RIP Richard A. Simmons Sr.
September 15,1941-January 1, 2010
I got a call New Years morning letting me know my father , who had been in the hospital since May of 2009 with heart problems, wasn’t doing very well. His heart had stopped three times New Years morning and the doctors restarted him. This landed him on the “machines”. They were circulating his blood,breathing for him , and feeding him. His current wife had called myself and my step brothers and sisters inquiring if we were for the machines or if they should unhook him. The little I knew of my father, he wouldn’t want machines keeping him alive. So I threw my advice in and within a few hours later he had taken his last breathe.
This is the time that really kind of threw me. I never really “KNEW” my father. Granted I have met him and done things with him when I visited Omaha, Nebraska. But that was limited at best. So I can’t honestly say I am broken up or “sad”. I lost a father, yes. But it was a loss of a man I never really knew. It is a bad time of course for his current wife and their life together. It is a better time now for him as he doesn’t have to suffer the hospital’s poking and prodding.
In a lot of thought and various conversations with multiple family members I decided it would be the best thing and most respectful to travel to Ohio for his funeral. I snapped up the airplane tickets and prepared for the trip and funeral.
I arrived in Ohio welcomed of course by snow and cold air ( the Old Man told me once before he hated the snow and cold looks like he passed that on to the ones showing up for his last hurrah).
I guess this was his way of getting ALL of the kids together for the first time. I got to meet my other sisters and their kids, and their kids children. As well as his sisters and cousins. Needless to say I was the odd duck out of the bunch. Seeing as all of his side of the family has really been in the same super small towns since childhood and myself pretty well traveled.
His memorial service was a good one. Alot of tears shed by his other kids ( which I didn’t really understand as he had left them at early ages and married my mother) And I had seen him probably 8 times total in my 31 years.
He was granted a full military honor burial as he was a retired Air Force Sargent and served time in Vietnam. 21 gun salute, taps, flag draped and then folded.
It would have been cool to see him one last time while he was well. But as things go in life….not always as planned. I wish I would have had a father in my life not just at the tail end. But as the motto went in Ohio : It is what it is.