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If life gives you lemons ... With just one finger, woman uses feet to cook, sew, clean, wash

Published:Saturday | February 16, 2013 | 12:00 AM
Daphne Williams stands in front of her house in Smithville, Clarendon.
Daphne Williams demonstrates how she cuts fabric for sewing.
Daphne Williams makes dumplings.

Horace Fisher, Gleaner Writer

SMITHVILLE, Clarendon:

THE propular saying 'if life gives you lemons, make lemonade' has resonated, strongly with Daphne Williams who was born with a partial right hand and a single finger. Despite the challenges, Williams has learned to use that solitary finger to undertake every imaginable task on her own.

Forty-three-year-old Williams, with the aid of her right foot, cooks, cleans, washes, sews and writes her own letters. She also lights her coal stove, cuts patterns to sew and peels food to cook.

However, the firebrand Christian complained of severe financial hardships, which began long before Jamaica's current economic crisis.

"This is how I was born and I accept it. God knows best, but Jamaica is too blessed for persons with disabilities to live permanently in hardships for the rest of their lives," bemoaned Williams, as she demonstrated her amazing dexterity with her single finger and toes to The Gleaner in a recent interview at her Smithville home in Clarendon.

Williams said after leaving primary school, she went back to her alma mater, Smithville Primary, where she set up a stall and sold a variety of items, but her business went bad after she purchased a fridge, a television set and started a one-room house.

"I am disabled; but I am able. I do everything for myself, but if I want a bag juice, somebody has to give it to me, so I want some financial independence so that I can stop being a burden to my sister. I need some help," she pleaded.

With only a primary-level education and both parents long deceased, Williams said she has had a life fraught with hardship and heartache. But with an unwavering faith in God and a steely determination, she said God has made her for a special purpose, to be his evangelist. She is uncertain of what condition caused her to be born with some of her limbs missing.

"God made this special person to be His servant, to tell Jamaica about the goodness of the Lord, and I want to serve Him full-time and to inspire Jamaica, to let people have faith, but I cannot manage alone. So if there is a good Samaritan out there who wants to assist with my ministry, give me a call at 876-389-2104," the Smithville Baptist Church member said.