Stolen Time is a true and factual event from my life. It is but one chapter from my Memoir called All The Wrong Love.
My father and I grew a bond that was like no other,
despite the hardships that came of his transition.
The day I lost him was more painful than anything I had
The phone rang at 11:25 a.m. I answered; it was him. My
dad called to check in on me, even though he should only be
worrying about himself. Our conversation would be short, so I
could rest a bit before heading up to visit him.
He was out in the hall of the hospital, by the large
windows, looking out, just resting. Not where he was supposed
to be, but he assured me he was good and headed to bed soon,
he just wanted to see what the weather was like.
I assured him I would be there in a couple of hours once
As we both agreed to go rest, we said our “I love yous”
and I told him I’d see him soon.
I laid beside my daughter resting, and never did I think
that would be the last words spoken to the man I loved more
I never dreamt that what was to come next would be my
final memories of him.
A few hours later, I woke from my sleep. A haunting
panic, combined with worry, and stress overwhelmed me.
Why? Why would I feel this way? What was it that was
not right in my world?
As I rushed around the house to get everything and my
daughter ready to leave, I could feel something was wrong,
something wasn’t right, it was a pain aching inside me without
knowing the answer.
I loaded up the van, hopped in and drove as fast as I could
to the hospital. I swear it was the longest drive of my life: I hit
every red light, every traffic jam, and parking was insanely
atrocious. Everything was as slow as could be.
It was as if the world was against me. As if the universe
was telling me to slow down and relax. But I could not. I had to
get there, I just had to. Although I couldn’t explain why at the
time, it would become very apparent.
Finally! I had made it. I scooped my daughter out of the
van and we did a running walk.
Unfortunately, at the age of two, and pregnant, that’s not
very quick. Or it didn’t feel quick enough. I picked her up and
moved on faster, faster I thought. The closer I got to the ward
the worse my feelings became.
As I entered through the corridor around 3:25 p.m. nothing
seemed out of the ordinary, the nurses’ station to the right was
empty as they did their rounds, and my father’s room door to the
left was casually open just enough to sneak in.
I placed my daughter on the floor and held her hand,
slowly pushing the door to the side to open it enough for the two
of us to enter side-by-side.
There he was, sleeping, resting peacefully on the bed.
What a relief.
As I walked closer, I could see him half on, and half off
the bed, with one leg hanging over the edge.
“Dad, Dad,” I said.
Slowly, I inched a little closer being cautious not to startle
him awake, as he had a tendency to swing if you did. I raised my
hand and reached my arm out to touch him.
“Dad, Dad,” I said with a little nudge to his leg.
There was nothing—no response.
As I went closer and placed my whole hand on his leg,
giving it a good shake, it felt chilled, as if he had been outside in
the freezing cold for hours.
Still with no response. I quickly moved my hand from his
leg up to his chest.
There was no movement, it was not raising or sinking with
breath. It was cold; his skin a discoloured light grey-blue. I
looked to his face, drained from all colour with lips the shade of
a fresh blueish bruise.
I grabbed my daughter’s hand and backed up out to the
hallway where the nurses’ station was. I stood there, waiting to
see someone, anyone who I could call to help.
What seemed like an eternity may have only been
moments when a nurse finally walked by.
As the nurse passed, I yelled to her.
“Something is wrong, I don’t think my dad is breathing,
please help. He’s here in the first bed.”
As she rushed by me to enter, the next thing I could hear
was the speaker system, “Code blue, code blue!”
That was the moment I knew: I knew he was gone.
Literally just dropped down. It was like one of those
dramatic scenes in a movie where they lose all function and just
drop and scream. Yes, it truly happens this way. You can’t
control the reaction, it just happens. All sense, feeling, and
function becomes so overwhelming inside you that you just can’t
Nurse after nurse, and doctor after doctor rushed past me
as I slump along the side of the door.
As I turned my head, I could see only his feet shifting, up
and down with the force of the compressions they used to try to
save him. But I knew it was not going to work.
Then the door closed and a single hand reached out to me.
She was kind, the look in her eyes stated sadness and
compassion for the loss I had just sustained. Helping me rise off
the floor, she guided me away and further down the hall to a
chair to sit.
