“Are you fighting with your father, or losing time with your dad? Father time.”
—Brian “Trigs” Hague
by Brian “Trigs” Hague
I never really knew my grandfather, Chubby. I was too young to remember what he was like. I wish I could remember the day I met him for the first time. From what I’ve been told, it changed my dad’s life.
Dad returned to Cincinnati after law school to work for Chubby’s real estate firm. They quarreled occasionally, as fathers and sons do, especially in a family business. Dad told me later he realized it was mostly his fault. He was school educated, so he presumed he was also business smart.
My dad and my granddad disagreed on how to run the business, a lot. One fight went too far. Horrible things were said. A standoff ensued. My dad worked in a second floor office. Chubby’s office was downstairs. They didn’t speak for six months.
My mom was pregnant with me at the time. I was born May 24, 1978. Almost twelve pounds. Mom had a cesarean section, and needed a few days in the hospital to recover. Dad was overjoyed. His first-born son.
He decided to call Chubby. Their fight was about business, but this was family. Chubby politely congratulated dad over the phone, but never came to see me in the hospital. Dad was furious. He stormed into Chubby’s office the next morning, reamed him for not showing up, and then promptly quit.
Dad started a rival company — and a small skirmish quickly escalated into a full-scale war. They battled each other in business for over two years. Chubby had taught him well. Dad’s company was gaining huge market share. The standoff continued.
Dad’s sister, Linda, had a son — my cousin, Jason. He was born two years before me. Dad took me to play with him and see Grandma on weekends, when he was sure Chubby wasn’t there.
We were playing hide and seek on a routine Saturday morning. We ended up in Chubby’s bathroom. And guess who we found there? Chubby. Shaving. Dad didn’t know he was home.
“Well Jason, looks like you have a friend,” Chubby said, looking down at me with a beard of shaving cream. “What’s your name, young man?” I was just two, but very proud of my name. “Brian!” I shouted back.
Granddad still didn’t realize who I was right away. After all, he had never seen me. “Alright Brian. And what is your last name?” he questioned. Jason jumped in before I could answer. “Hague! It’s Brian Hague. Grandpa, you know!”
Chubby’s face turned white as the shaving cream smeared on his cheeks. He slowly shuffled around us, as if in some sort of trance. We followed him to the kitchen.
They locked eyes, but neither said a word. Dad rose from his chair slowly. The look was like nothing I had ever seen before (or since) on his face. He stared at Chubby. Chubby stared back at him.
Grandma froze in her seat. Jason and I stood there, stone still. We had no idea the importance of that moment. And then, my dad and my granddad lunged into each other’s arms. A long, tearful embrace. Uncontrollable sobbing and sorries. And then it was over. The family feud had ended.
My dad and I have worked together on and off for years. A few fights. One that actually caused us not to speak for a long time. When I look back now, I realize I wasn’t fighting my father, I was losing time with my dad. A whole year in a standoff, and I don’t even remember what our fight was about.
It doesn’t matter. We lost valuable time. Father Time. It’s been said a thousand different ways, but simply put, the most precious possession we have is time. Time with friends, with family, and particularly time with our dads.
I feel proud to know that I was the catalyst that reunited my dad with his dad, Chubby. I am proud to know that Dad and I both had the humility and good sense to get over our squabbles and start getting along.
Dad and I now work together every day. We spend time with each other building a business we love. Special time. Father Time. I hope this story may inspire just one person to reconnect with his/her dad too.
If you ever have a problem with your dad always remember to ask yourself…
“Am I fighting with my father or losing time with my dad?”
Trust me, it’s always the latter…