Raise your hand if you ever thought to yourself: “Ya know, I should write a book about that.” I’m pretty sure everyone should have 2 hands off of their keyboard right now.
Okay, well if YOU haven’t at least dabbled with the idea personally, you definitely know someone who has. Everyone wants to write a book because, well, every person knows a lot about something. The difference is, most people just don’t.
LOL……Or they begin it, and give it up out of frustration.
Disclaimer: I do intend on writing a Love of Gray book. YAAAAY THE CROWD GOES WILD!! But if I actually complete this momentous feat, I’ll be very impressed with myself. In fact, I picture myself walking down the street with my newfound hubris being like this:
This is a yuuuuuuugeee (yes I mean to say “yuge” lol) accomplishment for any person—-taking up a lot of time & requiring confidence, persistence and gusto. So guess who’s out there straight killin’ the writing game? Oh yeah. Mr. Gray.
My husband shared with me a super cool thing yesterday about a meeting he had with Mr. Gray. She entered retirement a number of years ago and while there are those whose approach is “time to just kick up my feet and relax”, she basically said: “Time to write more books and share more of my experiences with the world!”
She had already published a book or two while working full-time (YOU GO GIRL), but now is taking full advantage of this hobby. At age 70, she has written several books, 2 so far in retirement. One is a collection of stories about her husband, called Touchstone, (uuumm I apparently need to step it up a notch in the wifey game) and the other shares 12 life lessons from her dear step-father and her adoption experience, entitled Thank You Daddy.
PROOF! See, I don’t lie. I mean, these are legit books by legit publishers.
Both demonstrate Mr. Gray’s devout Christian faith and reflect the respect and gratitude she has for these wonderful men in her life. But at the same time, it demonstrates that Mr. Gray can do an-y-thang he/she wants! Just because Mr. Gray is retired, doesn’t mean the talent retires too and that now it’s time to sit on a comfy recliner and watch Seinfeld re-runs (not that I’m gonna hate on those who choose to do that! ;o)). The “gray part of life” can be the time that skills are honed and refined and more importantly, shared with the world in a new way.
Let me be clear that I’m not saying if Mr. Gray was a left tackle that age 75 is going to be the peak of his career BUT, there are many skills, like writing, that only ripen with age like a fine wine. More wisdom, more experience, and to quote Bruno Mars latest hit: “dripping with finesse.” So as you can see, all that’s required Mr. Gray to be a force in later life, is something as simple as knitting needles, an instrument, or a pen and paper.
“I am the trunk and you are the branches.”
Like a wise middle-aged sage, my husband dropped this metaphor on me last night when I was having a rough day.
My initial thoughts were: 1. Damn, that’s a helpful metaphor (I’ll explain). and 2. Is he feeling okay? Who stole my husband and who is this guy? While my always husband tries, he’s usually having a love affair with his cell phone and robotically responding “yeah, yeah” to my woes. Ladies I know you feel me. So this reply was not only shocking, but also everything I needed to hear to put a smile on my face.
Lemme explain: I was crying, frustrated and sad, venting bout the fact that I don’t care for the fact that I can be so moody and up & down based on what I ate for lunch, which way the wind is blowing, and all these physical drivers. To make me feel better (and it did), my husband told me he was the trunk and that I’m the branches…and that it’s okay to be the branches. What he essentially explained is that he is the stable rock that never wavers in the relationship (which he very much is) and I am the one who sways a bit with the wind, BUT I’m the one who blooms the flowers and makes the tree beautiful.
Yeah. He Ryan Gosling’d me SO hard.
Of course then, I cried so hard at my new poet Don Juan of a husband.
On to today….I was thinking of this trunk/branch metaphor a little deeper. Abe had mentioned that day that I was the “trunk” of the house. So I started to think in terms of roles in different areas of our lives. And of course, thought about Mr. Gray and how he’s the trunk of the family, and how important a role that is.
How is Mr. Gray is “the trunk”? Here are just a few examples:
Which pie are you going to slap on your overstuffed plate at Thanksgiving? The one freshly picked up from Wegman’s OR the blueberry one your Grandma used to make. I mean DUH. Is it all about taste though? Mostly. But it’s the feeling you get too when you eat it. There’s just something about eating Grandma’s cooking/recipes, using the special “china” she had at the table, and placing the handmade crochet ornaments on the tree that make the Holidays feel like the Holidays. It’s just not the same without it because she’s the root of the family.
You know those times when you’re really upset, and your Grandma or Grandfather’s advice pops into your mind like an Ed Sheeran song and suddenly, you feel a little better about things? (My grandpa’s favorite was: “Don’t worry. It’ll all turn out in the wash.”) There’s nothing like Mr. Gray’s simplistic, yet wise advice, to ground you and make you see life a new way.
Like branches flow from the trunk, traditions, values, and sayings, all flow from the Mr. Gray of the family. I mean, I reuse aluminum foil sometimes…Why? We certainly don’t have a shortage…but because I saw my grandmother flatten out the wrinkled aluminum foil and reuse it from years when she couldn’t afford not to. It just stuck with me (and actually makes sense anyway— Waste not, want not! Oh, there’s another Mr. Gray saying again ;o)
Without the trunk, there are no branches. Without the branches, a tree has no fruit or beauty. Both pieces are important in our relationships and our lives. Unfortunately, our society is focused on and most values the “branches” (i.e. non-seniors) because they directly produce the fruit and provide youthful beauty. They’re the showy part, ya know?
BUTBUTBUT (But cubed), how can we forget that without our dearest seniors, our Mr. Grays, that none of it would exist or have any meaning? Well, we have forgotten; our seniors are hidden and disregarded. This makes me a sad sap :o(((( (Pun intended). So I encourage you to bark up (ooo I’m on a roll) and express your gratitude for a trunk in your life today!
This post is in honor of my grandpa, Leonard Rusnak, an amazing man and the source of inspiration for this blog! He would have been 106 this month (Sept 9)! Born 1912.
Here’s how you can show the seniors in your life some love, and get others thinking about their “trunks” too! It only takes a few minutes, but a little love goes a long way!
1. Share! Share! Share!
One way to help Mr. Gray is by helping us young’uns to be more aware of him! Share this post with your friends!
2. Take the Gray Pledge!
Taking the Gray Pledge is a simple way to re-orient yourself toward those terrific seniors in our lives. It’s all about deliberately choosing to recognize Mr. Gray and honor his place in our society!
3. Get ‘em on the ‘Gram!
Got some great pictures of a beloved Mr. or Mrs. Gray? Post a picture in honor of them on Instagram or Facebook, and if they’re still living and on social media, tag them in it! Put that Gray Pledge into action. Use #LoveOfGray and see how others are honoring their seniors too. I’ll share as many as I can find in my next post!