I never really got to know my grandmother, whom everyone calls Granna. Shirley Florence Keaney McElvogue was born December 27, 1928. My dad is the middle of her five children, four boys and one girl. I was told that shortly after I was born my mom and I lived with her for a couple of weeks in Ventura, California while my mom was still recovering from a c-section. I never knew that she would pass away only three years into my life.
From all the stories that hear from my family, Granna was an amazing women. She always put her children first and made sure they were taken care of before herself. Between four of her children, she has eleven grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and one step-great-grandchild. All of us have grown up to be slightly insane but that’s what makes us unique I guess.
I don’t know if Granna knew she had cervical cancer or not, but it’s what took her from us on June 27, 1985 at the young age of 57. She has been gone for 25 years as of today and I cry every year. Even though I only have one memory of her I can’t picture her face in that memory, I miss her so much. I didn’t get the chance to know her like most of my cousins did. I’ll share the two pictures of her that I shared in one of my other posts honoring her two years ago today on this blog. They are my favorite pictures of her.
For the first Christmas that I spent in my apartment five years ago, my mom gave me the hand-written recipe that Granna had given to her for her Candy Cane Buns. It was such an honor to be given that recipe because it is the only thing of Granna’s I have other than inheriting her left-handedness. Out of the eleven grandchildren, only my cousin Genaphur and I are left-handed. They may call us backwards, but at least we use the right side of our brains. (See slightly insane) I have yet to make the Candy Cane Rolls and will someday convert them to be gluten-free. It was her side of the family that gave me my Celiac Disease. Oh well, I can’t fault her for that.
I know that Granna is watching over me. Even though I didn’t have much time with her, she still is a woman whom I look up to and aspire to be. I just hope that one day I can add to the number of her great-grandchildren. I will forever miss her and hope that one day, when it’s my time, we will meet again, wherever she may be. I have come to a loss of words. Everything that I want to say doesn’t seem to be good enough. All I can keep thinking is how much I miss her. One of these days I will make it back to her grave in Ventura and spend some time with her that I didn’t get to spend in person. I can tell her all about the things she missed in my life and how I’m a stronger person because of the family that she blessed me with. They have been my rock through so much in my life and would never ask for anything else. Even if we are slightly insane.
I love you Granna with all my heart and soul. You will forever be my role model and hopefully for any daughters I may have in the future. I miss you.