My last grandparent died Sunday night at the age of 83. Several years ago, when she and grandpa both started their decline, she predicted that she would outlive him by about six months, and this turned out to be so.
The photos of Grandma in her twenties show a woman who looks freakishly similar to my mother at the same age. All her life she had the same mischievous smile when she was happy. Always quite thin and, even when young, quite pale, a neutral observer of the time may of been surprised that she was able to birth five kids safely.
I once heard my Aunt Sue said that Grandma 'married late'. She was 24. Right then. She smoked a brand that doesn't exist anymore until she was fortysomething, by which point her hair was already going white, and by fifty she was just the most imposssibly perfect cartoon of a Grandmother. I love her very much.