Brandon Barton's Wordpress Blog

Enjoying Semi-Retirement by Keeping Up With the Kids Online.

Recommended post: Melancholy thoughts by Sank

In the whirlwind of travel that I do these days, sometimes it’s easy to lose track of the day to day  stuff. Hell it’s easy to lose track of where you are, once in a while I’ve been know to wake up in a hotel room and have no idea where I am. Done that in my own bed too. 

Thank goodness for Google Calendars. It seems to never forget the stuff that can’t keep track up. Birthdays, anniversaries…

And today it reminded me that May 21 is the anniversary of my fathers passing in 2013. 

Pause for reflection. 

My relationship with my parents, and thanks for listening BTW was pretty deeply flawed. To the point that when my Dad passed I heard about second hand and did not attend his funeral. We hadn’t spoken in over 10 years. The sad thing is, our relationships demise was really fall out from the toxic relationship my mother and I fostered. My Dad and I were pretty close most of my life. But, as my relationship with Mom deteriorated over the years, he chose sides. And I would argue, chose correctly, I believe when folks find themselves in the sad position of having to make a choice between spouse and kids or spouse and parents or spouse and anyone else the correct choice, barring abuse, substance issues, etc is almost always the spouse. Once of the contributing factors to my current relationship with my mother is I, years ago, made the very same choice. 

Without airing the details here, not speaking with my Dad over the years did not keep me from thinking about him. That I do almost every day. I don’t talk about it, but I do. He was an incredibly gentle man with a big heart who cared deeply about his family. But at the same time he had was sort of quick to anger and quick to take umbrage in situations. I’d say quick temper but that’s not right. He was never one to yell to scream, or frankly engage in a fight. He would simple make a note of something that made him angry or where he felt wronged and stop giving the offender his time or attention. 

Which makes me think, I’m a lot like him in that way.

I think a lot about how he influenced me these days as I travel around the world talking about retail and what I see as the latest developments in the industry, where things are going. I remember when I left for college, hanging out with him in his store, “Gary, what ever you do, don’t go into retail. It’s a shitty way to make a living”. Hah.. and so when I graduated college the first job I had was in retail. I stayed in business for the last 30+ years. And in hindsight, he was right. It’s a tough business that eats its young. But if you can survive, there are benefits and a rewarding career to be had. 

Today I’m little melancholy about my loss, the one 14 years ago now when we last spoke and the one 4 years ago that sealed the deal on our never communicating again. I understand there’s no going back, thankfully I don’t regret a singe decision I made, no matter how hard it was at the time. Today I’ll think about how we used to hang out, the time I spent working in his store and how much of his advice and influence I carry with me today. 

Filed under: Life


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