- Christy Hester of Twin Lake, Michigan, repurposed her late husband's glasses into Christmas ornaments.
- Photos of the ornaments went viral after Hester shared them in a Facebook group called Rainbows Over Michigan.
- Hester's post received an outpouring of praise and got more than 22,000 likes.
- Richard Hester, Christy's husband, died in early January.
- Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
A woman who repurposed two pairs of her late husband's eyeglasses into Christmas ornaments has touched the hearts of thousands this holiday season.
Using only white acrylic paint, Christmas-colored pipe cleaners, and Sharpie markers, Christy Hester of Twin Lake, Michigan, transformed the mementos into snowman ornaments to hang on the family's tree.
"Although I cried when I was making them, there was just something good about doing it, so those are hanging on my Santa tree," Hester, 54, told Insider.
"Those are the only kind of emotional ornaments. I just couldn't bring out all the others from years past," she said.
Hester shared photos of her Christmas ornaments to the Facebook group Rainbows Over Michigan, where they went viral earlier this week, Good Morning America's Nicole Pelletiere reported. At the time of writing, Hester's post has over 22,000 likes and over 1,700 comments.
The outpouring of love has pleasantly surprised Hester, but she's still grieving her husband of 27 years
"This is going to be a tough Christmas," Hester said.
Richard Hester died on January 5, 2020, after being discharged from the hospital and undergoing hospice care for four days. Richard, 89, had complications with his heart and lungs, Hester explained, but his death was not COVID-19 related.
The family held a funeral service for Richard before Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer enacted restrictions on large gatherings to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
"On paper, it looked like he should have made it, but he wasn't getting his strength back," said Hester, who has two children and two grandchildren with Richard.
Hester, a middle school teacher, was inspired to make the ornaments after a woman in her online grief group found a similar craft on Pinterest
As soon as Hester saw the Pinterest inspiration, she knew she had to do it.
"You keep things sometimes, and you don't know why you keep them, but they were just always next to the bed," Hester told Insider, referring to Richard's eyeglasses.
"I ended up having two pairs left, and we have two children together. I told them after I'm gone, each of you can have a pair of dad's glasses, but I get them now," she said.
Hester remembers Richard as a musically gifted man who had an energetic sense of humor and a warm heart.
"He was my biggest supporter. He was so proud of me. I teach, but you would think it was the greatest job ever. He always, always shared how much he loved me," Hester said.
"He had a way of making everybody feel welcome, making everybody feel loved, and you always walked away laughing. That, I think, is one of the things I miss most. He always made me laugh every single day of our marriage," she added.
Hester says the online response has been 'heartwarming,' with her students and strangers online rallying around her
"Somehow I feel like my husband orchestrated some of this," Hester told Insider.
"It was like with every comment he was saying, 'I love you.' With every like, it was a hug for me. I somehow feel like he was part of this. I certainly feel him this holiday season and I feel him in a good, positive, supportive way. My heart breaks because I miss him so," she continued.
Hanging the sweet ornaments on the family tree, Hester said, will become a family tradition from now on.
"They're here forever, so they will be on my tree every single year," Hester told Insider.
"When I pass, they will go to my kids, and I hope that they will just continue to be passed down from generation to generation," she said.
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