Tuesday, May 30, 2006

"Happy Birthday, Seeya*!" - An open letter to my Grandfather

Listening to: 'Someday We'll Know' by New Radicals [Maybe You've Been Brainwashed]

To my darling Grandfather,

Today, you turn 92. Today, you celebrate this occasion with your wife, children, grandchildren (except for myself, of course) and great-grandchildren. You have been alive to witness almost every world event of the 20th century. You have travelled the world, broken records (which you still hold) and battled illnesses; and you have seen other members of your generation around you age, and ultimately pass on. You may not understand the concept of the Internet, or be familiar with mobile telephones, but you, more than anyone, understand the fickle nature of life.

I am extremely lucky to have had you near me for the past twenty-three years. But for how much longer? As I wish you over the phone for this birthday, I can hear the toll that life has taken on you. You remembered who I am today, but will your remember tomorrow? Come this afternoon, will you remember that I wished you? Does it matter?

I also hear the pain felt by my Grandmother. She has stood by you for over 59 years... and now she watches you fade, unable to save you. What is my pain, compared to hers? What is my pain, compared to that of my father, my aunt and my uncle? What is my pain, compared to that of the sister who hasn't seen you for years?

You've lived a good life, Seeya - not without struggle, but not without celebration either. Today I will celebrate your life, and the joy that it has brought to so many... but at the back of my mind, I will hope, with every beat of my heart, that I may be fortunate enough to see you once again.

All is temporary...none more so than life.

Happy Birthday, Seeya. May the Blessings of the Noble Triple Gem shine on you always - in this life, and in those to follow.

I love you.

*Seeya is a Sinhalese term for Grandfather.
**Photo taken from the M.I.L.K. Collection.


  1. hey if u dont mind, can i ask what records he holds?

    feel free to ignore if u deem this a nosy question

  2. Hehe of course I don't mind :-)

    My Grandfather holds the Sri Lankan national record for the 100 yard dash. He was an athlete in the days before the 100m sprint was standard, and held the record for 15 years or so. Then the SL Amateur Athletics Association switched to the 100m race, so the record hasn't been contested since.


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