About Me

My photo
I am a retired English teacher and department head, the mother of three, grand mother of three, and have been married to the same man for 42 years. I subscribe to Dr. PM Forni's concept of Civility. I was born in South Philadelphia and grew up in the 'burbs. I love soft pretzels and cheesesteaks, the Phillies, the Eagles, and San Diego. I love being Mom, Aunt Kathy, Nona Kathy, and Teacher. I spend a lot of time in my gardens in the spring and summer, and in the winter I plan what I'm going to plant. I also am an avid reader and photographer.

Translator!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Christmas Lights

Today I had every intention and so much excitement about posting a piece on friendship and while what I'm writing is about love and compassion, it's not the same idea I took down notes on early this morning.
Saturday, I received word that one of our neighbors may be nearing the end of her battle with a brain tumor. She has fought valiantly and has bravely gone about living with a wonderful sense of humor and remarkable strength. Her husband has been by her side and has lovingly supported her through this horrid ordeal. On Saturday afternoon, he placed Christmas wreaths on their windows and a large lighted Christmas tree on the front lawn. Sadly, I realized why.
After ascertaining his blessing, I spoke with all of our neighbors on Sunday, and we decided to decorate our homes for Christmas, too - to show our support for her and for her family. So rather than going to the gym and posting my planned blog, I spent the day first trimming shrubs, cleaning up leaves and garden debris, and then unraveling and testing myriad sets of white and red lights. I began arranging the lights on the foundation plantings starting from the ends and working toward the middle walk. A neighbor and good friend, Don, took pity on me (not without a little lip) and helped get the lights on the top of a Foster holly (he didn't really even need the ladder!). At dusk, my husband, his work finished for the day, connected all the strands of lights, and put out and connected the extension cords and the spot lights.
Every once in a while someone would drive by. I could see by their faces the incredulity..."What on Earth are these people doing?" And so they think us crazy that on November 10th we are decorated for Christmas. But we all know most certainly why the lights are on...

14 comments:

Jay said...

It's nice when friends and neighbors do things like that for someone. We all did something similar at a former job of mine a few years ago.

One of the people there had cancer and was going to be gone all of December for treatment, so we just had Christmas and Thanksgiving on the same night. The whole plant did. We decorated and everything. It was all very nice.

susansmusings said...

What a wonderful, wonderful neighborhood you live in...filled with good and kind people. I guess that's the true spirit of Christmas.

Kathy said...

:) even when it comes in November.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

What a beautiful thing to do. Thank you for sharing this story with us.

C.A. said...

Bless you and your neighbors. You are angels. Brain Tumor is one of my arch nemesis. I worked in Oncology for years and lost a man I dearly loved to an Malignant Glioma. There is a post on my blog about it here:

http://iamlittledynamite.blogspot.com/2007/09/wake-me-upwhen-september-ends.html

Thank you for posting your story today, Kathy.

Hugs...

C.A.

bonnie said...

This story is giving me the chills. It's a beautiful expression of community love. Let's keep it going.

thailandchani said...

I think that's a wonderful idea, too. We need more of that!


~*

happyone said...

What a wonderful thing for all the neighbors to do. It's nice to know that there are many good and caring people out there in this world.
My eyes teared up as I read your post.

Cheryl said...

I feel shamed that I passed a house with their Christmas lights on and thought, what??? This early? Just goes to show you shouldn't make assumptions. I love that you and your neighbors did this. Do you know if she's seen it?

What a day of work it must have been for you. I always have to trim my bushes before I can put on my lights, and that's such a big job! You worked hard!

CJM-R said...

Hi Kathy,

New to your blog.

This post just brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful gesture for your neighbor. How lucky she is to have such a caring neighborhood.

Ginni said...

Count me as one of the teary-eyed ones reading this post! You are blessed to live in such a great neighborhood. And God bless you for doing such a sweet thing for your neighbor.

Cheryl said...

Aren't bloggers so nice?

Kathy said...

The best!

CRUSTYBEEF said...

I came from Cheryl's and just had to tell you that what you guys are doing is amazing!! These are the stories that should appear on the TODAY Show!
So, I'm off to go submit your blog to the Today show for a news story, because there has to be good news on "main street" that everyone can view and be inspired by.

Thank you for inspiring me!

Sincerely,
Elizabeth