Back to the place she knows so well, and welcomed by those who are dedicated to help, but have become family. Tampa General Hospital, where everybody knows her name. It was a simple gesture, saying welcome back on the board in Angel’s room. To a casual observer it may not even be noticed. To me, as aunt of one of the most amazing people I know, that gesture was symbolic of the many years of love, heartache, triumph and hope that we have all shared in the amazing 12 years of Angel’s life.

Angel came into the world  at St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital, but soon found a second home at Tampa General. She was born with Vater Syndrome, a relatively rare set of congenital anomalies requiring life saving and life preserving surgeries, medications, an amazing and dedicated set of physicians, ARNP’s, nurses, hospital employees and the super hero (thank you for the words my beautiful friend across the pond) mom whose dedication and love help Angel thrive in ways no one could have predicted.

Back in the hospital after only a few days home, I had time again to reflect on how lucky a chronically ill child is to have an envelope of love and dedication surround him or her in an environment that us foreign to most people.

After just a few minutes in the room, it was time for shift change. A nurse that had never met Angel came in. This is rare. Meanwhile a nurse from The IV  team came in put a new sonogram guided IV into her left arm because the one in her right arm was no longer useful. That nurse had cared for Angel in the ICU  many times before. Another nurse stopped by to sit on the bed, hug Angel a few times, talk with the new nurse and reminisce. Even though she
had cared for Angel only a few days before she said, “I remember when you used to make me call you Princess Fiona.”

I had forgotten Angel’s Shrek period, but it did remind me of the day that Angel was dressed in a beautiful dress for her hospital wedding to Diego, a cartoon character she loved so well. 


So then began the trip down memory lane. Remember when Angel had the sign on her hospital door saying that all who enter must put money in her bank? Remember when we used to spend every Saturday snuggled on the big blue chair watching movies till we fell asleep?  Remember when Angel would say, “be right back,” and walk to the other side of her crib to pretend she was going to the potty?”


How about all the Halloween parades and the Christmas parties? Or what about last month when the cashier in the cafeteria told Angel she was sorry they didn’t have donuts anymore? Or the time we sat for hours watching her sleep after the takedown of her colostomy or when she sat in her doorway crying, “water” when she was on fluid restrictions and none of the nurses wanted to walk by her room?

Most people can go their whole lives not entering a hospital. Some go occasionally and don’t give it much thought. For some, hospital is a home with extended family who come to know and love each other, know spouses, children, uncles, aunts, cousins and grandparents. For those people, I hope they have a place to go to like TGH. A place where doctors and nurses stay, and care, and keep giving.

“Be glad there’s one place in the world
Where everybody knows your name,
And they’re always glad you came;
You want to go where people know,
People are all the same;
You want to go where everybody knows your name.”


Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back.

Love you, Angel.



pencil_sketch_1470973218868.jpgEvening Day One

Several evenings ago, about 10:30 pm, I went outside with my dog to take her for her evening walk. I live in a condominium that sits on a nature preserve, so it is not unusual to see turtles, opossums, armadillos, raccoons, and squirrels running around or bats flying above. That evening, however, I thought I saw a wild animal not far from where I was walking.  I saw bright shiny eyes, but could not tell what type of animal it was.

I kept walking with my dog by my side.  She didn’t pay any attention to the animal, so I didn’t either.  When I came around the corner and back towards my building, the animal was sitting on the grass not far from me.  It stared and me and I stared back, but I still couldn’t tell what it was.  Finally, it starting “barking” the strangest sound I ever heard.  Trixie’s ears perked up and she started to pull towards the animal, but I pulled her away and brought her home – as fast as I could.

A little while later I went back outside by myself to see if I could find the animal and identify it.  No luck, it was gone. So I did the next best thing, google search.  I thought it might have been the coyote because one had been seen in several other neighborhoods recently.  The coyotes in the pictures seemed a bit too large for my elusive “friend.”

The next morning I expected to see a post at the mail kiosk telling us to beware of a wild animal in the neighborhood. Nothing.

Evening Day Two

I went out at my usual time, 10:30, to take Trixie for her evening walk.  Although I was a little nervous, I kept looking for the animal.  After about fifteen minutes, I had all but given up when I saw him ahead of me.  This time, I stared him down, he stared me down, and started to walk towards me. He was small, but taller than a dog or a cat, but I still could not quite make out what kind of animal he was. For sure, he wasn’t domesticated.  I tugged on Trixie’s leash and hurried her in the other direction. When I looked back, the animal was following me. Now I was scared, so I started to run.  This, I can assure you, was no easy feat and certainly not a pretty sight. When I looked back, the animal was also running, right towards me.  I ran behind one of the buildings and figured if the animal got close, I could climb a tree and “hide.” In retrospect, that was a ridiculous idea because what would I have done with my dog?

