(May 12, 2017 – May 12, 2019)
From the age of three, I have vivid memories of all the astounding times I had with my beloved mother, together in this riddle called life, for which I thank my samsaric karma, for creating my existence as the only child of such an exceptional lady, who sought perfection in all she did. I’d call her the ‘ne plus ultra’ of same. Moreover, I can never draw a blank to a single moment of the last three months of her existence in physical form, in which she fought incessantly, and with utmost bravery, clinging onto dear life. Life breaks everyone, but some people heal stronger in the breaks, they say, and my mother was one of those who healed stronger in the breaks. Nevertheless, life, once foaled, must reach its logical end: death; the eternal truth taught to us by Gautama Buddha.
However, when it occurs to our beloveds, it is impossible to bear, hence, I cried unceasingly when she passed away, and even after the longest two years of my life, since her inopportune demise, I still cry warm and tacit tears, almost everyday, yet, with a promise to my beloved mother, that I won’t let those tears mar the smiles she has given me, while alive. It indeed is not sagacious to compare the loss of my beloved mother to that of another, as it is patronising, and it is not my nature to indulge in such idle condescending laments. But, my mother’s loss is undeniably the greatest blow, thus far in my life, albeit inescapable; just cannot be reconciled in my mundane mind.
While in school, and in later years, she played basketball under the guidance of All-India Basketball Coach P. Chelladurai, and also represented St. Anne’s College
My mother lived a complete and dynamic life. Among seven siblings of the Senanayake family from Kurunegala, she was the fourth. Having obtained her education from Maliyadeva Girls’ College, she joined Hayleys Group back in the 1960s, where she served for nine years. While in school, and in later years, she played basketball under the guidance of All-India Basketball Coach P. Chelladurai, and also represented St. Anne’s College, Kurunegala in a trainee camp held at St. Anthony’s College court in Katugastota back in the 1960s. After tying the knot with my father Cyril Ananda Ratnayake in 1973, she pursued a career at Marhaba Travels in Sharjah, UAE, where she served for several years before returning to Sri Lanka. Being the family-oriented woman, Ammi never faltered in her attention to the infinitesimal matters of my father and me. Later in her life, she, along with my father, lived with me, in California USA, and in Sri Lanka until her passing.
My mother’s demise has left ruefulness in me that seem to progress with each passing day. Time shall heal, they say, yet remembering her burden so unanimous, which she carried with gracefulness and ease, and the incomparable enchantment which was in her to watch, time has evidently only taught me, how to live with the pain in her absence. I admit with painfulness that the challenging moments have been dismaying without her presence. In addition, the dainty moments of joy have been dull in her absenteeism, throughout the two years that has passed-by. She shall always be my Mona Lisa, and she will always be beautiful, in my eyes. She was, is and shall forevermore be my Ammi!