A few weeks ago, shortly after her 101st birthday my Great Grandma Bea quietly and calmly passed away. I usually wouldn't write something about it, or really make it public, but I've been so overwhelmed with how oddly beautiful it has been and how lucky I feel to have had her in my life. It has been quite bittersweet for all of us as she will undoubtedly be missed, she has, after all been the center of our family since, well, since all of us can remember anything. But all of the sweetness comes from the fact that that magnificent woman, Beatrice Bloom was the essence of spitfire and generosity; 'tomboy'-ing it up in the 20's (yes, yes, she was born in 1916), going on to pay for and own her own home in the 30's and 40's (yes to women empowerment!!) and living as such a determined individual through, quite literally, the last century. She loved cooking, serving, taking care of people, gardening, and of course, her notable favorite up until the end, drinking beer. She enjoyed attending bible studies and the poker table. She had 3 children; 16 grandchildren; 26 great grandchildren; 13 great-great-grandchildren and she called us all her tribe.
It's hard to put into words how incredibly lucky I feel to have known her legacy and also how beautiful it is to see someone pass on with such gratitude and peace. In April I went to visit her, knowing it would possibly be the last time I would see her. Some of the time she was chattering to herself, and at other moments I heard such clarity in the things she said. Saying goodbye, I kissed her on the forehead and told her I loved her, she paused, smiled, and said, "I hope you enjoy it as much as I did". And so, may she be a continuing inspiration for all of us who really can't begin to imagine all she went through; to work hard, love fully, have a whole lot of gratitude and obviously, to take the time to enjoy a damn beer!
I've started doing some archiving for the family as most of the photos of her are film. And even though there are sooo many more photos to scan (I can guarantee this post will be updated), I can't quite help from sharing some now. It has been fascinating to go through them, not only to see her life, but also to see the evolution of the past century! And so, below you will find some of my favorite film photographs I have recently scanned from her life, starting with the first photo of her at age 12 in 1928!
Lastly, since sharing and cooking were such an integral part of her life, I thought it fitting to include her french silk pie recipe. Enjoy...