All I could do was keep moving and pray that I didn’t trip and fall on my face.  When I finally got to my front door, my heart was pounding, but luckily Trixie and I were alone.  I have not run in years, and thank goodness no one saw me. I immediately sent a text to a friend in the neighborhood informing her that there was a wild animal on the loose and that I was too afraid to finish walking Trixie. She offered to come over and walk with me, but I declined.  I wasn’t about to go outside and come face to face with a  werewolf or even something worse. I have watched enough Supernatural by now to know that this is a possibility.

Evening Day Three

I opened the front door about 11:00 that evening and saw my little friend/enemy running across the street towards my friend’s building. Trixie and I wisely walked in the other direction.  I walked with my shoulders back and my head held high.  I was not about to let that animal sense my fear even though my heart was pounding and I was on high alert. I even had phone with me, ready to take a picture and make a proper ID.  I walked for longer than usual, around each block and even towards the back of the complex where there is a big , dark lake and not too many lights. He was no where to be found.  Where are all the wild animals when you need them?

Morning Day Four

6:30 am, and I take Trixie for her morning walk, a little later than usual.  I see one of my neighbors, also out walking her dog.  I ask her if she has seen any wild animals recently. She has not, but saw a bob cat a few months earlier.  Back inside, I googled bob cat images, but the animal I saw really didn’t look like one.

Evening Day Four

10:00 pm, a little early for my evening walk, but nevertheless, I head outside.  My good friend and neighbor was walking her dog, Moe, so we decided to walk together.  She told me that the animal I saw was definitely a fox.  She had seen him walking down her street.  Now that I wasn’t alone, I acted like it was no big deal and  I wasn’t afraid.  We walked towards the front of the complex near the park, and all the way back to my place.  No wild animal sightings, not even a bat flying around. After bringing Trixie back inside, I did another google search:  Florida Foxes.  This time, the images matched the animal I saw.  I was sure that I would find that these were dangerous creatures and that I would have to do the thing I would dread the most, call animal services.

I was wrong. Though I couldn’t not tell if my fox was gray or red, I learned that the  fox is a nocturnal animal, and has a yapping bark – definitely a match. The gray fox  is sometimes referred to as the “tree fox” because it can scramble-up a tree and is the only member of the dog family capable of climbing. Thank goodness I hadn’t tried out my George of the Jungle routine the other night or that darn fox would have been climbing up the tree right after me.

After reading several different articles stating the same thing, I had to let go of my fear. Foxes are not dangerous to humans or dogs. The truth is, they have more to fear from us than we do from them.

Morning Day Five

I went shopping on Saturday morning with my granddaughter.  I wanted to buy a pair of curtains I had seen on-line, so we went to Ikea. On the way to the elevator, we had to pass through the children’s department. At the end of the department there was a bin filled with stuffed animals that were on sale.  The first one to catch my eye was a momma fox and her baby.

Naturally, I said, “Luna, look at that cute fox.  Wouldn’t you like one for your very own?”

“Yes, grandma,” she told me.  So we bought them. It was fate.




Hello all. as you know I have been nominated for the 3 Days 3 Quotes Challenge by the wonderful Niall ODonnell at I thank you once again.

Here are the rules:

  1.  Thank the person who nominated you .
  2. Post a quote for 3 consecutive days ( 1 quote for each day )
  3. Nominate three new bloggers each day.

Here is my third quote:

An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.

Martin Buber

Today I nominate:

If you don’t already follow their blogs, now’s a good time to start!

Till we meet again…







Hello all. as you know I have been nominated for the 3 Days 3 Quotes Challenge by the wonderful Niall ODonnell at I thank you again.

Here are the rules:


  1. Thank the person who nominated you .
  2. Post a quote for 3 consecutive days ( 1 quote for each day )
  3. Nominate three new bloggers each day.

Here is my second quote:

Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.

John F. Kennedy

Today I nominate:

If you don’t already follow their blogs, now’s a good time to start!

See you tomorrow…


Hello all. I’ve been nominated for the 3 Days 3 Quotes Challenge by the wonderful Niall ODonnell at highly recommend you visit this blog, where I can guarantee will learn something new every day. Thanks for nominating me, and I hope I’m up for the challenge! The rules are:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you .
  2. Post a quote for 3 consecutive days ( 1 quote for each day )
  3. Nominate three new bloggers each day.

I’ll keep it short and simple and get straight to the quote:

Both the good and the pleasant approach man; the wise one discriminates the two, having examined them well.  Yea, the wise man prefers the good to the pleasant, but the fool chooses the pleasant, through avarice and attachment.

2.2 Kathopanisad

Today I nominate:


Jay Dee Archer at

Lisa Barriera  at


If you don’t already follow their blogs, now’s a good time to start!

See you tomorrow…