Our precious father, Ranjan Guneratne, known as LRS among Galle’s Richmondites, left us one year ago to join our Heavenly Father. He had been ailing for three months.
He was a very loving and caring husband to our mother, an affectionate
brother to Baappa, and an adoring grandfather to little Ransith. Thaaththi was gentle and easy-going, and very understanding.
He was our mother’s best friend. In their 34 years and 10 months of married life, they were always together, doing things together. They shared each other’s joys and sorrows, and were there for each other in sickness and in health. When Thaaththi was in intensive care at the hospital, two weeks before he passed away, he told the nurses that he felt lonely without his wife.
Thaaththi’s interests were wide-ranging. He was an ardent sports fan. He was an athlete himself, in the early 1960s, at Richmond College, Galle, and he excelled in the sport. He loved discussing athletics and cricket. He would not move from his seat when he was watching a cricket match, and our mother would not be able to get anything done that day. He was so passionate about the game that both of us have turned into big cricket fans.
Thaaththi had a very big heart. He was ready to help any person, poor or rich. He took sick people to the hospital in the middle of the night, even during curfew times, without thinking about his own safety. He associated with just about everyone in the village, so everybody knew him. This was evident by the number of people who came to his funeral. Everyone had something good to say about him.
Thaaththi had a deep and abiding Christian faith. He was very active in our church, Holy Trinity Church, Patuwatha, and in churches in the Southern Province.
He loved his school – Richmond College, Galle. When, as children, we asked him to tell us a story, he would recall his experiences as a student, a hosteller and a teacher. He never did anything, expecting something in return. He was treasurer of the Richmond College Old Boys’ Association for five years. He was known among Richmondites by his initials, LRS.
Children see their fathers as the most powerful, most knowledgeable, and most important person in their lives.
We were privileged to have a wonderful father who loved us with all his heart and cared for us with all his might. He would not sleep when we were sick, and he would check on us every few minutes. He never thought of us as “trouble.” He wanted us to be close to him.
We adored Thaaththi. He was the strongest most kindest-hearted person we ever met. Even as adults, we looked up to him.
“Fathers, do not exasperate your children. Instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” – Ephesians 6:4.
Thaaththi exemplified these words from the Bible. He understood us and knew what we were capable of, and advised us when necessary. He never forced us to do things. He allowed us to make our choices in life, and guided us all the way. He was there for us when we needed him. He was our guiding light.
Darling Thaaththi, we miss you greatly. But we know you are in a dwelling place prepared by our Heavenly Father, in the land that is fairer than day.
Lakshmindra and Priyeshni Guneratne