I am no longer blogging here at Little Nuances, but I would love for you to join me on my author website www.leewarren.info.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

A Shining Light in a Small Community

A few days ago, a friend sent me an e-mail to let me know that a newspaper in Oakland, Nebraska (a small town of 1,400 people located 60 miles north of Omaha—where I live) is for sale and he wondered if I’d ever considered getting into the newspaper business. I write for newspapers frequently, but I’ve never thought about running a newspaper. I told him it seemed like a pipedream to even consider such a thing because of financial reasons.

I opened my local newspaper the next day and read an article on the front page entitled: Cancer fight can't dim publisher's optimism. It’s about a man named Dewaine Gahan who was told by his doctor in January that he only had a few months to live. Gahan owns and writes for the Oakland Independent—the same newspaper my friend was telling me about.

I was moved for so many reasons as I read the article about Gahan. Here’s a guy who returned to his hometown for his dream job—running the newspaper. And listen to the way he’s been running it. In addition to covering high school sports for the paper, he’s revived the Swedish Festival in the town. He attempts to publish the pictures of all 200 elementary students each year. He says that he wants to give everyone a shot in the sunshine. And each week, he runs a picture on the front page of someone who is smiling.

Gahan’s oldest son is moving back home to handle the newspaper for now and while Gahan says that he’s hoping for a miracle, he also knows his life here on earth could be over quite soon.

I see two things in Gahan that all of us should hope to attain. First, I see a rock-solid faith that gives him peace. Second, I see a man who has lived well and consequently doesn’t have many regrets. He’s been living that way for a long time—long before he was ever diagnosed with cancer.

Gahan is a shining light in a world that sometimes seems so dark. And he’s a great example of how to live life to its fullest. He’s chased his dreams. He’s made a difference. And no matter what happens now, he feels like he’s ready for it.

How many of us can say that?


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