Even after illness, one family puts up lights for community - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Even after illness, one family puts up lights for community

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SEQUATCHIE COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

The Higdon family works around the clock every year, just to bring a little light into the lives of their neighbors during the holidays. But after illness struck the family, they weren't sure they'd get them up at all.

"It's really fun, especially if you're outside and you hear somebody say ‘momma, momma look at the mailbox, look at the frogs'," said Darlene Higdon.

The lights at the Higdon house started as someone else's tradition.

"There was this little old lady that lived across from us, Ms. Argold. She had always done it and when she got to be where she wasn't able, we just did it for her," said Higdon.

The Higdon's tell Channel 3 it didn't start out as much.

"We started out with just a few lights around the porch and then the Christmas tree," said Pete Higdon.

Today, Darlene says she has over 94,000 lights between her two lots.

But after 20 years, the lights were almost put out.

"My husband's been really sick this year and we thought about not doing it," said Darlene.

Darlene tells us her husband Pete battled cancer and other illnesses and they weren't sure they could take on the whole project again.

However, Darlene says she and Pete didn't want to disappoint and knew the lights would help brighten even their situation.
     
"I've still got the spirit," said Pete.

They tell Channel 3 when they are no longer able to put them up, they hope to pass the tradition on to someone else, to keep that same spirit alive.

Darlene says their children and grandchildren pitch in to help every year.

They say next year they hope to break their record and hit 100,000 lights.

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