June 28, 2022

THE LIST: ‘We all need role models and we all need to be role models’

At the top of my list this week isn’t any community, state or national issue. At the top of my list is the fact that we all need role models and perhaps we all need to be role models.

I recall a sign that is outside of the Nodaway Valley gym promoting good sportsmanship that says something to the effect that, “everyone is a role model.” I’d agree with that, and I’m thankful for the role models I’ve had in my life.

One of those role models for how to treat people and carry yourself is my paternal grandma. Unfortunately, our family laid her to rest last week. She was 91, lived a full life and save for my wife, was the most amazing woman I’ve ever known. The visitation and memorial service, all held last Thursday in Atlantic, were a very fitting tribute to her. Albiet we’d have loved if it were better circumstances, it was great catching up with family.

One of the common themes the pastor kept coming back to during the sermon portion of the memorial service was that my grandma loved growing things. She had a knack for it and was very good at it. “She knew the growing season like the back of her hand,” I remember the pastor saying of my grandma.

I’m thankful for the way both my grandma and grandpa have laid the foundation for our extended family. Any plant starts with some sort of a seed, and my grandparents certainly have been that for our family. My grandma did that in several ways, including living her Christian faith, working hard on the farm right alongside grandpa, or teaching us grandkids to tell the truth in love, but mostly to bite our tongue if we don’t have something nice to say, and much, much more. She was also generous. We got to watch her give countless hours to the hospital auxiliary in Atlantic as one of the “red ladies,” as I called them growing up, for the red outfits they wore. I have no doubt her gentleness came in just as handy with the people at the hospital she served as it did with us grandchildren.

Losing my grandma reminds me to take stock of those who I can be a role model for intentionally. We all have role models and we can all be role models.

This prayer, that I will end this column with this week, was on the back of my grandma’s funeral program. It also hangs in her kitchen on the farm. The author is unknown.

“A Prayer for Today”

This is the beginning of a new day.

God has given me this day to use as I will.

I can waste it or use it for good, but what I do with today is important, because I am exchanging a day of my life for it!

When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever, leaving in its place something that I have traded for it.

I want it to be for gain and not loss, good and not evil, success and not failure; in order that I shall not regret the price that I have paid for it.

Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson has served as News Editor of the Adair County Free Press and Fontanelle Observer since Oct. 2017. He and his wife Kilee live in Greenfield. In Greenfield and the greater Adair County area, he values the opportunity to tell peoples' stories, enjoys playing guitar, following all levels of sports, and being a part of his local church.