As I reread my last post I truly didn't realize how little time we had with one of the greatest women on earth. I am not going to even attempt to laud her as Mark did. Check his blog for an excellent and touching commentary from a former student.
I will say this I was remembering the day that she found out that I was moving age groups in my teaching career. She remarked that she was going to have to double her time in prayer for me since I was moving from 2nd and 3rd grade to 7th and 8th. She knew more than I what I was facing. Knowing that she was praying for me helped me so much through the times that I thought I would quit. And here I am... Still teaching 7th and 8th (and clear up to 12th at times) knowing that if she hadn't been praying for me I wouldn't have made it this far. Since I am still single, several have teased me asking if I was going to be the next Miss Ritchey. I could never hope to take up that mantle. I can only hope to follow in her footsteps as she so faithfully followed in the footsteps of our Lord.
I'm sure she would be horrified to know that everybody is focusing on her. However, she deserves more than the few kind but almost lacking words that we have all used to describe her. For all of you who never had the privilege of knowing her or sitting in one of her classes, I am sorry. She was a master teacher and tough as nails. She had high expectations. She was loving, caring and even generous. (Although don't let those last three get out. LOL)
I can still remember phrases and definitely the tune to the prayer hymn she had us learn for prayer class. And I sit remember trying not to hum the tune too loudly during the final where we had to write out the poem. And her sitting in the front of the room grinning while watching us all trying not to hum.
Few people have impacted my life for God as my Grandpa Geno, Miss Ritchey and Rev. Satterfield. May we all remember the lessons that they so diligently taught us and live so close to God that this time of parting seems but a brief pause in light of the eternity that we will face worshipping our Lord together. I'm sure Miss Ritchey is experiencing more than just "a better place." I'm sure she is experiencing unspeakable joy. (And I'm sure she is enjoying that music and even joining in on the fun ;-)