Jennifer Higdon lit a candle
Sunday, August 14, 2022
There are no words to describe the sadness I am feeling today. At 105 and 7 months old, Nanny was a strong and amazing woman full of zeal and wisdom. When I think back to all the times I spent with Nanny, I can recall many life lessons that she taught me. She taught me to value my family, live a life full of gratitude and she taught me what it means to be strong. When I think of Nanny, I can’t help but imagine the rest of my family because we were together often. One of the most important lessons she taught me was to value and take care of family. I could tell how much love Nanny had for us because she took care of us in various ways each day. Her door was always open for anyone to visit. She would happily cook them a meal. She would genuinely listen or lend a helping hand. I recall long summer visits away at Nanny’s house. I always enjoyed spending time with her in the kitchen as she involved me in her daily cooking. She was so patient in the way she explained all the steps to create a delicious Italian dish. When I was young, we were welcomed everyday after school and she would cook dinner for us. She would always ask how everyone in the extended family was doing- and she continued asking for family and friends even at the age of 105! I think her favorite times were to have everyone gathered together eating a meal in her kitchen . She even cooked an annual Saint Patrick’s day dinner even though she was not Irish. She would find any excuse to have us united around her table because she cared for us so deeply and valued what it truly means to be a family. The second lesson she taught me was to practice gratitude. When both of us were younger and I would call Nanny on the phone, I would ask her how she was doing and she would always say, “There is no use in complaining.” Nanny spent her time living in the moment and living selflessly for others. She did not waste her days complaining about what she did not have but instead, she thanked God for her blessings every day. I have copious memories of spending time with Nanny in the kitchen. She would always offer to cook for me even when she was running low on groceries. She could make a whole meal with whatever she had on hand. She was so thankful when people came to visit her. She enjoyed simple things like a sunny day, listening to the ocean waves on the beach, the laughter of her great- grandchildren and a good home- cooked meal. She rarely complained and was happy to just be herself. She was always appreciative and lived each day as if it was her last. Words and phrases I can think of to describe Nanny- tenacious, strong, hard-worker, dedicated, generous, loving, hilarious. The third lesson Nanny showed me was to keep up your strength-both physical and mental strength. Nanny lived alone until she was 99 years old. She would take long walks to go shopping for groceries well into her nineties. I remember her sitting in the kitchen when she was in her nineties doing chair exercises with her arms and legs. She would often show her strength with laughter during difficult times. Just a couple of weeks ago she was still singing loudly and pretending to play the piano with her fingers even though she was not feeling her best. It is because of that strength, tenacity and sheer willpower that we were lucky enough to have her with us for so long. The Scottish poet, Thomas Campbell once wrote, “To live in the hearts of those we love is not to die.” I know that nanny will continue to be alive through our memories, the lessons we learned from her, in our laughter and in every homemade stuffed pepper and chicken cutlet that we eat. We are so lucky to have had her by our sides for all these years. Nanny, you will be missed. I love you.
A Memorial Tree was planted for Carmela Mauro
Saturday, August 13, 2022
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Kearns Funeral Home Join in honoring their life - plant a memorial tree
The family of Carmela Mauro uploaded a photo
Saturday, August 13, 2022
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Whitehouse, NJ 08888
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