My mom called last week early in the morning to inform me that my Grandma had finally passed away. She had gone in her sleep, and my Grandpa had not woken anybody up because he didn't want to trouble anyone. It was expected; she had been experiencing the ravaging effects of alzheimer's disease and dimentia for many months.
Sadly, I had not had much interaction with her since the disease had started to take its toll. I remember her attending my wedding at the Salt Lake Temple. I remember the hug she gave me; the same bear hug she always gave me over the years.
I once heard a volunteer fireman tell of how he frequently rushed to the scene so that he could have the 'good' assignments (as they usually give the important assignments to the career firefighters, unless they've not arrived yet). He arrived at one house second. The first was assigned to go up and bring down the homeowner's dog (all people had already been evacuated). He remarked at how jealous he was of that assignment, because he would return the real hero, having rescued the dog. He was asked to go retrieve a pair of shoes, so the homeowner wouldn't have to stand outside in bare feet.
Weeks later, the firehouse received a note of thanks, remarking that everyone was so helpful, and someone even brought down a pair of shoes for her. The firefighter said that it was then that he realized that 'not every day is going to offer a chance to save somebody's life, but every day offers an opportunity to affect one'.
Grandma was one who affected everyone's life every day. Whether it was through her hugs, her smiles, her rolls, her letters, her love, or her complete devotion to the gospel of Jesus Christ. No one who met Grandma can say their life wasn't better for it. From squeezing me when I was a little boy, to packing us a bag of presents to open each day of our trip across the country, to sending me a book to read when I had sent her a letter one summer telling her I was bored, to being there for my wedding, she made my life better.