My grandmother who I called “Babcia’ was named Zofia Aleksandra (ie. Sofia Alexandra when spelled the American way).
If she were alive today, she would have turned 95 years old today, November 14th, 2015.
I like that her birthday is in the same month as Veterans day.
Mid November is also the time of the year that I celebrate the opening of my first Amé Amé store as well as the current Amé Amé store.
(The East Village store sadly had to close two year ago in 2013 after it opened in November 2011)
My Babcia, who came from an aristocratic family, fought during WWII as a courier to defend or more accurately bring back peace for all the good people of Poland; her Jewish Polish friends, her Catholic Polish family members and all others who were proud of their Polish culture and communities.
After the war my Babcia and my grandfather (ie my Dziadec) lived in Bruge, Belgium, and then Paris, where my father was born. Eventually they moved to Brooklyn, where at first my grandfather with his European law degree could only find work painting apartments.
Eventually they managed to rebuild their lives so that my grandfather could be a professor of Eastern European History at the University of Wisconson Stevens Point. And where my Babcia could also work and be a leader on campus as a Doctor of Librarian Science. She regularly hosted gatherings for the university community, and they became very proud Americans while maintaining Polish cultural pride. Their two sons had full U.S. military careers and two of their grandsons are now committed to making sure ISIS doesn’t throw the world into chaos and that hopefully the United States never has another attack as serious at 9-11 was.
My Babcia and Dziadec have a love story that I will share as Valentines gets closer to us, but today I want to say that I’m honored to be named after my Babcia and that I owe so much of my spirit, style, passion, and appreciation for quality things and celebrations with family and friends, to her.
Without the influence of my Babcia, there’d probably be no Amé Amé.
I really wish I had a photo of my Babcia in an an Amé Amé store. However she died of Alzheimer about a year or two before I decided it was time to open an Amé Amé boutique. She really would have loved the taste of Chocolate Rain, Amé Amé’s premium chocolate for cravings, sharing, and adventures. She especially would have loved the dark chocolate pecans with amaretto or Grand Marnier, since my Babcia loved to make a toast for good health with special liquors like Benedictine on Christmas Eve and when we’d celebrate my birthday a few days later.
But somehow or another I do believe there’s a heaven and I think she knows what’s going on with Amé Amé today.
And now you know a little bit of where my name Teresa Alexandra comes from and a bit more about why I do what I do with Amé Amé.