Holiday lights a reminder of friends’ support

The holidays are upon us and, as is typical with the last gasps of fall?s balmy days having come to a close, our neighborhood is alight with outdoor activities that are much more pleasant in warmer temperatures. The least of which is certainly not decorating the outside of one?s home for Christmas.

With the predicted forecast for a cold front for late Thanksgiving weekend, many of our neighbors were taking advantage of the 60 degrees that had been granted to our area on Saturday afternoon.

Plastic bins were pulled from their nesting places and strings of lights were stretched out on many driveways in the attempt to rest them from their hopeless tangles. Oddly, no matter how perfectly they were stored the previous year they somehow end up in an unrecognizable knot of lights.

We did not succumb to our neighborhood ?peer ? and our outdoor lights stayed secured in their bins in our attic garage. This is unfortunate as the predicted cold front arrived and in its brisk and windy glory. No matter, the lights were put up in the face of the wind and chill. It happens.

We actually spent most of Saturday running errands and making final preparations for Thanksgiving. All our children were home and my parents flew in from North Carolina. My husband’s folks will also came for dinner on Thurs?day as well as various other relatives and friends. Thirteen in all.

We made a grocery run. We made beds and made some closet space in the guest rooms for holiday visitor?s attire.

By the time Saturday evening came, I was happy to plant my butt in my chair in the family room and prop up my weary feet. I chatted with my husband about what else we may need to do as we watched a little television.

As I turned my head to look at him a glimmer of blue light caught my eye through a small opening between the slats of the blinds in the window. It took a moment for my brain to sort out what I was seeing.

?Hey!? I exclaimed. ?My lights are up!?

My husband looked puzzled for a second, then turned his head to follow my gaze.

?They sure are!? he confirmed as soon as he registered what I had been looking at.

You see in December 2010, 10 months into my battle with stage IV cancer, the neighbors behind us wanted to do something kind and encouraging for me, knowing how sick I had been. They thought it might cheer me if they decorated their deck just for me with Christmas lights.

With all the leaves off our trees we both have a perfect view of the backs of each other?s homes. I remember the first time I saw them. I commented then to my husband about how pretty they were?blue, my favorite color?and he told me they had strung them up with me in mind.

I have called them ?my lights? every year since. They have put them up four years in a row now and they never cease to comfort me.

The way I see it, those lights are a beautiful reminder. They remind me of what I have been through. They remind me of the love and support of others. They remind me of the joy of the season. They remind me that the Christmas Spirit is alive and well…like me!

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