Each light lit up Wednesday on Villa's 'Light Up a Life' tree carries special significance

   Until a couple years ago, they conducted the annual lighting ceremony of the “Light Up a Life” tree at the Villa St. Vincent in the little park outside. But if it was especially cold, the crowd on hand to hear the names of everyone remembered, memorialized and otherwise honored by each light on the tree was a bit small.

    So, with a new, larger entrance into the Villa’s east wing, the annual early December ceremony was moved inside, and now many Villa residents, each holding a small candle-light, are able to attend the ceremony, in which the Light Up a Life tree is lit up, and the names of everyone represented by a light purchased as part of a Villa/Summit Auxiliary fundraiser are read out loud.

    “We are so very grateful to the people of our community who make Christmas special for our residents,” said Tamara Parkin, Villa volunteer coordinator.

    Wednesday, Cecilia Baatz and Penny Johnson read the names listed on many pieces of paper. But before they did that, Parkin read the poem “Four Candles” as Diane Seddon lit four candles detailed in the poem, which reads:

    “The first candle represents our grief. The pain of losing you is intense. It reminds us of the depth of our love for you.

    “This second candle represents our courage. To confront our sorrow, to comfort each other, to change our lives.

    “This third candle we light in your memory. For the times we laughed, the times we cried, the times we were angry with each other, the silly things you did, the caring and joy you gave us.

    “This fourth candle we light for our love. We light this candle that your light will always shine. As we enter this holiday season and share this night of remembrance with our family and friends. We cherish the special place in our hearts that will always be reserved for you. We thank you for the gift your living brought to each of us. We love you. We remember you.”