Just like anyone else, I believed in the importance of “faith”. However, until we were tested, it would be just a word to be heard, to be cherished and to be hopeful of when the situation arised. I was tested not too long ago. 

One of my student graduated with top honours winning a double gold after a two years course. He scored outstandingly because of one reason, a final plea by his sickly mother, who was diagnosed with cancer, to concentrate and focus on his studies for a better future. That was two years back. His mother recovered but to suffer a more serious relapsed four weeks before his graduation ceremony, which he’ll receive his double gold medal. In severe pain, and within two weeks, his mother went into a comatose state. Prior to that, she had expressed a wish to see him graduate. He knew that she’s hanging on for his graduation. On the fateful day, the doctors predicted that she’ll die within hours. To fulfil her wish, he called the first name he knew, his department head for help. His request, after explaining the situation was, “Can a mock up ceremony be held at his place?”

After hanging up the call, the first question that came to my mind was, “Can his mother survived long enough to witness this symbolic ceremony IF it could be carried out?” Another thought, “Where can one find the gold medals?”. A series of thought went through my mind on how to seek the approval of relevant officials. It would take days to get official approval. I admit. I’ve got little faith of getting it done. Time was not in my hand. On that day, I literally rely on the little faith that if it was meant to be, it would happened. A string of calls and visits to my superiors found little obstacles. The temporary loan of the gold medals to be retrieved miles away in another location, the loan of the blazer in a separate venue was to have a more dignified ceremony and the approval to go ahead with the ceremony was made within the hour.

While driving to the graduate’s home, the words to be said during the ceremony were formed. I usually take a week to draft out such speech. The mock up ceremony started after the doctors, who were preparing the family for the mother’s final moment, left the scene. During the ceremony, the mother miraculously came around as if to acknowledged and witnessed her son’s achievement and success. She died that night, 4 hours after the ceremony.

The grateful look of the graduate and his family after the ceremony was enough appreciation for the “rushed” to get things done that day. I was tested that day that when we rely on faith in getting things done, the way will be shown. I believed that until we were tested, it was just a word to be heard, to be cherished and to be hopeful of when the situation arised.

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