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Ken Eaton
Monday, April 27, 2020

Good morning Panther Nation,

Yesterday I got up and fixed the usual pre-church breakfast of bacon, cheesy scrambled eggs, and French toast, but this time Mrs. Eaton did not participate.  You see she was blessed to receive a donor heart very late Thursday evening.  Due to COVID-19 the hospital does not allow visitors of any kind.  So, the kids and I have been home and not been able to see her.  She was on life support with a ventilator until late Friday night and basically asleep and incoherent.  We would call every six hours or so and get an update from her nurse.  But it was no where near enough to ease our anxiety of not being there with her.  As we were eating breakfast, I said “this just isn’t right I wish mom was here.”  I literally just got those words out and my cell phone rang……….it was Mrs. Eaton’s phone number for a face-time call………I was in such shock it took me a bit to swipe and answer.  IT WAS HER FACE smiling at us and saying “good morning!”  Speechless, was I and the kids.  They all jumped around the table to my cell phone (stuff spilled and jiggled all over, we are used to that with this crew) and just stared at it, with her beautiful smiling face on the screen, and didn’t say a word.  Back to spilling stuff, I remember about 10 years ago we were eating supper and were almost finished.  Nobody spilled a thing, this was absolutely amazing.  You see, we (that I recall) had never had a meal, breakfast, brunch, snack, dinner or supper where something wasn’t broken or spilled.  That night, I looked around the table and then spontaneously reached up and knocked my water glass over and it went all over the table, floor and I think I got everybody a bit wet.  Mrs. Eaton gave me the “look”, come on married guys you have all had that look!  She said “why in the world would you do that?”  I said, “it just wasn’t a normal supper without a spill or some catastrophic event!” Back to what is very important, she kept saying hi, hello, good morning……I think she thought we didn’t want to talk to her, it was quite the opposite……we just couldn’t talk.  Surprised/SPEECHLESS are grossly understated words to describe our feelings.  We spent two hours with her on the phone, watched church on TV and then she enjoyed her breakfast (consisting of a popsicle and chicken broth).

On to the reason for this message, our school world and our community, are still in a quandary (and uncertain about all).  But I know that our students, parents/guardians, and community members have proven, with our cultural history we will get through this.  School and life will return to normal, not as fast as we might like, but we will get there eventually.  Hang in there!  Students please keep working hard, I know our staff is and believes you will too.  School will be out in nineteen days and then the summer sun will be a welcome relief to all this. 

Stay healthy!