Sunday, 18 March 2012

Meeting Lucy

I met Lucy on the third day my internship. The lady humbly sweeping up fallen leaves outside the office at 8.30 a.m. looked about my mother's age. But her chime of "Hello!" sounded much younger. Her bright eyes were instantly warm and friendly!

I walked into the office to see my friend and fellow intern, Rhon having her breakfast. As I sat down to join her, the lady came in from outside. 

"This is Lucy!" Rhon introduced.

I had previously heard a little bit about Lucy and her involvement in the Portraits of Perseverance project. Hearing from others about her overcoming amnesia and working despite having Lupus, I thought to myself, "Hey, she sounds cool!"

But finally meeting Lucy was a whole different story! I was baffled to hear about her taking five jobs in her condition, most of which are volunteer work. Not to mention the hard work she put in to raise her family. Five jobs and three kids? "Cool" was definitely an understatement! 

Not only is Lucy fun to be around (her giggling ALWAYS sets off a round of giggling among us), she really struck me as a strong mother figure and woman.

Lucy's face brightens up whenever she talks about her children, and she laughs about having the Empty Nest Syndrome. I imagine that's how my mother sounds like when she tells her friends about us kids.

She takes inventory of the homemade baskets with so much detail and SPEED (so quick I scrambled to keep up with her!), and she taught us the kitchen secret of making sour oranges sweet!

Watching Lucy check the baskets

That's for us to know and for you to find out!

Getting to know Lucy these few weeks is shaping up to be an inspiring experience. Her love for the community drives her to wake up at 4 a.m. so she can leave at 6 a.m. to get from Kajang to Petaling Jaya. At times, she takes her old car, but very often, it's public transport for her. She told us that sometimes, even if she leaves her house at  6 a.m. , she arrives at the office four hours later. 

Being one who has always had problems with waking up at any time before 9 a.m. , I really could not imagine how she went through with the routine every day.

"That is insanity!" I mumbled in shock.

Lucy shrugged and smiled.

Despite these daily challenges, she still braves the ruthless city street jam and finds the most convenient way to get herself to work, then braves the ruthless city street jam and finds the most convenient way home in time to lay food on the table for her husband and her 18 year-old daughter. Lucy does it all without a word of complaint. Such a wonderful spirit to have!

It remains a mystery to me how she manages this, and still has time (and strength) to spend on her family and other jobs. And through it all, she never loses her smile.

Must be what they call the magic of a woman. 

By Junmey

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