I had lunch with Mrs. Ragan a while back.  She was my Sunday school teacher in junior high and kept up with me and “the group” through high school til now.  We ate at a nice little tearoom and chatted about life.  Mrs. Ragan, who wants me to call her by her first name now that I am an adult and all, is the first person who comes to mind when I think about mentors, although we never initiated a formal mentoring relationship.  Her home is always lovely and cozy and homey, and she did give me a few cooking lessons wherein I created my very first omelets.  She is full of wise advice, but only if you ask for it.  Otherwise she just listens, and asks questions because she is so interested in what you have to say.  She only talks about herself if you ask.  She is a very young person, despite having a passel of grandkids, and has a very cool job at a ministry that has her constantly traveling to places like Uganda and Russia and Yemen.

Mrs. Ragan Kathy (that is SO hard for me!) taught me how to TP houses.  She hates that I tell people that, because all my friends will talk about some deep spiritual lesson they learned from her and I always bring up the vandalism.  But I don’t mean that she taught me to deface private property; what I mean is that she is really the person who showed me that Christians could have fun, that being a Christian could be fun.  “Don’t get mad, get even!” she cheerfully admonished regarding our slumber party antics.  (Speaking of which, let me say that I hosted ONE slumber party for teenage girls in the five years I was a youth worker.  That was enough for me.  Mrs. Ragan Kathy is a brave, brave person.)  She taught us to pray for our future husbands when we were in high school, and she came to our weddings (or, if she couldn’t, she called the bride that morning to offer her warm congratulations, a prayer of blessing, and any necessary calming).  At my wedding shower she gave me some delightfully soft, fluffy towels and a dozen candles – for romance, she said.  She laughs easily, loans books and doesn’t bug you about returning them, always has just finished reading something fascinating, is a treasure trove of wisdom and wonderful stories, takes life in stride, consistently encourages, and I hope to be a bit like her someday, when I grow up.  I love her lots and lots.

me & Mrs. Ragan

me & Mrs. Ragan

Note: Jake said this sounds like a eulogy (an eulogy?) but it is not. To my knowledge, Mrs. Ragan Kathy is alive and kicking. “Farewell” refers to the fact that I will likely not see her again before hopping the pond.

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