Christmas lights for Tracey

Thursday, December 2nd 2004, 10:07 am

By: News On 6

A south Tulsa home is lit up with thousands of Christmas lights. The display adds to the festive spirit for many onlookers who drive by.

News on 6 reporter Heather Lewin says there is a deeper meaning behind it, one touched by tragedy.

“I really don't know how many lights I've got. I'm well over 200,000." It's an annual tradition to deck the house at the Jim Selph home, but this colorful burst of holiday cheer is tinged with sadness. “We lost my oldest daughter in a car wreck and I was putting up Christmas lights at the time."

It was during the holiday season, 9 years ago, when Selph's daughter Tracey came down a road, in a rush to pick up her son from daycare. Speeding, she lost control, crashed and was instantly killed.

Overcome by grief, Selph continued to put up the display that year and every one since because the lights were Tracey's favorite part of Christmas. "We just made this for Tracey to show that we dedicate 'em to her every year.”

The lights aren't Selph's only tie to Tracey. At a time when it seemed everything was being taken, he also received a wonderful gift. "We're very blessed, Steve is, he's special, he's my daughter's son. He's a gift from God." Selph says Steve, now 10, is God's way of giving him another chance to have a child. Steve helps with the lights each year and happily pointed out his favorites. Some pieces are extra-special like the moving Santa his mom picked out years before he was born.

As Steve grows so does the display. It takes 62-year old Selph about six weeks to put it up. "I'm getting a little slower and I keep adding more lights!" And another special touch of Tracey. “I believe in angels and I want her to look down and see something real bright. I think she's watching over us anyway, but I want her to be proud of us."

She says the Selph home is frequently included in professional Christmas light tours of Tulsa.

If you'd like to see the display, it's at the corner of 87th East Avenue and 107th near Memorial.

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