To Seeya, my rose in the snow
C. Lloyd Fernando
To those who were closest to Seeya, there will be a void that can never be filled again.
Seeya was an essential part of my life, from my earliest childhood. He was my constant companion and protector. Whether he was accompanying us on our daily ride to and from school or to a party, he was always there. Malli and I always knew to be a minute ahead of Seeya at the gate when we heard his car. He was our daily Santa Claus, carrying candy floss and little treasures that never failed to light up a child’s world.
I remember him taking us on our first double-decker bus ride, and how he would treat us to a Chinese meal at the Flower Drum at the end of each term, a gourmet treat we looked forward to.
I remember how, when I won prizes at a party (one was a green-and-white pig, another was a red lunchbox), Seeya looked at me with such pride. He made me feel that my prizes were out of this world. If there was anyone who could make me feel like a princess, it was Seeya.
I always associate the word “fun” with Seeya. At Christmas time he would take us to a lovely upcountry bungalow to get a cypress tree, and he would praise our efforts to decorate the Christmas tree.
He had a gift that is rare in adults – the gift to know exactly what makes a child feel special, the gift to be one of the children, and the gift to really have fun with the children.
Latterly, when his health failed and his condition began to deteriorate, he spoke very little. But whenever I whispered something in his ear, his face would light up with that 1,000-watt smile. He taught me to smile in the face of pain, sickness and adversity, with courage and silent optimism.
Always immaculately dressed, he was to me a silent teacher of strength, patience and cheerfulness.
Whenever Malli or I fell sick, he was always there, sitting patiently with us. We could always count on his presence. If we happened to visit him at mealtimes, he would insist on giving us part of his meal. Even when he was very sick and Aachchi took charge of his finances, he would ask her for money to give us as our weekly pocket money. He was supremely good with little thoughtful acts of care and love. He always knew what would make life that much sweeter and extra special. He always spoke and acted from deep within.
He was one of those truly special people – loved by all who knew him and missed by all.
Seeya, you will always live in our hearts and you will never be truly gone for us. Your smile and your love will always lighten our hearts. Thank you for being a rose in the snow for me, for being a silent teacher of some of the most important lessons of life. Thank you for being a truly honourable, unforgettable and fabulous person. I will never ever stop loving you, and thanking you for being such a precious part of my life.