Saturday, March 31, 2012


Grandma, Grandpa, Sarah and I. 
Yes, I basically have the same haircut now.

A week.  That is how long I looked, search, ransacked, and dug through boxes of old college papers and 3.5” floppy disks (with an old school adapter), looking for one special personal essay that I wrote about my Grandma.  It was good.  It was really good, actually.  Frankly, it was probably the best piece I have ever written.  My professor agreed, suggesting I publish it.  I never did.  Now I’m frustrated to say, I don’t even have a copy of it.  I envisioned being able to write a prologue to the essay about what a wonderful woman my Grandma was and post the essay itself.  It captured her essence and how special she was to anyone who ever knew her.  Today, on the one year anniversary of her passing, I guess I’ll just have to write a few of those memories with today’s words (and some stolen from the speech I wrote for her funeral), instead of leaning on my words of the past to express how special she was.

Four generations of women.
To know my Grandma was to love my Grandma.  She was such a wonderful woman, who lived for her faith, family, and friends.  Her funeral was literally like the funeral for a nun.  The church recognized that although she was married with children, she was as close to a Catholic nun a member of the church could be.  Cloaked in the gold cloth of Catholic clergy, she would have been so proud to be honored in the way that the three priests that came to preside over her funeral.  In fact, the rosary for my Grandmother caused a tiff between the nun and the priest at her church.  Both felt they were due the honor of leading her rosary.  Of course, they compromised.

My Grandma was so caring.  It was just natural for her to take care of everyone and everything she came across.  A little bunny attacked by a cat in the neighborhood?  No worries, she would nurse it back to health feeding it with a medicine dropper.  A woman at church is sick?  Grandma would plan out a food schedule to help her while she was ill.  No matter who you were, if you needed help, she was there.
Grandma and Myles (wearing
gloves because her hands were cold)
To go to Grandma’s house was like going to a special place made to be enjoyed by grandchildren. Toys, tiny rocking chairs for each child, and cartoons filled the day.  Grandma always had something that she wanted to make for us to eat.  From her smiley face eggs with pickles for the eyes and a ketchup smile, to her authentic Mexican food, she was a natural caregiver to everyone she knew.  Games to play, wagon rides, and summers on the swing singing songs are just a few of my cherished memories.  In fact, every single memory I have of her makes me smile….all the way down to remembering her passing a sweater down the pew at church for us girls to cover our legs in a skirt she deemed too short.  No doll went without handmade undergarments.  Grandma wanted to make sure they each had the opportunity for modesty.  Grandma taught us the Mexican hat dance and loved to tape us telling stories and singing songs (now that is true love – wanting my singing voice on tape). 

Grandma and Jillian on her First Birthday.

Every picture, craft, letter, or project we made for her was important and saved over all of these years.  Shoot, half of the things I saw when I was digging for the essay had her writing on it.  She had clipped several articles I had written back in high school for the newspaper, photos, and other memorabilia that I wouldn’t have today if she hadn’t saved them for me. 

As I got older, I would love to ask Grandma about her past.  I would have never guessed this small woman who was so involved with her family and parish was a secretary for the President of Mexico when she was younger.  Listening to the stories of the life-long love that she and my Grandpa shared was simply amazing.  He travelled across the country to marry her…not to mention asking her father for her hand in marriage…twice, until he said yes.  Persistence paid off.  The deep rooted loved they shared was apparent.  Witnessing this throughout their marriage was a wonderful example to their children and grandchildren.

I am confident that all eight of us grandkids are better people for being her grandchildren.  She gave us love and care every day.  She also gave us our faith.  She cared so much about making sure that God was a part of our lives.  We all miss Grandma every day.  I am so thankful for the time we had with her.  With a failing heart from a very young age, we were so lucky to have her as long as we did.  As kids, we liked to call her our electric Grandma because we could hear her mechanical heart tick.  We would giggle at the watches that could never keep time with the tick.

Grandma, we love you forever and always.  As I encounter decisions in life and faith, I think to myself, “What would Grandma do?”  I am comforted knowing that you are still caring for us with golden wings in heaven.

In Loving Memory of Josephine Elizondo.

My grandparents on my wedding day.


  1. What a great post! It's true isn't it? They truly were the greatest generation! I hope one day that my grand-kids can write a little like this about me.

  2. Golden wings... That is for sure... She earned them and truly one of a kind. We are so lucky to have had such an amazing grandma and now an amazing guardian angel watching over us.


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