FHS senior columnist remembers Dr. Sager

Riley Woody, a senior at Farragut High School who has set her sights on a career in journalism, is serving as an FHS Class of 2018 correspondent to farragutpress. She is providing a monthly column through May.

“You don’t know what you’ve got till it goes; till it’s gone.” I’d say Kesha and Macklemore have it pinned.

For a senior in high school, often it feels like you’re standing on a train platform, watching your life go by at 80 miles an hour. The speed is overwhelming, and creates within many of us a sense of panic.

Saturday, Feb. 24, my sincerest friend, beloved pastor and a prominent figure of my childhood, died.

The Rev. Dr. Doug Sager, “brother Doug” as most who knew him called him, was an exceptional man who helped not only foster my faith, but also instill in me a passion for, and responsibility to, the truth.

He was possibly the most genuinely loving man I have ever known. And I loved him, too.

As I grieved for this loss, I realized that this is a key part of growing up. We attain maturity as we age, but those who instill our wisdom and invest so much of their own lives in us also get older and begin to fade. I’ve seen many friends lose their grandparents in the last few years, and death reminds us that we are not the only ones passing time.

Losing mentors and family members is that part of growing up that no one ever seems to talk about. It reminds us that life is precious, but until we suffer the loss, we take life — and the special figures in each of our own — for granted.

I personally hope to achieve half of what my grandfather has in his lifetime, impacting even a fraction of the people he has and leaving a valuable legacy.

But as I age, so does he.

The ever-constant change that is a human life distresses us because we ​want​ to get older, and improve ourselves, but we like the world around us as it is. If I could’ve just frozen my grandfather at 50 — imagine the adventures.

Brother Doug used to say that if your memories are bigger than your dreams, you’re headed in the wrong direction. So even though we miss those people who made our childhood sacred, we must continue making new memories, always setting goals in life.

Because we are meant to strive; we are meant to change; we are meant to hope.