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STATON: When joy and sadness happen simultaneously

If any one had told the students before the 2019-20 school year began in August that they would only have to go to school until March, and then school would be let out for the rest of the year, I can just imagine how ridiculous that would sounded.

Yet, it has happened, and as Spencer Johnson, a doctor and author of one of my favorite books, “Who Moved My Cheese?” said, we have all had our cheese moved with this coronavirus epidemic.

Hopefully, such a change that has been a nearly global change such as this, will never happen again once this is over. However, if it does happen again, we may all be able to adapt more easily.

I feel so bad for the high school seniors who have looked forward to this year and all the special events that come with it.

I could not help but think of a statement made by Thomas Carlyle that goes like this, “The tragedy of life is not so much what men suffer, but rather what they miss.”

I feel this will be so true for the Class of 2020 seniors who would have graduated from high schools and colleges across our country. These are always such huge milestones in people’s lives, and to have that taken from them is so sad.

Parents, I think, look as forward to the occasion as the students. Of course, the expense of it all may be the only thing the parents will not miss. Missing the proms, the dances, the special parties, graduation pictures with their friends and just getting to say goodbye to one another and to leave the school the way they always thought they would has to be a let down.

Even the yearbooks will not have the pictures of graduation in them or completion of the school year.

I want to let these students know others are hurting for them, and I want to congratulate all the seniors and wish them the best.

Even the little kindergartners, sixth-grade graduates and others such as sports teams have had to suffer.

Yes, we have all been in this together, but we will all come out with very different memories of the COVID-19 pandemic. For some, the memories will be more painful than others for so many different reasons.

Those who have lost loved ones that they could not even be with them when they passed may think others do not have any idea how painful this pandemic has been for them.

While I think all of us have empathy and sympathy for those lost during this pandemic, none of us could or should fault the other if we have sadness over anything that has happened to us because of this horrible pandemic.

I know we will all be so happy when we can return to our normal lives again. I wonder if we will ever be the same again, though? I think we will be better people than before.

Speaking of good people and changing courses, to end this column I have to add that I always knew Winchester had wonderful people in it.

Saturday I knew it for sure when my grandson, Simon, was treated as “king for the day.”

First, Lara Thornbury and the “supper club group” my daughter and son-in-law are in and their families came and sang “Happy Birthday” to Simon. Karis Pumphrey shared her own birthday with Simon.

Next, a big parade of cars with signs, balloons and well wishers went by yelling “Happy Birthday” to Simon. This was put together by Penny Chambers.

Then, a couple drove from Nicholasville to bring puppies for Simon to play with. This was put together by Leigh Puckett. The puppies were adorable and felt like velvet, and Simon seemed to enjoy them.

Simon had birthday cake and ice cream with his Mom, Dad and brother and his grandparents. I think even Simon knew how special his 13th birthday turned out to be.

I have to tell you, the parade overwhelmed me, and the tears began to flow.

Simon may never be able to thank everyone, but I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. I smiled the rest of the day and well into the night as I recalled the day over and over.

I saw so much that day. I saw compassion, support, love, friendship and people saying we share in your struggles, and we are here for you.

I also knew for sure that I lived in the best town in America.

Sue Staton is a Clark County native. She is a wife, mother and grandmother who is active in her church, First United Methodist Church, and her homemakers group, Towne and Country Homemakers.