Today would have been my grandmother's 100th birthday. She's the baby toward the center of the picture, on the bench with her twin sister who died just a few years after this pic was taken.
Grootmoe lived to be 86, a long life, and I'm sure she'd say it was a mostly happy one. She suffered some terrible losses early. Her twin died before she turned 4, her father died when she was only 8. She married at 22, and was a widow with two young daughters before she was 30. Her oldest sister died during WWII at only 28 years old.
Not surprisingly, my memories of my grandmother are not of cookies and cuddles, but rather of reprimands to be careful and strict reminders to behave. Still, she was my mother's mother, and I think for that, I can never thank her enough.
Happy Birthday, Grootmoe.