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Feature Friday: Risk Poem In Honor of Gordon Nuttall

Today’s Feature Friday was purchased by Lisa Kraft, in honor of Gordon Nuttall.

Gordon Nuttall was my Grandpa.  He was a master carpenter, a tradesman, a father of six, and a jokester.

His path was not always easy, nor did he take the straight road to his destination.

He was a caring man. He was someone who took the time for others, listened to their stories, and always had an interesting story to tell himself.

Some of my strongest memories of him are when he lived with us after his Quintuple Bypass surgery.  He lived with us for nearly a year.  I wish I had been older, or could remember more of the stories he used to tell us.  But I do remember a few things.

Grandpa Gordon taught me how to play Chess.  He taught me how to cheat at Checkers.  He also taught me how to play Poker.  His favorite poker game (at least what he played with us a lot) was 5 card draw.  We played for pennies.

I remember driving with him out east of where my parents live, somewhere on the eastern plains of Colorado, out to where there were old missile silos.  

  • How did he know there were missile silos there?
  • How did he know it was safe for us to be there? 

He probably didn’t know it was safe, but probably figured he could get us out of whatever we might actually stumble onto.

At that time, he had a Cadillac, and we bounced along on unpaved roads and sometimes barely tracked fields, just driving around looking at things.

When he passed on, I got to keep one of this tools – a hammer. 

I am so glad to have that hammer as it reminds me of the craftsman my grandpa was, and also serves as a metaphorical reminder to me that if you don’t know what the right tool is for a job, the answer isn’t always a hammer… but if a hammer is all you have, then that’s what you’ll use. 

So life has to be about gaining more “tools” so that you can have and use the right tool for the job.

I’ve learned this from my parents as well.

Also among my grandpa’s things was found a poem called Risk.

I read it at his funeral.

Today, in honor of the life of Gordon Nuttall, a man who lived his life taking risks, I would like to share this poem with you.

To laugh is to risk appearing the fool;
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental;
To reach out for another is to risk involvement;
To expose feeling is to risk exposing your true self.

To place your ideas and your dreams before the crowd is to risk their loss;
To love is to risk not being loved in return.

To live is to risk dying;
To hope is to risk despair;
To try is to risk failure.

But risk must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.

The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing and is nothing;

They may avoid suffering and sorrow, but they simply cannot learn, feel change, grow, love, or live.

Chained by their certitude, they are a slave.

They have forfeited freedom.

Only the person who risks is free.

~~ Author Unknown ~~

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