Isabelle Lim has been in the local news.
Her mother Jacqueline and I, share a friend. On social media, Jacqueline has the sort of smile that reaches across cyberspace, draws one close. I asked to be introduced.
Married for the past 23 years, Jacqueline gave up her career because of Isabelle’s medical issues. When asked to describe a “typical day”, she chose Monday, explaining that she interprets three times a week for Isabelle, at school.
Monday is Darkroom day. Class begins at 9am with discussions, and then we start processing… Most exciting! Light off, red lights come on. We do everything in the dark. How do I communicate with Issy? Not easy. Sign to her real close. We bump into each other. Working with a deaf person is harder in the dark. I cannot signal to her for attention or shout to her. We learn to cope with patience, understanding, frustration.
And it’s a happy problem.
How do you get yourself psyched up for a day in your life?
Stay positive and keep faith in God, that He will see me through.
Dinner is simple. My mum helps me out with either the cooking or the dishes. I start the day early. I bake to de-stress.
I am a self-taught baker. Chocolate teaches me patience… the right temperature… can’t rush it.
I enjoy seeing the final product of my bakes, and how it puts smiles on people’s faces. Baking is my me time…
Isabelle was still quite fragile in her early days, in between her surgeries…I should have involved my son more, in her physical caring. Perhaps that would have helped him understand his sister’s needs better.
It’s difficult to balance both their needs. Isabelle’s need is basically communicating with people who can’t sign. She’s a visual learner. I have raised her like any other regular child- no extra pampering.
With my boy…making sure he gets enough of my time and be assured that he is loved as much. He is an intelligent boy, we can’t take him for granted.
Looking ahead, now at midlife, what excites you about tomorrow? The future?
I don’t really plan ahead. The house will be quieter, when the kids start working. I will be older. I would like to go back to work, just for the sake of learning something new… nothing stressful.
- All photographs belong to Jacqueline and are used with her permission.