Mrs. Ashley died today.
I know to most of you that means nothing, and really, in my day to day, it doesn't mean much. My life has not been altered. I sit here in my house, typing on this keyboard, listening to the dishwasher run and I have no reason to believe that I will not get up tomorrow morning and do the same things again.
Mrs. Ashley was my teacher in the second grade; my first teacher at a new school. She was small and freckled, with dark shiny hair cut like Dorothy Hamill. She was kind and soft spoken and brought an eggplant to class one day and cooked it on a hotplate for us all to taste.
This morning she got up and brushed her teeth and probably put on a sweater as a cold front came in overnight. She got in the car with her husband and they drove. They probably talked about their jobs, their two grown children. Maybe they were planning a trip this summer. Maybe they argued.
Someone ran a stop sign and now Mr. Ashley lays in a hospital trying to figure out how his wife, who was there with him this morning is gone forever this evening.
She was just there.