On a recent visit, a sister sat down at the computer and shared her journey in learning sign language. She is patient and creative in communicating. Even before either one of us knew sign language, she found creative ways to communicate. One time my husband and I met with her at a restaurant. When we arrived, she handed me a handwritten note with all of the news she planned to discuss. Between speechreading and that piece of paper, I was able to follow along with the conversation. The proverb “[t]o him that will, ways are not wanting” truly explains her desire and inspired ways to communicate. She fingerspells and if she forgets a letter, she draws it in the air! She produces a lot of real signs and creates some funny ones of her own! So read on as she shares some “sister signing.”
“Hi everyone out there who is learning signing!
I am one of Lois’ four sisters and I live in upstate New York. Thank you, Lois, for caring to get the message out about helping families and friends communicate with one another.
I took formal signing classes when I lived in Florida. However, the formal classroom setting was not one that worked for me and when I moved away, my signing and finger spelling abilities became less and less. For me, the format of this website makes learning signing fun, and having family demonstrate signing and giving their own experiences makes it even more adaptable to others.
Through the years, Lois and I have gotten together for fun filled vacations or just family visits, and little by little, I have become “somewhat” more familiar with signing. However, when it comes to getting a certain conversation across, I always get into “sister’s signing” and we always have a big laugh over my creativity. For example, we were in the Dominican Republic and I asked her if she wanted to go snorkeling by motioning my index finger next to my nose. Lois knew immediately what I meant. Another time an elephant came into the conversation so I waved my hand behind me and she knew right away I was referring to an elephant. The laughter always intensifies if anyone is watching and witnessing our unique communication.
When our times spent together end, I always leave with the resolve that I will try harder to be a better signer. But sometimes, life gets in the way and the distance diminishes the resolve. That is why I truly feel this website is one that will help me and so many others.
I am so proud of you Lois for all that you do, and I am lucky to have you as my sister.”
And I, Lois, am so proud of you too!