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Grieving fathers are bringing light to Tyler this Christmas season

Two fathers setting up Christmas lights on bushes in the Children's Park of Tyler.
Two fathers setting up Christmas lights on bushes in the Children's Park of Tyler.(KLTV)
Published: Nov. 7, 2021 at 6:18 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Holiday-colored boxes, lights, and garland are coming back out at the Children’s Park of Tyler. In the past, volunteer firefighters have set up the Christmas light display, but this year, it’s a different group of guys. Jordan Blair, a member of the Tyler dads group, said there’s been a need for them.

“We had talked about the need for a dads group and how it’s a good idea. Cause dads grieve a little bit differently, and sometimes, it’s very beneficial for us to be more action-oriented than sit in a group and just talk,” he said.

A few months ago, fathers who have lost someone began getting together. One of the projects they chose to take on are the lights at the park. It’s a place to celebrate the lives of all children, including the ones who are no longer here. Michael Domingos is also a member of the dads group and said it’s been a great bonding experience for him.

“I have been shadowing Aaron to learn as much as I can about the setup because we’re going to be writing a training guide for future dads and future Christmases so they can follow the blueprint and understand how it all ties in together,” Domingos said.

The dads spent the weekend pulling the decorations out of storage, placing them around the park, and putting them on trees and railings.

“Having a child who is deceased, there are no more Christmas presents I can give to my son, but this is something that we can give to other children,” Blair said. “Any child who walks through the park at Christmas time will be able to see how beautiful it is and lit up.”

“You’re not alone. If you’ve lost somebody there’s a group of dads here that you can connect with and come out and join some of the activities,” Domingos said. “I think being part of a community helps you during the holidays or any other time when you’ve lost somebody.”

Domingos said they hope to continue hanging lights in years to come. Anyone is welcome to stop by the Children’s Park and walk through the display. To learn more about their mission visit the website.

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