Plus - Appreciation

She is with God

Rukmal Fernando (nee Dissanayake)

It is difficult to imagine that five years have passed since I lost my daughter on February 5, 2005. I still recall Boxing day of 1961 when she was born to us as the eldest of our family. We named her Chandani Rukmal Anastasia and she grew up with innocence and laughter. At the age of six she was admitted to Holy Family Convent where she excelled in studies and sports with Hockey as her first love. She captained the school’s senior team culminating as skipper of the Colombo schools and All Island School’s Hockey teams.

After leaving school Rukmal worked at St. Anthony’s Industries for a short stint after which she was employed at Sri Lanka Ports Authority where I worked. Later she joined Browns Group as an additional secretary to the Chairman. A rare disease afflicted her when she was 22 forcing her to depend on daily doses of a strong steroid. This went on for over 20 years till her untimely death. In spite of this sickness she excelled in her employment as the Senior Executive Secretary and PA to chairman of a Group of companies in Dubai where she worked for 16 years.

As if she sensed that death could strike her anytime, she became strongly religious going to the extent of writing a testament titled “ I am with God”, concerning her life and her new intimate relationship with the Lord. Before dying she had completed a story about her life with God after death even extending a hand of love for us to join her in His Kingdom. She was full of compassion to all and when the tsunami disaster struck on her birthday, she made packages of essentials to be sent to victims here and cancelled her birthday bash.

Rukmal was concerned about her siblings and was a mother to everyone. Before her death in the prime of life, she toured Canada and Australia to see her relatives there. She came to Sri Lanka often to attend family functions and once she organised a dinner and presentation ceremony to Lankan cricketers on behalf of her employer in Dubai.

Darling daughter, though your death has created a void that is hard to fill, we are consoled that you are in the arms of our dear Heavenly Father from where we are sure you will continue to watch over us and intercede on our behalf.

Richard Dissanayake

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