“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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!