My grandmother celebrated her 103rd birthday last week. She is now officially the oldest resident in her community. I feel that my parents have seen a lot in their lives and that I have, to some extent (I remember the first Apple computer! :-) But think about what life was like when Grandma was born in 1904... she's seen more than I can imagine!
Growing up I never appreciated this grandmother very much. She wasn't as warm and nurturing as my other grandmother. But as I got older (and wiser, I hope) I came to realize how amazing she is.
My grandmother worked full-time. She was a teacher, but she kept teaching even after she had kids. She hired a nanny to take care of my dad and his sister. Speaking of the kids, my grandmother had her first child at age 34. Her second, my dad, was born when she was 40. That's not an oddity now, but it was rare to start having children so late back then. I'd say it was because her husband was younger than she, but Pop-pop wasn't that much younger - just enough to buck the stereotype.
I remember thinking that my grandparents were SO OLD back when we'd get together for holiday meals and I'd see my grandmother carrying the huge Thanksgiving turkey on a silver platter. I always expected to see her rickety legs fold beneath her and the turkey roll away, dragging her behind it. That was 25 years ago - I had nothing to worry about as she was still a spring chicken.