From: Patrick Taylor <email@example.com>
Subject: Remembering Monica
Italy won the World Cup in 1982. I went to Milan that year in search
of some material for my PhD dissertation, and I met Monica Levy
at a research centre I was visiting. Seeing that I was a stranger
from Canada with nowhere to go for supper, she invited me over to
meet Roberto and subsequently some other family members. I was completely
taken aback by her generosity to me, someone who had simply appeared
unannounced. One remembers the little things that can be so meaningful:
the fresh tomato salad that was part of the supper she made; the
discussion of why North Americans have to have butter on their bread!
And then there were the more serious lessons. Monica took me on
a tour of Milan, and what I remember most were her comments about
architecture, particularly the remnants of fascist architecture
in that city.
My wife Beverley and I were very pleased when Monica and Roberto
came to Canada not long after and visited us in Toronto. They would
come twice, as part of their work preparing travel guides. The photo
of Monica with our
daughter Shira was taken at the Toronto Science Centre on the
first visit. On their second visit in 1994 Monica and Roberto went
with us to Toronto’s Cherry Beach, where the second photo
was taken. Monica is standing between Harold and Evelyn Davis, Beverley’s
parents, who live in Nova Scotia, accompanied by Beverley and me.
That trip, Monica and Roberto shared with our family what has become
one of our funniest restaurant stories. We call it the “chicken
ball story.” Our children David and Shira, their grandparents,
Harold and Evelyn, Beverley and I, we were all there with Monica
and Roberto. Whenever we go to a Chinese restaurant, we remember
those special chicken balls. We usually laugh about it, but now
there will be a tinge of sadness as well.
Monica and Roberto encouraged us to visit Milan, and even sent
us a copy of one of their lovely guidebooks to the city. Although
we were never been able to go, Shira did find her way there as a
young adult for a short visit. Monica and Roberto very kindly hosted
her, even though we had not seen each other for many years.
We had heard that Monica was not well but had hoped for a full
recovery. It was with very sad hearts that we found out about her
passing. We will always remember her kindness, warmth and thoughtfulness
and we value the brief times we shared together.
Chair, Division of Humanities