#weloveclint

#weloveclint

That is the hashtag I created on Twitter the day I found out that my friend Clint Miller was diagnosed with testicular cancer. I felt so helpless and scared and as Clint was in Montana, I couldn’t do anything tangible, but I wanted to do SOMETHING.

The hashtag caught on and my friend Diane Guercio created a prayer page on Facebook which soon grew to 937 members. These members are from all over the world and most of them (myself included) never met Clint face to face.

This man, he touched us deeply. He made us laugh, he challenged us, he called us out and boosted us up and he rocked.

I met Clint first in Active Rain and he was instrumental in my becoming a blogger. He encouraged me to open up and write as myself and share myself with the world. One of his nicknames is “Mr. Glass” because he was so transparent with his life and I have emulated that as I am able.

He and extended our friendship onto Twitter which is where I really got to know him and when Diane and I created the #twitterqueens, he was our first male member. The #twitterqueens group has become a core of best friends all around the world. Some I have had the chance to hug in person, most I have not, but they are my very dear friends.

One day I left the laptop open and my cat sat on the keyboard and sent several odd tweets. Clint was concerned for me and called me to make sure I was ok. He was sincerely sweet and generous.

When Clint was undergoing treatments, several of us purchased him an iPad so he could stay connected with his loved ones while stuck in the hospital. He sent us a thank you video that is so touching. Take a look at the video to see a glimpse of how great he was.

Clint was a powerhouse of a man. Upon hearing that he passed last night I felt desolate and empty at first. Then the power of our amazing group and the spirit of #weloveclint kicked in. We all reached out. I got texts, messages, posts and tweets of love and kindred support.

Today in the #twitterqueens group page on Facebook, I expressed a wish that we could be together at this time. My friend Lisa Oden said this, “Lesley – We are. Whether you know it or not, you’ve all been here through a lot of tough times in my life this year. Today, we are together again. I’m incredibly honored to have such strong, amazing people with which to share good and bad times. ♥ to all of you!!!” Lisa is right, we are all right next to each other, supporting and loving and taking care of our beloved friends, even when we can’t be close enough to touch.

It doesn’t make letting Clint go any easier, but it is certainly amazing to see how a group of people can completely change your life for the better. This online community of people has absolutely changed my life. I talk often about how the people I met through social media have impacted me.

In a turn of awesomeness that I didn’t expect, many messages of support came from people who knew Clint only through what I had posted and shared on my Facebook wall. They posted that he seemed like a good man and have prayed for him.

Losing a loved one is always hard. I am especially concerned for Clint’s family. His amazingly brave wife, Angela, their two young sons and his older daughters are heading into the holidays with a giant void in their lives. I will continue to focus my heart on their family and hope that healing light will descend upon them in this heartbreaking time.

Many of us are working to help the family financially, too. If you are interested in helping you can visit this benefit page and make a donation via PayPal.

Those of us banding together around the #weloveclint hashtag are part of his legacy. I know we will continue to care for each other and that Clint will be giving us a big “rock on” from on high.

Clint, you meant so much to me…you will be missed so terribly much.

#weloveclint #iloveclint #twitterqueens #cancersucks

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