Mister M and I visited her the week after our wedding two summers ago.
She grew up and always lived outside Chicago. We used to go there for Christmases sometimes. She lived in their house on her own long after my grandfather died in the early 80s. She and her sister did a ton of traveling, especially cruises, to the Caribbean and Europe. She typed her letters on a typewriter, and when I was young she would send me pictures of cute kittens and little cheery letters. Just a couple weeks ago, I was sorting through a massive pile of mail from high school and college, and I recycled almost all of it. I did make sure to save one or two of her cards/letters from that era.
This spring she broke her hip and deteriorated quickly, both physically and mentally. I went out to visit in July for what I figured was the last time. The first time I visited her at the rest home, she didn't know who I was and fell asleep. I saw her the following day and after she said hi, she asked about the twins. My aunt said that she'd been like that for awhile--aware one day, and not the next. Her husband (they got married maybe 13 years ago--lifelong friends that reunited in the nursing/independent living home) passed away this summer after a series of health problems. She'd always been a lot more healthy than he was, but it was really hard on her to be apart from him.
I'm sad that she's gone. But I know too that she's not suffering anymore, and that she certainly had a long and good life. The sadness is now with us who are left, to remember her and her spirit.
I'm glad I got to see her a last time, even if it wasn't ideal. These babies won't ever meet any great-grandparents. I can only hope to keep a happy, healthy, positive relationship with our family and hope that the babies grow up and develop a bond with their own grandparents.