My mother-in-law, her brother and his wife all took turns caring for the pious elderly lady.
For example, she was strict not to utter one word before netilat yadayim in the morning. Even when she had something urgent to say, she held back until her hands were washed.
Once, she woke up agitated and gestured for my mother-in-law (whose turn it was to care for her in the Afula apartment) to quickly prepare the netilat yadayim because she had something urgent to say.
My mother-in-law washed her hands, then her elderly mother said, "Your mother-in-law just passed away."
My husband's paternal grandmother had been living with my mother-in-law and father-in-law since their marriage (because the paternal grandmother's own husband had passed away a few months before their marriage -- actually, they'd been living with her; it the home of the paternal grandparents home that my mother-in-law moved into after the wedding).
"What?" said my mother-in-law. "How do you know?"
"I was just told in a dream," her elderly mother answered.
And my mother-in-law soon discovered that it was true. My husband's paternal grandmother had passed away early that morning.
But after wearing a dress once, she gave it away to the other women in the area. In this way, even the poorest woman from the most struggling family was always beautifully dressed.
But after a profound trauma caused by the Yishmaelites that killed her husband, the double-trauma of sudden widowhood preceded by the initial trauma thrust her into a deep depression. Amid the chaos and confusion, the the family lost all their money. My mother-in-law was only 6 and pulled out of school, never to return and receive an education. Her older brothers were sent to family in Algeria.
One day, my mother-in-law noticed her mother staring out the widow and frowning. Then her mother called to her and asked my mother-in-law to quickly prepare 6 tomato-and-margarine sandwiches.
(That was all they had back then in Israel's immigrant neighborhoods in the early 1970s. My husband took such sandwiches to school every day. Butter and even the current staple of spreadable white cheese on bread was too expensive for the average immigrant in those times.)
"Now take the sandwiches down to that Arab sweeping the streets," her elderly mother said.
Perplexed yet dutiful, my mother-in-law did so. The Arab streetsweeper responded with joyful surprise and heartfelt thanks, then my mother-in-law went back upstairs to her mother.
When my mother-in-law asked her mother why she needed to do that, her mother answered, "Don't you know that I always keep a lookout for signs of hunger in any living creature? And if I see they're hungry, I feed them. And when I give them food, I always pray that Hashem should behave with my descendants in the same way: Just as I show compassion and feed all who are hungry, so too should the Creator make sure that my descendants are never hungry."
In Morocco, if she passed by even a donkey that looked hungry, she would feed it.
I must admit that sometimes I entertain myself by trying to imagine this extremely refined beautifully dressed pious Jewish lady standing on a dusty road in Tafilalet and putting food in the mouth of a snappish, grumpy donkey. (Don't they bite? Aren't they kind of bad-tempered?)
Moreover, her method seems to have worked.
Looking at our own family and the offspring of her other sons and my mother-in-law, even if people aren't rich, they also don't suffer any serious lack. In fact, one of my husband's sisters married someone whose family had won the lottery and there are other grandchildren and great-grandchildren who are doing quite well financially.
Her natural Jewish concern for others, whether it was making sure the women in her area felt good about themselves by providing them with beautiful clothing, an act which prevented envy and ensured that even the poorest & most nebbuchy woman still looked beautiful for her husband or actively seeking out signs of hunger in all Hashem's creations in order to nourish them, this woman embodied a good Jewish heart.
(Also, I must commend her that in sharing her own clothing with everyone, it meant that she never stood out as the best-dressed because everyone was dressed like her, which shows an admirable resistence to showing-off.)