simmer's picture

Recently my father passed away unexpectedly. He had a massive heart attack. He died doing what he loved. He was delivering food to one of his major clients. Every month, he would deliver fish sandwiches to his friend and biggest client at the mill. He brought the sandwiches and when he sat down to eat he collapsed. The paramedics at the mill were at his side in less than 3 minutes. They worked hard and gave a brave effort but in the end, it was my father's time to go.
I got the call from the doctor at the hospital and my heart sank. I never thought, at age 38 I would have to live the rest of my life without ever talking to my father again.
He was a fun loving, jovial guy. He loved life. He always used to tell me that he would never retire. He wouldnt know what to do with his time. He loved getting into his car every morning and seeing customers and just talking with them about every day life. He once said that he work til the day he died. He got his wish.
But now my life has become a rudderless ship drifting on the sea with no direction. I pick up the phone to call him about some mundane thing that happened and he isnt there. Even when the Steelers won the super bowl, it just wasnt as sweet. Course I know that he was watching and probably even behind James harrison pushing him the 100 yards. Or giving Santonio Holmes a little extra hop on that last catch. He was never a harsh disciplinarian or someone who hit us. Instead, what he did is he made us feel so awful if we disappointed him. I think my dad hit me about 5 times in my entire life. It was enough to know that I didnt want to get hit by that guy anymore!!! He would tell me, "I let you do a lot of things. I give you a lot of freedom. If you screw it up, it will all go away." I never did. I never drank, did drugs, or got into trouble with the cops. Because of this I was able to stay out later than any of my other friends. I didnt have to call my dad to let him know where I was all the time. And I never got in trouble. Why? Cause I didnt want to do the worst thing that I could do. Disappoint him. On the few occasions that I did disappoint him he would simply say "I am really disappointed in you." And to hear those words would CRUSH me. Even to this day I live my life that way. I never do anything that would disappoint him. If I ever have kids, that will be the same way I father them.
Through all this I have learned a lot about life. I have learned to not take things for granted.
There was over 400 people at his funeral. He touched so many lives. He was a visual director of a local high school marching band and the entire band showed up. From 14 to 80 was the age range. I had never seen that before. It was a true testament to the type of person that he was. There was a moment of silence at the band competition, his local favorite restaurant flipped over his stool at the bar and shut down for an hour so all the employees could go to pay their respects. Even the bowling alley where he bowled had a moment of silince. This all has taught me so much.
I had a falling out with my childhood friend about 15 years ago and we havent spoken since. He heard about my dad's passing and he showed up to the funeral. We ran to each other and hugged. All was forgotten. Now we cant stop talking on the phone. We have 15 years of stories and life to catch up on. I lost my father but gained my best friend back. Something to be grateful for.
I have learned so many things about what is important and what isnt.
My dad had nothing prepared. He had nothing in writing about what he wanted in case of his death. We had to guess. I think we did right.
I say to everyone that I talk to, get your affairs in order. tell your family what you want. get a will! Put something, anything in writing. Pay for your own funeral. Not for the financial burden but rather so your family doesnt have to deal with the details while they are grieving.
BUt most importantly I have learned about what is important in life and what isnt. I have told all my family and friends to foget about little squabbles and any other nonsense that has kept you from talking to your friends, family, whomever. Why? Cause you never know when they wont be there. My Uncle and my father didnt talk to each other for about 5 years. now my Uncle is CRUSHED cause he never got to make up with him. He called my sister on a Monday, she told him she would call him back and never did. He died that Friday. She is CRUSHED! Regret is something I dont want them to feel but it is only natural.
So, I implore all of you. Call you kids, mother, grandmother, friends, everyone. Keep in touch with them. Say hi. E mail them and say hello.
I have not been on here lately because A. I have been taking care of so many things and B. There is too much hatred on here.
People not caring about others opinions. I have been guilty of that in the bpast as well. People not respecting what someone else thinks. I dont want to deal withthe negativity anymore. I get on from time to time and check to see if there is anything exciting going on that I might want to attend and also to check my messages to see if anyone is trying to reach me. But it still makes me shake my head that there is still so much hatred, disrespect and negativity on here.
I am going to live my life as my dad did. Some people think of their fathers as a superhero, a man of steel. Not me. I thought of my dad as a magician. he was able to make things appear. Needed Steeler tix? He found em. Needed Pitt basketball tix? He made em appear.
I was 5 years old when I started going to Steeler games. It was in part due to the fact that my mother didnt want to go to the games when it was cold. "Get the boy ready" is what I heard from my room. I had no idea what I was getting ready for. I went to the game, wrapped up from head to toe holding on to my dads hand so tight cuase I was so scared. We sat down and my dad asked me if I wanted a hot sausage sandwich. I said sure and he turned around to these guys who sat behind us and said, "Hey get my son a hot sausage" 2 seconds later, there is was. I thought how did my dad make a sandwich appear? It wasnt until years later that I found out that some people used to bring crock pots into the games!! This was waaaaaaay pre 9/11!! But that was him. He got such intense joy out of doing things for people. And he had something about him that made people like him.He could talk his way into any event. He would give a friend his parking pass for the games and then talk his way into the lot. How, I have no idea. But he always did. He would give you the shirt off his back and then walk into the store and talk the clerk into giving him a new one for free. HE could show you a short cut to any place in Pittsburgh to cut off 5 minutes of your travel. When he would come and visit me, he would just show up. Never call when he was 15 minutes away even though I told him to. He liked to just appear.
He knew everyone. If you needed anything, chances are he knew the guy to get it for you. And he would drive and get it for you. Cause that is what he loved to do.
I have tried, since he passed away to follow that mold he had set up for me to follow. Its hard. Some days you get frustrated or mad at someone. But I have to remember what he wanted out of life. He had a trusting nature. Partially because so many people trusted him. He saw the good in people and even when he didnt, he would crawl through the muck and slime to find it. No one could dislike him. Even to biggest sourpuss in the world would love my dad cause he would find something to talk about them to and find a way to talk to them with respect and love and humor.
He will be missed by so many.
I will continue to not be on here commenting too much. I have lost the nerve to discuss anything negative. I just dont care about casinos or anything like that anymore. It just doesnt matter to me. What matters is the love of my friends and family. Instead ot posting on here about something negative or reading about the casinos, I have called or e mailed a friend or family member. And you know what? I am better for it. Happier for it. I hope that all of you have or find this peace in your life. As my dad would always say, "have a GREAT Day" and he meant it. HE really wanted you to have a great day! I will say that to you also in the hopes you really do have a GREAT day!

