Today’s story is not like one of my typical stories, which are meant to entertain, exaggerate, and cause a knowing smile to creep across your face. To the contrary, today’s story is very much a serious story about depression, the stigma surrounding it, and how actions impact others.
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For as long as I can remember, I have loved Christmas lights. Many people do. But, my relationship with Christmas lights borders on obsession. Our light display sits at 8,000 lights, having grown from its initial 700 lights 12 years ago.
It takes me over 25 hours to put up our Christmas light display, not including all of the prep and test time I put in over the spring and summer months to develop new concepts and ideas for the display.
This year, with less than one week before I was planning to hit the “on” switch, it was her art background that pushed my final project over its remaining hurdle.
It was time. My artist wife’s annual Christmas tree decorating tradition was about to be unleashed.
She was sitting in her blue easy chair in the corner working on her latest digital piece on her iPad. Through our 10-foot picture window, the sun was setting behind the house across the street and quickly drawing the light out of our living room. Our virtual fireplace was aglow on our television screen providing us with its light and warming our hearts while the furnace continued to warm our bodies. The 15 cm of snow from the week before still carpeted our front lawn. It was late November. It was winter. It was dreary.