My grandmother, passed away peacefully on the 19th of April 2015; three months from this date, on such a solemn occasion as the passing of a loved one, instead of dwelling on the end of life, let’s look back at the life she led.
She was born as the eldest daughter of Nomis and Magellin De Silva, founder of Ebert Silva Bus Company. She became the wife of Wijayapala Mendis MP, mother of three daughters and a son. Later she became a grandmother of six children plus my brother’s fiancée, whom she affectionately included.
As a wife, she was the quiet constant support behind her husband as he strived towards betterment of the nation through his public service. Surely this great man’s contributions to his nation were facilitated by her support. Her focus on his welfare was reflected in the little details – details such as patiently waiting for him before every meal, even if he was delayed from work. They were the very picture of a perfect couple.
Her personal achievements include her time as the Leader of the Seva Vanitha Movement where she oversaw fund raising for scholarships for underprivileged children as well as expansion of the maternity ward in the local hospital, to name but a few.
The tragic loss of their only son was a potential breaking point, and left a deep-rooted scar on the hearts of our family. However with my grandfather at the helm, the family pulled together to steer away both my grandmother and each other from the perpetual sadness this loss might have brought.
Their devout faith in Buddhism was a strong theme in their lives, which provided guidance in those darker days and has been instilled in their children.
She was a very warm, loving, caring mother who showered her children with great affection, and supported them throughout their developing years.
As a grandmother she was in my life from my earliest and fondest memories. No matter what degree of mischief I got up to she always beamed at me a gentle glowing smile.
It finally felt as though our home was complete when she came to live with us.
It may seem as though great effort and time is taken in looking after an elderly lady, however the feelings of warmth, love and affection you receive are much greater than words can express.
Finally, it would be fitting to say how well her daughters have taken care of her; the reason she made it this far was due to their concerted and diligent efforts.
Surely, there is no better testament to her life than the affection with which her daughters viewed her.
May she attain the supreme bliss of Nibbana!
R. Sandika Mendis de Zoysa