Kat's picture

Simmer - I'm so sorry for

Simmer - I'm so sorry for your loss. He sounded like a great man who left this earth a happy, positive person..the way we all should go.

Sending prayers your way.

Kat, Nunzio and the girls

dan's picture

So sorry about the loss of

So sorry about the loss of your dad.

Thanks for sharing about him with us, and for reminding us of some of the truly important things in life.

Larry99's picture

simmer, sincere condolances

simmer, sincere condolances man. really sorry for your loss.

Lisa33's picture

Simmer, I'm so sorry for

Simmer, I'm so sorry for your loss. Your dad sounds like he was a really great guy. Thanks so much for taking the time to tell us about him, and to share how you've been feeling about life lately as a result of his passing. It sounds like you have been being strong for your family. They're lucky to have you. And it sounds like your dad would be really, really proud.

dmandy's picture

Simmer, I am so sorry to


I am so sorry to hear about your father. He sounds like a wonderful man. Keep all of the good thoughts about him and it will help you deal with the loss. We buried my mother a year ago, on Valentine's day. And remembering the good things is what got me thru this past year. You and your family are in my heart and my prayers.

Donna Marie

rtsaidred's picture

Simmer, my sincere

Simmer, my sincere condolences in the loss of your father. Thanks so much for the moving memories of your dad. My heart is so sad for you. Cherish the memories.

netable's picture

Simmer' I'm truly Sorry for

I'm truly Sorry for your Loss'

And I am truly Sorry that you feel as though there is Hatred on here' I actually never thought of it as Hatred' I just thought of it as a matter of "differences of Opinions",

I think that some people are bullheaded' but I don't think anyone on here is "hateful", and I am sorry you feel that way...., I am sorry if this is inappropriate' I truly mean no disrespect

Here is an Irish Prayer for your Father.....

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
And rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.

And I Sincerely hope that you can find peace in this difficult time' May God Bless you and Your Family'

ronchito's picture

my condolences for your

my condolences for your loss, simmer.

codergrrl's picture

Simmer, I am so sorry for

I am so sorry for your loss.

"There goes my hero, he's ordinary."

PeeWeeMartini's picture



Maggie's picture

Simmmer, I'm really sorry


I'm really sorry for your loss... And I want to thank you SO much for posting what you did -- great stories about your dad, lovely reflections about what matters, and a clarion call for all to be focussed on love and life...


PattiMey's picture

Simmer, there is no doubt

Simmer, there is no doubt your dad was a very special man and I must add a lucky man to have raised a son like you. Please accept my most sincere condolences on the lost of your dad. And thank you for such an honest and loving reflexion of life with your dad.

tudor's picture

I'm so sorry, Simmer.

I'm so sorry, Simmer. Fathers are about the hardest people to lose I think, and your Dad sounds like a great guy.

DNA's picture

Sorry for your loss Simmer.

Sorry for your loss Simmer. I'm glad you have great memories. I lost my dad 2 years ago this month. Unfortunately, my memories are more mixed.

nhb's picture

Simmer i am so sorry for

Simmer i am so sorry for your loss.

qbert4578's picture

So sorry for your loss... I

So sorry for your loss... I also lost my dad recently (three years ago this month as well). I feel for you.

lauraska's picture

Simmer, I'm so sorry for

Simmer, I'm so sorry for your loss. I've lost a parent and I can honestly say that while you never stop missing them, it gets easier as time goes on. Hang in there.

Cajunmoon's picture

Simmer, My condolences go


My condolences go out to you and your family on your recent loss. It is a very difficult and trying time when we lose loved ones. Each loss is very private and individual. When there are family differences and a loss occurs those folks that may have been bickering can have devastating effects. My father and brother had an argument and in a fit of anger my father disowned my brother verbally on the telephone as my brother was leaving for a trip to Paris. One week later my brother died in Paris and my father never forgave himself for those words clear up to his demise in 1998. It only reinforces your plea for family to be in touch and not harbor resentment.

Thank you so much for sharing with us all.


simmer's picture

Thank you all for your kind

Thank you all for your kind words. They mean more than all of you can imagine. Some have contacted me saying that they are going to get on the phone and call people they havent spoken too in a while. My dad would be so happy to hear this. He just loved people so much that it pained him see people fighting or not talking. I have added a picture as my avatar. Its his favorite jersey on his seat at Heinz Field.

shadylady's picture

simmer my heart goes out to

simmer my heart goes out to u I can feel you hurting through your words and am so sending u thoughts of peace. This man gave you a beautiful life of beautiful memories that some of us can only dream of. Cherish these memories and honor this man in your words and deeeds every day this is the way to honor what he gave you. Thank you so much for letting me have a peek into a loving and caring relationshipyou had together. Don't let the silliness on this site taint you.