Today is January 1, 2016. It is a day like any other day. The sun shines through my bedroom window, my birds twitter and flit with excitement and I sit at my desk collecting my thoughts, wondering what I will write about today. The truth is that today is unlike every other day of the year. It is the first day of January, the month that haunts me every year for the past eleven years. That is when the devastation and decline took a hold of me and my life.

It was January 26, 2005, when the man who had stood beside me for thirty years was mercilessly killed in a Metro Link collision. A man with the same first name as my sweet husband, Manuel, was seeking sympathy from his wife. His plan was to convince her that he had committed suicide. He securely locked his truck between the railroad tracks, stepped out and commenced pouring gasoline inside and outside of his vehicle creating a bomb with the ability of killing and maiming many passengers. The engineer was hurrying from station to station in the darkness of the predawn hour, unable to see the trap that lay ahead on the tracks. The truck blew up on contact with the fire lighting up the morning sky. My husband was burned and melted into his seat while listening to his favorite music while the killer ran away and mingled in the crowd that had formed to watch the chaos and destruction. That was the day that the life that was mine for so many years was gone in an instant. This new world that I walked through was void of color, happiness and purpose. I was thrown to my knees in despair.

There was always one thing that remained a constant in my life. That was caring for my son, Alex. My time was filled with Emergency Room visits, doctors’ appointments, and medical procedures. He was born with many chronic illnesses that required constant attention. His father’s death hit Alex hard. His health deteriorated quickly. There were soon PICC lines, G-Tube placements and feedings, stronger narcotics for the unyielding pain, a byproduct of the surgeries and then his memory loss and confusion. There are no words to explain what it is to watch your child waste away before your eyes. He broke loose from his worldly chains on January 11, 2008, to be with his dad. I went to his room to wake him for a doctor appointment and found him cold and blue. My attempts at CPR were futile. My heart broke into a million shards of glass that I would walk through for years to come.

My children, Max, my amazing son and Crystal, my beautiful daughter, were there supporting me every step of every day of finding who I was supposed to be. It took years of hard work and therapy to finally see a light peeking through the darkness giving me direction. It came in small, baby steps. I started this blog and realized how much I missed writing. That was the beginning. I wrote about me, about Alex, about medical issues. I was changing. My life was changing. I found some wonderful friends here who encouraged me along the way until I started to believe in myself again. Last year I founded a nonprofit Organization Making Change For Children to help children with complex medical issues and their devoted families in memory of my Alex. This new year of 2016, I resolve to make a difference in the lives of many by continuing to network, attend webinars, writing a new workbook for the families and launch a new pod cast. I see so much hope in this coming year.

I wish you all an amazing New Year with lots of Hope and many Miracles!


I am so ashamed that I did not finish the A to Z Challenge.  I kept telling myself that I could catch up, but it never happened. I did get to ‘T’, and for that I am proud.  I hope you learned a little about some illnesses of children and a little about me.  This month has been a particularly busy one.  I am finally at the stage of forming my nonprofit organization to name the people for my board.  I am so excited.  This has been my dream for such a long time.  We are looking into the name to make sure there isn’t another business with that same.  It is a perfect name with a concise and to-the-point tagline.  The Mission Statement was the most difficult for me to do.  After about two weeks, it was done.  The group of people who I am bringing together are so special all with a heart to help children with their families.  I would have never believed it would be happening so soon.

The other thing that has happened in the month of April is that I have communicated with some charities that are attempting to make drastic changes in our healthcare system and have reached out to me to offer some of my ideas.  I am not well-versed on how to do Power Point.  It took a while, but I finally figured out how to put the pictures where I wanted them and make bullet points and number the lists.  They are taking some of my suggestions.  I was even sent a notice that there was an opening for a state position as an advocate for people with disabilities.  It was a long application, but I put it in on time.  This will put me and our new nonprofit organization in an excellent place.  It is an appointed seat so I don’t have to be elected.  It would be for two years.  Imagine I will finally be doing exactly what I have always wanted to do.

Now, I am going to return to the weekly challenges that I love to do, plus the Daily Posts.  Thank you all for coming by to see my daily alphabet posts.  I enjoyed seeing the ones that I visited.  I am so impressed by all of you who did such a great job all month and finished.  I say, ‘Good job’ to you!  And I thank you for being patient with me.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Food for the Soul (and the Stomach).”

Food has always been a source of comfort for me, yes, even a problem.  When I was young I would imagine that my mother was in the kitchen making a pot roast with potatoes and carrots.  The smell would fill the house and sneak out the front door to tell us that it was time to eat.  By the time we were sitting at a nicely set kitchen table, a new aroma of cookies would waft by to let us know what was for desert.  My idea of family would be prayers before we ate, light conversation about our day over the meal, and a delicious sweet to top it all off.  I had watched enough TV shows to know that there were families that actually lived that scene every night.

The truth of my young years was that there wasn’t a mother with an apron grilling and baking for her beloved family or a father at the head of the table.  A homemade feast was reserved for holidays prepared by my grandmother, and a couple of times a week that would be cooked by my grandfather.  It would be his famous spaghetti with bacon and onion or steak and baked potatoes. Every other night we would be at a restaurant.  It was The Jolly Rogers on one night, The Hangman’s Tree on another, and Delmonico’s Pizza on Friday nights.  They would have their cocktails and order us a Shirley Temple.

I was married and had children when our dinners became what I had dreamed of all of those years ago, without the apron.  My favorite dinner to serve to my family of five was enchiladas, rice, beans and tortillas.  It warmed my heart and me feel like ‘home.’  This became my real comfort food.  We all sat at a table together and talked, sometimes yelled, had seconds when we wanted, then cleaned up the dishes and put away the left-overs.  It wasn’t just the food that gave me that feeling.  It was my children’s laughter, my husband’s playful ways in the kitchen, and the love that was portrayed by how we treated each other.  That is what fed my soul.