|Brother Aged 12 - Taken One Week Before I was Born
When their mother died, Father took the two oldest children, then aged 11 and 10, who understood and felt the loss of their mother the most, on a several months long tour of Europe, where they visited Britain, France, Norway, etc., in order to help them recover from their mother's death. The three younger children were left in the care of various relatives. Brother R was left with Father's aunt and cousin. He would have been about 7 or 8, then. Father's aunt had promised him a reward of 5 rupees for every 100% marks he received on his tests at school, not realizing he was a very bright scholar. By the end of the stay, so the story goes, he had earned 100 rupees! Apparently, he bought a free-standing wardrobe cabinet with it (most homes didn't have built-in clothes closets in Sri Lanka). I still remember the wardrobe he used to have in his bedroom at home and the story that went with it.
My mother used to say that brother R was a very easy-going good-natured child, who was curious about things. If they'd visit places, he'd explore the surroundings and come back to ask, "Do you know how many steps there are on that straircase?" (having counted them first, himself), etc. He went on to become a civil engineer and had a very successful career.
He was an avid sports fan and he collected postage stamps. He loved my grandmother's Love cake and he'd mention her love cake every time he'd see me. He was married twice but had no children of his own. When I visited California in the winter of 1975, I spent Christmas with him and his first wife; he asked me if I knew how to cook a crab curry, and although I had never cooked it by myself, I had seen my mother cook it and I loved crab curry, so, I said yes, and he bought me crabs to make into a curry! It came out well, I remember, and I never did tell him that it was the first time I had made crab curry by myself! LOL. Almost every time I wait to make a left-hand turn at an intersection, I remember him and the time he drove me home after going out to dinner on a recent visit - I tend to try to make a quick left turn, but brother waited patiently for traffic to pass, telling me, "I'm in no hurry to die".
|On a Visit Several Years Ago
After my sister gave me the news, I called my sister-in-law and left a message of condolences. According to my sister, there will be a cremation and a memorial service to follow, but we don't know the dates, yet.
He lived a good life and now, his pain and suffering have ended. May he rest in peace, knowing he was loved.