Thursday, 13 April 2017

Been a while

In fact, it's been fact too long. Which also describes this post... Too long. Sorry!

When I posted last year, on coming out day, about the journey that I had been on,  and where I had got to,  I really hasn't meant it to be a goodbye post.

I still stand by that,  though looking at my rate of posting you may not believe it...

A lot has happened in my life since then.  Unfortunately most of it isn't good. (But don't worry, I'm fine and happy enough)

Starting in September last year I started to make regular trips to the UK. I wasn't planning on regular trips... A family holiday in Centre Parcs Nottingham, with a trip to Leamington Spa for my brother's wedding and several days with my parents staying with us.  Doing things with mum, little dude playing with my dad - including playing football, which is something he really wanted to do - and watching him trying to do to much to make memories whilst he could. This was a great trip!

Back a month later to my cousin's wedding. Staying with a different cousin who I hadn't spent time with since before I transitioned. And had a great time. My cousin's wedding was fine, no Mrs Stace or little dude so it was a long night, but fun and I saw a whole raft of family who didn't make it to my brother'sday.

And a couple more days with my cousin before I went back that was amazing!

But, dad looked awful. In 4 weeks he went from looking good, if tired, to being a frail, old man before his time. I thought I'd never see him again.

So decided there and then I was taking a trip to see him at home.

Another few day weeks and I was there in Scotland. He slept most of the day, though we had fun chats when he was awake. The third day I was there he didn't make it out of bed. There was so much I wanted to say make to him, but choked every time I thought about it.  So I wrote him a letter, went to his bed and wept whilst he read it.  Which he told me of for and comforted me. He comforted me... And I felt so loved,  and at the same time so ashamed.  The pain he was in,  and as tired as he was,  and he cared more about looking after me than about himself...

After a few days I went home, in tears, knowing that I was going to be back soon.

I didn't realise how soon. I came home on the Thursday, spoke to my brother telling him that if he wanted to see dad again he needed to go quickly.  Monday came and I got the call I was dreading. Get to Scotland now. Considering that we are not that far away, just 1000 miles, it it not easy to travel between places. A last minute plane ticket, with stop overs, and as it turns out major delays, but I got there.

I spent the day with my mum, brother, his wife and dad. He was peaceful, and acknowledged us in the morning at least, at the end of the afternoon, just as my brother and I stepped out for fresh air he started to go - we swear he was waiting for us to leave the room, we ran back in time to hold his hand as he went. Letting go of his hand so the hospice nurses could get him cleaned is the single most difficult thing I have ever had to do. I took a long time, and my mum had to talk me through doing it.

I stayed with mum for the rest of the week,  coming home when she went back to Leicester to organise the funeral.

A few days later and we were on the road again, this time with Mrs Stace and the little man, to say our final good byes.

It sounds weird, and flippant - though it's not meant to be, but the funeral was is great. It wasn't religious and the guy leading it did his research so well and spoke about dad. Not facts and figures of his life, but about him. And dad picked the music before he went. Something that will forever put a smile on my face, even as the tears flow as they are doing now. We went in to 'I'm free' from Tommy, and left to "We've got to get out of this place" by the Animals.

A few days later we had a big family meal. My cousin, her husband and parents, my brother and his wife, my mum and us. Great closure, and we spent the day reminiscing.

All of was in November. Things have happened since, but as this has already turned I to a monster outpouring I'll stop there...

I'll just leave you with one of the last portraits I got of him before his health issues started.


  1. I am so sorry, Stace, for the loss of your Dad. Such a good looking guy! It would seem that all of this happened fairly quick and, looking back on it, that was a good thing for your father. Mine took months before he passed and despite my mixed emotions, I hated to see him go that way.

    I hope you and your extended family are doing well.

    Calie xx

    1. Hi Calie,

      Thanks. I love this picture - even before he was ill I could just stare at it :). My invincible dad, as I saw him then. He was always photogenic, way more than I am - my brother takes after him in this respect more than me.

      I will alwaysbe thankful that he was "ok" for as long as he was. The later weeks he was obviously ill, but still had his humour, the last days were the really awful ones. But, I've seen people looking like dad did that final afternoon for months. Awful for the person, and for those close to them. He was taken a couple of decades too early, but at least the worst suffering was limited...

      We're not doing too badly at the moment, though I'm currently recovering from major hand surgery. In pain, but going the right way! That is going to be my next post - then I'm determined to do something positive!

      And I hope that you and your family are doing well on the other side of the world,!


  2. I remember hearing about your dad and if I may say, my heart goes out to you. The only good bit in it, if it's okay to say, is you did get to talk with him. Sometimes, people go quickly and we're denied that.

    I think I get what you mean about​ a great funeral. At least, as crazy as it sounds. Some are tragic and traumatic, whereas some can be good. Good in that although we miss the person gone; their departure can be a blessing and we get to celebrate their life.

    My mate's dad passed away last year and his best man gave a speech that was a great tribute to a good man. I hope it was similar for your dad too. Oh, and he picked some cracking music BTW.

    The picture of him seems very natural. It looks like he's been caught thinking. From what you've said over our emails, he sounds a top man and your comment him still looking after you, says a lot about him as a parent.

    If you need anyone to talk to about it, I'm hear to listen.

    L x

    1. Hi Lynn,

      That I got to speak to him the week before he died, and that the worst suffering was only a few days. I have known of people, and was told by the nurses, that there are unfortunate people who go through that stage for months not days... That must be wretched for the family. How much of it dad noticed I couldn't say - by that time he was on a lot of serious medication...

      He was definite about the fact that it would be a celebration. Down to the banning of black. Clothes had to be what you would wear to a night out, not to a funeral. My Scottish dress, one of his favourites, was my pick. The only strange thing was waiting at Gilrose and being stared at by people from the other funerals. But, hey, we were being respectful in the way he wanted.

      Unfortunately we have no idea where his best man is, as people moved around the country people lost track. But my cousin did an amazing speech. About her Uncle Malc. I'm getting teary thinking about it (in a mood way...)

      As for the picture, I love it. Absolutely one of my favourites. And a great way to remember a fantastic man. I think in may just have a drink for him before I turn in for the night...

      And thanks for the offer, I'll drop you a line.

      Stace x