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Daughter lights up holidays in honor of ill mom

By Staff
Leada Gore, Hartselle Enquirer
Christmas has always been special to Helen McDonald of Speake.
She and her husband, Ronald, were married on Dec. 25, marking their 38-year anniversary this year.
This year, Dec. 25 is bittersweet. Helen McDonald is ill, suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease exacerbated by injuries she suffered in a fire earlier this year.
Family members, including daughter Melissa Warnick of Hartselle, worry this Christmas could be McDonald’s last.
Warnick embarked on a mission to light up her front yard so her mother could enjoy the lights. She wrapped lights - more than $200 worth - around every available space in her front yard. She also added a hand-painted sign bearing Christmas wishes from the McDonald and Warnick families.
McDonald, who lost her hearing more than 20 years ago and is able to read lips, smiles when she’s asked about the Christmas lights.
Warnick started putting up her Christmas lights the second week of November and continues to add to the show. Some of the lights are even set to play music.
While the lights bring a smile to McDonald’s face, she remains gravely ill. Hospice of the Valley comes weekly and is helping the family during this difficult time.
The Christmas decorations are helping, too.

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