot about life.

I first met Clint three-something years ago when I sent him a Tweet, or an email, I don’t remember which, asking him why I kept getting “sales crap” from his company after I had unsubscribed. Within minutes after sending that message my phone rang. It was Clint calling, and apologizing for the snag, and promising to never send me another thing unless I asked.

What would normally be a 15 second phone call turned into 30 minutes. We talked about real estate, our families, sports, music, food and who knows what else. 30 minutes after I flamed the man I almost bought a subscription to his product just because I liked the guy so damn much.

Almost…   (It is a great product and service, I just don’t happen to need it).

That 30 minute call blossomed swiftly into a great friendship.

Over the ensuing months and years, Clint and I conversed frequently, almost always through social media channels. We got to know each other. We talked, we laughed, we helped each other in business. And in life.

I never got another sales pitch from Clint.

In February of this year, Clint was diagnosed with Stage 3C testicular cancer. In typical Clint style, he was totally transparent about his diagnosis, prognosis and treatment.

Oh God, the treatment. Multiple rounds of chemotherapy. Radiation. Removal of the cancerous testicle. Multiple brain surgeries. Hospital stays, countless tests, time in the ICU, you name it, cancer threw it at him.

And the entire time, the entire time, he fought back with utterly remarkable strength, grace and courage. He educated us, encouraging men to self-examine themselves. He lauded his wife and kids. He cracked jokes. Some were hilarious, some not-so-much.  He asked what he could do for us.

Read that last part again. Asked what he could do for us

There wasn’t any self-pity, though he was certainly more than entitled to a healthy dose of that. No, Clint Miller was worried about others. Family, friends and mere acquaintances. He encouraged us to live each day of  life to its fullest. To watch sunrises and sunsets. To be kind to each other. To love each other.

The man whose body was being ravaged by this insidious disease was a beacon of light and hope.

What did Clint Miller teach me about life?

A lot.

He taught me about what is truly important — my family, and my friends. He taught me to “seize the day,” to, as put by Henry David Thoreau, “live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.”

Clint Miller lived deep and got more out of life in his far too short 40 years than most of us will garner in a normal life span.

That’s a hell of a life-lesson, and I thank my friend for that.

Two days before Clint died, I recorded the video embedded below. He was so sick at the end that I don’t think he ever saw it. But that’s OK because he knew how so many people felt about him. Many of you reading this have seen the video, some have not. I present it again because I think it captures some of what my friend Clint was all about, and I want you to know how loved he was (fair warning, contains a little “salty language).

Godspeed Clint. Don’t worry about Angela and the kids. They’re family now too, and a whole lot of people have their backs. Rest in peace my friend.

Thanks Mike Mueller

An important message from one of Clint’s daughters: “everyone keeps asking if there is anything they can do to help me well there is one thing! tell all the men in ur life to check themselves that way they don’t have to go through what my dad did bring awareness to this heartless disease that’s all I want. thank u all for keeping me and my family in ur hearts.”

There must be something in the Miller gene pool that makes them care about other people so much. So do it fellows… And tell your sons to do it too. Men over the age of 14 should do monthly exams. Here’s how.

ON DONATING

This is a pretty lousy time of year to ask people to donate money, but let’s be brutally honest — it’s a REALLY lousy time to die. People have asked though, so here is how you can make donations to help Clint’s remarkable family:

Clint Miller Memorial and Benefit Site

Every dollar counts…

Others opine:
I’m going to try to collect other posts here honoring Clint. Let me know if you have one and I’ll add it.

Memorial Information

Services will be held at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Missoula, MT on Saturday, December 17, 2011 at 3:00 p.m. (Mountain time)

Live streaming: The plan right now is to live stream the services here: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/weloveclint#events

 

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About the Author
Jay Thompson

I'm a real estate broker in Phoenix, Arizona and the publisher of the Phoenix Real Estate Guy blog. I tend to drive too fast and scream at the University of Texas and Denver Broncos football teams. My two kids are smarter than most adults I know and my wife is simply amazing.

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