Our Family Scrapbook

My Mom, a.k.a. Nanny/The Warden

Oh, where to begin! My mom, Monica Theresa SauvĂ©, was a wonderful woman, for sure. She was gregarious; she always said her shoes were at the door, and the toes pointed out. She was, for lack of a better expression, a “neat freak.” Our house was always immaculate: everything was scrubbed, dusted, polished, pressed and disinfected. But, as my dad always said, it is better to be too clean than too dirty.

After my dad passed away in 1995, Mom remained fiercely independent. In the spring and fall, she climbed ladders to remove and wash all her curtains, walked on the kitchen counters to dust the tops of the cabinets, gave her mattress a half turn once a week when she changed the sheets and vacuumed regularly–oh, did she vacuum!

She had a great sense of humour and could give it as well as take it. Sometimes she had no filter and pretty much said what she was thinking…but, we all knew that was Nanny.

Just as my father had been, Nanny was always there when someone was in need. She helped where should could and was happy to do so.

I really got to know my mom after she had a series of heart attacks in 2014, followed by open heart surgery, and came to live with me and my husband, Peter, until she died in February 2016. I was retired and she and I had time to sit together watching old movies, reminiscing about the old days, and battling over the best way to make Swiss Steak. I felt closer to her than I ever had before.

Nan, me (Gloria) and Peter
at Centrepointe Theatre.

Peter was like another son to my mom. He gave her her medication every day and tended to her every need. He teased her mercilessly and she loved every minute of it. We took her to dinner a couple of times a week and went for long country drives. Even though she had had heart surgery, she still insisted on the occasional stop at a French fries wagon along the way.

Although I knew it was coming, I was still shocked and devasted when she passed away. I think about her daily, and Peter and I reminisce about our time with her here in our home. She left us with wonderful memories that we will treasure forever. Rest in peace, Nan.

Mom’s last birthday, her 86th

P.S. The kids and grandkids called her “The Warden” because when she said “jump,” everybody jumped. We all loved her to the moon and back.

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