She looked at me and said, “He’s gone, is there someone
you can call to pick up your daughter?”
Even though I heard the words of the nurse, I didn’t know.
I didn’t know what to do or say, or even know how to
comprehend the words to answer, but she waited, patiently, until
I could muster enough power to form a “yes”.
I gathered myself together enough to make a phone call to
have someone arrive as soon as possible. I knew the calls to my
siblings would be hard. They would be devastated by the news,
but I had to do it. I was the one who had found him, I was the
one who was there and knew.
I would first call my brother; he was close and could
arrive quicker than anyone else. I am not sure he believed me, or
the words I said, when the news was broken to him. He hung up
quickly but said he was on his way.
Next were my sisters. Screams echoed through the end of
the phone; I knew the pain they felt. Although I could not give
every answer, the one I had of his passing was not what they
I couldn’t stay on long, I had to return to the room to get
my father’s things, to say goodbye, and return to my kids. I
wasn’t sure how I would see through the flowing tears to even
get myself home but I knew I had to.
Upon the arrival of my brother, we embraced for a few
moments not saying anything other than “he’s gone”. He sat me
in a black leather chair in the hall by the windows and said he
I wonder if this was the last chair my father sat in while
enjoying the view out the window that was in front of me. Is this
the last thing he saw? It was not much of a view. All that sat on
the other side was a road and a set of old brown buildings. Why
was he here? Did he know he was not going to make it? That his
time was so limited he just wanted it to be filled with love and
support, not sadness and pity? This, and many more thoughts,
would flash through my head without ever knowing the answers.
Finally, I see my brother walking the narrow hallway
toward me, unaware of how much time actually passed at this
point until he returned. He got the confirmation of loss and the
efforts of the medical team were to no avail. He placed himself
in the chair next to me, grabbed my hand, and said, “Let’s go.”
“They have his body ready in another room so we can say
Without a single word I walked, back through the corridor
which haunts my heart even to this day. As he led me to the
room that housed the body of my late father, I stopped.
I stopped dead, just outside of the room before opening the
door. I took the deepest breath and placed a hand on it.
As it slowly swung open, I released the breath. Cleansing
all of my insides from top to bottom in one solid, long, exhale.
There, right there in front of me laying flat, covered in a
sheet with eyes closed was my father. There was an odd sense of
silence in the room. It was like nobody was there. Although I
saw the capsule of a man, there was no feeling of life. Just
silence. Dead, quiet silence. The lights seemed to be deepened
and dull, the walls not near as bright of a beige as they once
seemed. I could feel not only was he gone, but his spirit had
crossed to where it belonged. Not even the slightest feeling of a
presence was detected. It was sad, relieving, and calming all at
the same time.
With it I acknowledged out loud, “He has passed,
peacefully, you can feel it, there is nothing but this empty vessel
I stepped forward to beside the bed, leaned in and gave a
kiss to the forehead. It was cold, stiff and lifeless. I said
goodbye and walked out.
As I made for the exit of the hospital, with a white garbage
bag in one hand holding the belongings that were with him, I
had to write. I had to voice the pain inside me before I exploded.
“Today the world lost and heaven gained … a wonderful
strong loving man … who was, and always will, be admired …
a man I looked up to and treasured … a man only his children
could truly know, my dad, I love you always and forever, and
will never forget you, what you taught me, who you taught me
to be … rest in peace”
With these words written, I walked into the snow storm
outside. Making my way to my van, tears freezing down the
sides of my face, my new reality was about to hit.
The reality of how much time was stolen.
Over the next couple weeks, sleep would elude me:
funeral arrangements, signing the death certificate on my
twenty-seventh birthday, and laying him in his final resting
place would occur. While these were hard, it is the time since
this day that pains even more.
I would come to realize he would miss two of my
children’s births, both of my graduations at school, walking me
down the aisle, and many other special occasions, moments and
All of the time stolen comes after the loss.
Please help me in raising funds to acquire a headstone, it has been ten years and my heart breaks knowing I’ve not been able to do this. https://gofund.me/3d33e377