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Newly Hung Lights

***Warning***  The following post contains R-rated language.  It is a true story from Christmas season 1999 that I post each year.

Was reminded to post this by the painful news of a suicide by the teenage son of friends we went to church with in Colorado.  Dec. 18, 2010 BW

The last evening class of the fall semester was over.  I felt a warm sense of accomplishment and relief as I turned away from the lightly dusted white foothills into the dark and cold of my twenty-year old neighborhood.  Soon the dark gave way to the many houses adorned with flashing and not flashing lights.  Icicles seemed to be a popular style of light this year along with the usual array of red and green and, of course, Santa, reindeer, angels and sleighs.

As I turned onto my street I noticed some newly hung lights in front of my house.  They were the flashing kind.  Instantly, I became concerned and peered across the street at my neighbor's house.  Richie, Candy, their Dalmatian, Honda and their Basset, Lightning lived across the way.  My heart and soul turned downcast and pained.  Richie had been battling with cancer for a decade and it had recently turned up again for maybe the last time.  Was he dead?

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