Eda de Zoysa: She was an inspiration

sary of our beloved Amma. I am sure all daughters feel their mothers are the best and the greatest. This appreciation is to honour her memory, as well as the meaningful life she gave us until her death.

Amma passed away on November 28, 2015, at the Suwasevana Hospital in Kandy after a brief illness.

Born 89 years ago, to parents of an estate superintendent and a teacher in Kahawa, she was the eldest with two brothers. She later married my father, A. Wilton de Zoysa from Balapitiya. Amma studied at Sri Palee in Horana and also taught there as a young teacher after completing her studies.

Joining the government service as a teacher, she entered the Maharagama Training College and on completion of training, served as an English teacher at several schools, including the Siddhartha College, Balapitiya, until her retirement.

She not only guided us, her children, but also touched the lives of others in a warm and caring way. We grew up under her strict supervision as our father was less strict compared to Amma. The values and lessons she taught us, her dedication to make us shine in our lives including the sacrifices she made to make our lives worthwhile, will always be cherished with gratitude and love.

I was fortunate to be with her two days prior to her death and spent the whole day with her talking about the good and memorable things she did for us and others in general, letting her know how much she had done and how many lives she had touched during the past years. I cooked skipjack tuna(Balaya) with traditional Balapitya taste on that day as she used to love that fish curry, and she enjoyed it a lot.

In our last conversation, she told me that she might not survive a week, but I did not take much notice of it, thinking it would not be the very last time I would be seeing her alive.

I had to travel to Kandy to see Amma and sometimes had to leave early despite her request for me to stay a little longer because of the time taken to reach Colombo and vice versa. She told me I should have put up my home close to her so that I could visit her whenever she wanted me to.

When I remember that moment now, I cannot bear the pain of not having been able to be with her due to other commitments. She had been admitted to the Suwasevana Hospital the following day as she had lost her strength and fallen unconscious.

Amma, in every sense of the word, was a donor. She was always willing to help anyone who sought her assistance. She was a great cook and loved making sweets at our ancestral house in Balapitiya.

She loved gardening and would bring flowering plants from wherever she visited. She would never miss walking in the garden looking for fresh blooms every day. She was very active in her social life and taught young girls and boys from our hometown after school hours.

Amma guided us in education, getting Thaththa to admit us to the best schools in the district at that time.

Amma was the live-wire in our family striking a balance among the family, her job, as well as relatives from both sides, including neighbours and family friends. She always helped the less-blessed and instilled those values in us. She gave us so much of her time, strength, warmth and love. The lessons we learnt will definitely inspire us to live up to her expectations. Thank you, Amma, for the years given to make me the person I am today.

You will always remain in our minds. Each time we spoke, your commanding and confident voice gave us a hope to believe that you were in control, even though you were confined to a chair most of the time. Your wisdom and courage to make decisions and help others kept your life active and fruitful.

We miss your telephone calls instructing us to attend social functions, including funerals of relatives and friends in our hometown as you had the habit of going through the obituary column in the Daily News as your first work in the morning.

You have given us the best in life and a lifetime of memories to cherish; to be a proud daughter to have had a mother like you.

Thank you, Amma, for being our guiding light, and for being the great and caring mother you were.

May your journey through Sansara be short and may you attain the Supreme Bliss of Nibbana.

Your loving and affectionate daughter,

Damitha de Zoysa


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