Week #24 – “Keep it shiny side up.” (Dedicated to Gregory Pellinger)

Spread light.  Spread love.  Spread Happyness.  (Photo credit: Grace Church)

(Photo credit: Grace Church)

[UPDATE 3/4: Due to inclement weather, Wednesday’s Candle Lighting for Greg has been moved to Sunday, March 8th at 7:00 p.m. ET.  Please join with us in lighting a candle for Greg — and to show his family just how far his light can shine!]

Week #24 – “Keep it shiny side up.” (Dedicated to Gregory Pellinger)

My hometown of Hopatcong lost another one of its own last week.  Gregory Pellinger…a “much beloved” senior at the high school…was killed in a motor vehicle accident last Thursday night.  Services were held this week…and on Wednesday, March 4th, Hopatcong will hold a candlelight vigil at 6pm to celebrate what would have been Greg’s 18th birthday.

I didn’t know Greg…but I know this:

As I’ve watched the outpouring of love and support — and of leadership — on Facebook, I’m reminded of what it meant to me and my family to have an entire town stand with us when the unthinkable, the unbearable, and the still unbelievable happened.

My brother taught me to ride a motorcycle.  Rob was a great teacher and a very careful rider: never sloppy, cocky, or reckless.  He knew full well the dangers associated with riding…and he always said to me in a somewhat serious tone whenever we’d head out: “Keep it shiny side up, Grace.”

“Keep it shiny side up.” 

As so it is with life.  There are two sides to every event.  There is the dark side, the gritty and very real underside, the side where the rubber meets the road.  But there is a shiny side, too.  The upside.  The majestic and beautiful side.

The leadership I’ve witnessed this week by students, alumni, teachers, friends, and family of Hopatcong has been the shiny side of this event.  While Greg’s family mourns…many move in to help.  While his friends struggle to understand…others show strength.  While a town comes to its knees in grief…a community carries it through.

I know this to be true myself.  And I know full well what it might mean to Greg’s family in the months (and probably years) ahead.

“Keep it shiny side up” acknowledges the darkness…but insists on the light.

Your assignment this week: When faced with a situation or event that seems negative, bleak, or dire — make a conscious effort to find the shiny side, as well.  Is there an opportunity for strength, for a challenge, for organization, for leadership, for a fresh idea, or for something only you can uniquely offer?  Be part of the solution…and “keep it shiny side up.”

And here’s a bonus challenge: On Wednesday, March 4th at 6pm ET — please join with Hopatcong and light a candle in Greg’s honor.  Share a photo to Greg’s memory page…and let’s let Greg’s family know how far his love, his light, and his happiness can spread!  [Update 3/4: due to inclement weather this candle lighting will now take place on Sunday, March 8th at 7:00p ET.]

Is a bad situation calling YOU to shine your brightest this week?

Spread Happyness — and share your thoughts in the comments!

(And rest in peace young man…knowing you are loved.)

2/27/15 by Grace Church
© Grace Church

4 thoughts on “Week #24 – “Keep it shiny side up.” (Dedicated to Gregory Pellinger)

  1. Crystal

    Great job Grace….very well written! I’m proud to say that we grew up together. knowing you and Rob growing up, I knew you were both special people. Unfortunately we have lost contact through the years but watching all of the events over the past you Or so unfold, I am proud to have called you my friend and to have grown up in such an awesome town!

    1. Grace Church Post author

      Hi Crystal! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I had been away for so long…Rob’s death really reconnected me to the tightly knit nature of our little town. I’m sensing there will be more opportunities to connect as we move forward! Stay proud! And wherever you are, stay #HopatcongStrong!


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