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Why can't we send/receive SMS messages?

Why can't we just send an SMS message like we used to?  My family members who don't have data on their phones can't even see my pictures or get my texts.  We are being forced to use data to just send a regular picture in a text message.  Not everyone has data on their phones (my 66 year old mother for example).  I should be able to send her a picture as a text message and not have it bounce directly back to me as undeliverable.  Then when I turn data on so I can send it - she still can't get it because it's an MMS message.