Taking a break from my quick in and out of the shop today to say hello!
I apologize in advance for the following blog entry. It's going to sound a bit depressing at parts. But after thinking about it on and off throughout this week, I may as well get it written down.
After the loss of my father last year, it seems like time has flown. Today is his birthday. It marks the second one he's missed since he passed.
Not many of you got to meet my father. He'd come into the shop now and then the year before last, always wearing his sunglasses and "constructively" criticizing the amount of thread/scraps/tools that were left unceremoniously on the floor. Argh! I actually miss that!
My wife and I have two children, as most of you already know. Our 4 year old daughter, Chloe, has a pretty good memory of her "grand-daddy" as she calls him, but our 1 year old son, Jesse, doesn't have that privilege.
Through the beginning stages of their lives, it seems that children have an amazing fortitude. For adults, I believe that the innocence of children is an important thing to analyze. Not innocence when categorized as the opposite of knowledge, but the capability to shrug off painful emotion almost instantly.
I miss my mom and dad. It hurts so much to know that they're gone, and I can't talk to them any more. This pain has eased as time has passed. I can think of my mom now without crying, and it's getting close with dad. Time really does help.
As we grow older, we get attached to our emotions. Our connections to the world, our family and friends, and everything that surrounds us - our beliefs, our rights, our currency. We place a value on those things. Theres nothing wrong with valuing them, but there is something wrong with overvaluation.
The importance of how we value things is shown to us by how our daughter could lose one of her greatest friends, and still easily find ways to be happy. She'll recount things he said or did with her, say how much she misses him, and then she'll move on to something else entirely. Every day I'm amazed as my wife and I watch her and her brother learn to love, and learn how emotion works.
To honor my father's memory in my own way, I'd like to tell you a bit more about how this business got started.
My mother and father worked tirelessly to provide for my sister and I. They had their faults, like any parents, but ultimately they did the best they could with what they were given. An admirable quality, to say the very least.
As my mother sewed in western Kentucky, my father believed that Nashville was the only place that her work would be valuable. "It's where our future is", he would say, so to Nashville he went! With mom's clothes in tow, he drove to Nashville as often as he could, summer and winter, no air conditioning in the summer, and bundled up in the winter. Dad found a place or two to wholesale mom's vests and garments to, and went from there. With every sale, he'd get the itch even more to live in the place he had to drive 5 hours round-trip to. This went on for years!
When I was 9 or 10 (I honestly can't remember), my parents finally uprooted us and we moved to the Nashville area. Mom started sewing in the new house almost immediately, even before we got fully unpacked, and dad scrambled the same way he had before. Nothing had changed, but we did live closer to where we needed to be.
The rest of the story is a slight repeat of the first part, with a little less driving.
My parents sacrificed everything but family to breathe life into the business that I now proudly own and operate. Without them, I wouldn't know you.
What they did for their family can never be forgotten. I'm sure each of you reading this have had problems of some form in your lives. I'm proud that you've made it this far.
Just remember that no matter what happens, the only path is forward. That's our hope, and our future. And it's beautiful in it's own way. No matter who or what you lose.
Happy birthday, dad. When it's my time, I'll see you on the other side.