My very dear grandma died last night. Our family was (almost) all there with her, which was wonderful and also bittersweet.
When I was born, my grandparents were living in Ghana, volunteering for the Peace Corps. It was a very special experience for them, and I think they would have enjoyed staying for another couple years, except that my grandmother had some heart problems. They came back to the states, and my grandmother completely changed her diet in order to live a long, healthy life. She went from someone who ate any ol' thing, loads of sweets and ice cream and soda... to becoming a faithful devotee of the Pritikin diet: No Fat, No Salt, No Sugar.
We also all had a truly inspirational model of health & discipline. She ran our local women's 5-mile race for years and years, up until only about 2 or 3 years ago. And, they kept having to add new age divisions, just so that she could win the trophy for her age group!
Overall, both of my grandparents have been brilliant sources of inspiration to me (and my whole family) - particularly in their ability to live their lives with total integrity, benevolence, and love. In all, they were married for 67 years, and were still truly as in love as they ever were.