Last year she got the flu. The flu turned into pneumonia. The pneumonia turned into respiratory failure, followed by some kind of stroke-like episode, leaving her a pale shadow of the once out-going woman we had know and admired. Her last semester at school had been agonizing. Sometimes she wasn't sure where she was and would leave her classroom and wander the halls until an administrator would find her and take back to her room. She could no longer handle disciplining the kids and they ran rough-shod over her at every turn. Whether she could still handle the curriculum is also debatable. I'm not sure. I do know that it was mutually agreed that at the end of the year she wasn't capable of returning to our high school.
This fall she worked at a private academy. They seemed to appreciate her and work around her "episodes" of mental wanderings. No one expected, though, that she would not have long to live. The news today that she had died was just shocking!
My own mortality has suddenly been imperiled.