A Christmas tree appears next to a "Lights and Love Tree" sign.
The Lights and Love Tree glows with the light of love and remembrance at Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

A holiday tree glows with lights on the lawn of Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital.

Two of those lights are in remembrance of longtime nurses Michelle Aberegg and Patricia Peterson, who touched the lives of thousands of moms and newborn babies in the hospital’s Family Birthing Center.

The obstetrics staff purchased the lights on the hospital’s Lights and Love Tree to remember their former coworkers.

“Michelle and Patricia were very dedicated nurses,” said Marilyn Hansberger, director of obstetrics and clinical education at Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital.

“They enjoyed working with the new mothers and babies. They each had their own unique talents that were complimentary to the OB team and made a difference in patients’ lives,” she added. “Both are remembered well and are greatly missed.”

The Lights and Love Tree is quickly becoming a holiday tradition at Ludington Hospital as people purchase a 2-inch globe light to honor or remember the special people who have touched their lives.

“We wanted to start the annual tradition of the Lights and Love Tree because the holiday season is a wonderful time to reflect on our loved ones and the special relationships we have in our lives,” said Kaley Petersen, director of foundation and volunteer services. “It is very touching to watch more lights be placed on the tree knowing that each represents someone special. Our goal is to see it light up with love.”

The Lights and Love Tree will remain lit through Jan. 11, but Petersen said the donation will last a lifetime.

“When you purchase a light in honor or remembrance of someone, that donation will impact our commitment to the Family Birthing Center,” she said.

With about 350 births per year, the hospital is committed to investing in the Family Birthing Center. Details of the proposed investment are still being worked out, but the foundation plans to commit $2 million toward the project.