Obituary of Bernice Rosey Rattansingh
I did not expect to be honored with the task to speak about Nanie – or as most call her, Ma. She has touched so many lives that the volume of love and care she gave cannot possibly be captured by one speech. Nanie was the second of 9 siblings, she was married at age 18 and had 8 children in a 10 year span all by the age of 30. She not only cared for her immediate family but extended family and workers at Joseph Rattansingh tire shop. Her love language was food and was experienced by most here when they sat down to a plate of something piping hot and always delicious. She loved seeing people sitting around a table eating and old talking. She also had the ability to make strangers feel welcome almost immediately. A trait that she passed down to her children. My friends from college and residency all met Nannie and Uncle Trev and had a meal at the house. A few even came for various Thanksgivings. Each left with a lasting sense of comfort and home. It was apparent to them how nurturing she was- a true Ma, Nannie, Agie, Tantie and Granny. Nanie was the most charitable person I knew, never seeming to care for herself, but always rising to care for those around her. Nanie would fly from one country to the next to help care for her 14 grandchildren. She would spoil us with treats that she could whip up on demand and seemed to have infinite patience. She never complained when I made her watch Mister Rogers neighborhood after school- even though I know she preferred the young and restless! She. was always there in the background as a steady presence and guiding hand. Nanie had a knack for remembering everyones birthday, death day, anniversary, address, and phone number. I think in a different life she would have made a great accountant or mathematician. She knew how to network, bargain, and save in order to provide for those around her. She took multitasking to the next level and did it with style. Nanie was a strong, determined, and courageous woman. She was the matriarch of this family and kept us together through difficult times. She never shied away from hard work and never complained. Nanie instilled in us the importance of family, of gathering and enjoying each other’s company. I know we will continue to do this in her honor and will always remember how nurturing, loving, and selfless she was. Nanie was caregiver to so many beyond her children and grandchildren. She has touched the lives of countless individuals and will be greatly missed. Nanie, may Allah bless you and grant you Jannatul Firdaus. Thank you.