After eviction, neighbor buys elderly woman birthday gift of a lifetime

Angie Tyma's 89th birthday turned into something "beautiful" when a friend's gesture let her return to her special place.
Published December 6 2016
Updated December 7 2016

HUDSON — Angie Tyma didn't mind that her birthday present wasn't wrapped.

After all, if it had been, she'd have needed a ladder to rip off the paper.

Last month she was evicted from her Hudson home, where she had lived for decades. When the owner was foreclosed on, her belongings were put on the street. Then a neighbor came to her rescue.

Danielle Calder bought the home and arranged for Tyma to move back in Tuesday, on her 89th birthday.

"It's beautiful!" she cried out when she first saw the freshly painted home on Harbor Drive. "I'm happy I'm home."

Tyma won't hesitate to curse and promises that she can still dance the Twist with the best of them. She lived in the house for 35 years. When her husband died years ago, a family friend who lives in Europe bought the house and rented it to Tyma, Pasco County officials said. But when that friend ran into financial trouble and stopped paying the mortgage, the lender recently foreclosed on the property. It was sold at auction to an investment company.

Tyma didn't find all that out until Nov. 16 — the day the new owner showed up and forced her to leave. Her belongings were put out onto the street, the front door padlocked. Pasco County Human Services had to get back into the house the next day to get her medicine and dentures.

Neighbors rallied to help her. They took in her belongings, and the county stored the rest at the Boys & Girls Club of Pasco County. The county got Tyma and her two dogs — Pepper and Ralphie — temporary lodging at a local motel where a neighbor worked.

"They treated me very well," she said. "(But) I swear to God I felt like I was in prison."

But Tyma, who isn't exactly shy, had an idea: She asked Calder to buy the house and rent it back to her.

Calder, 65, lives primarily outside Boston but owns a home in Tyma's neighborhood. She agreed to buy the house for $167,500 and the closing was Friday. Now Tyma will rent the house from Calder, who declined to say for how much.

"It was worth it," Calder said. "I'm blessed to be able to help her."

So Tyma knew she'd be able to move back into her house. But she didn't know that it would happen Tuesday, on her birthday, or that the belongings her neighbors were able to salvage were moved back into the house.

"Everybody has to rub the Holy Mother, and whatever you wish for will come true," Tyma said, rubbing the head of her statue of the Virgin Mary, now returned to its rightful perch atop a mosaic bench on her front lawn.

"It worked for me."

Times senior news researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. Contact Josh Solomon at (813) 909-4613 or jsolomon@tampabay.com. Follow @josh_solomon15.

 
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