Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Wedding And 4 Funerals

A Wedding And 4 Funerals
by Maria Carmelita Z. Kasuya

How was 2011 to all of you?

It was exceptionally exci-ting and “breathtaking” for me. Aside from the great earthquake on March 11, the previous year will always be remembered as a suspense-packed year that almost took my breath away. Allow me to tell you why.

January 24:
My Japanese best friend passed away. She was one of my trusted few that knows even my innermost secrets. I was shocked to know that my last visit would be our last time together as she died a few minutes after I left the hospital.

February 8:
My beloved father passed away suddenly, unexpectedly. He has been a very good father - a disciplinarian but with compassion, a man full of wisdom and integrity. He taught my 3 brothers and me the value of education and the virtues of honesty, diligence and perseverance. I will always remember his last words and his way of bidding his unica hija goodbye: “I love you, anak.” Had I known that it would be our last telephone conversation, I would have thanked him and let him know how much he was loved and appreciated.

February 20:
My former Japanese host professor passed away. I owe her the basics of cell culture. She was my supervisor during the post-doctoral fellowship. But more than a teacher, she was a mother to all of the students in the laboratory.

August 26:
My good friend’s wedding. I will forever be thankful to the couple because they requested me to be one of the principal sponsors. Because of this, I decided to fly to Manila the day before the wedding - only to find out that I would be preparing for my mother’s funeral instead. Their wedding day, which I did not get to attend, was the last time that my mom and I were together.

August 27:
My beloved mother passed away. She taught us the true meaning of selfless giving, kindness and patience. But the best gift she gave us was her unwavering faith, her steadfast love for the Lord and devotion to Mary.

With a wedding I missed and 4 funerals for the people I loved so dearly, 2011 may be considered the worst year. But it was actually the best year. The trials and struggles became opportunities for maturity and spiritual growth. They were blessings in disguise. The pain brought out the best in me. It was during these difficult times that I have come to realize who I really am – a woman blessed with great faith and strength of character. I survived by the grace of God. He was always there to see me through. Truly, alone we can do nothing but with God, everything is possible. There will always be a way. There will always be light at the end of the dark tunnel. When I remained faithful to Him even under these circumstances believing that there was a reason for everything, all things worked for good. My spirit may have been almost crushed but I did not loose hope. Surely, the sun will rise after the storm.

The God of surprises turned my tears into joy just before the year ended. The good results of my research allowed me to present the work during the International Symposium on Fluorous Technologies held at the City University of Hongkong. It was a bi-annual gathering of experts and researchers in the field of fluorous chemistry from different universities all over the world. On the last day of the weeklong confe-rence, the awarding ceremony for best presentation was held. There were 3 winners with one coming from Japan, who was not even a Japanese, but a Filipino - Maria Carmelita Zulueta Kasuya.

After all, 2011 was one of the best years in my life. Thank you, Lord.

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