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Speaker delivers message of hope with humour at Lenten Tea

by Caroline Sealey

DRAYTON - A passion for reading, studying and listening to others share their faith was evident in the message delivered by cancer survivor Peg Bauman,  guest speaker at the annual Lenten Tea hosted by the Drayton Reformed Church on April 12.

“Let’s become the women that God has planned for us to be. He has given us a lifetime assignment,” said Bauman, of the Elora area.

From a young age, Bauman, the youngest of 11 children, was never told her family was poor or that they couldn’t afford anything. Her parents always said they didn’t need it. At the age of four, Bauman was diagnosed with polio and taken from her old-order Mennonite family to a hospital in Hamilton.

“At that time, doctors were not sure if polio was contagious so I was quarantined. So was the family farm. We could not sell cream or eggs. The hospital experience for me was so different from what I was used to,” Bauman said.

Paralysis and being thrown into another world changed Bauman’s life. Although her family life was church-centred, she didn’t fit into the proverbial box.

“I was paralyzed so I lowered my standards to accommodate the paralysis and I’m just fine now,” Bauman said.

Bauman’s hospital experience lead her to be more aggressive than her eight brothers and two sisters. Raised in the country, she was determined that she was going to live in Toronto. The desire faded and was replaced with trips to the city.

After 38 years of marriage to her husband Rick, she proclaimed from the front porch of their farmhouse that when he got old and lost his mind, she was going to get an apartment on Front Street in Toronto. His response was the he would paint the silo to look like the CN Tower, making the move unnecessary.

“I always said I would never marry a farmer. I was the only one of my siblings that did. The romantic notion of hand in hand we will conquer the land didn’t last long. I hated chores and the side effects from polio limited me,” Bauman said.

She encouraged women to share the qualities of integrity, truth, kindness, goodness and to be non-judgmental. Communicate with others, rejoice in everyone’s successes and adapt to where you are at, she said.

 “Each one of us has a special purpose to be a true you. God needs all of us; the inadequate, educated, organized, always on time-everyone else should be people,“ Bauman said.

In 2005, Bauman was tested for a persistent rash. After insisting that a biopsy be undertaken, tests proved positive for a rare form of cancer, Paget’s disease, in the wall of her chest.

“My granddaughter asked if I was only going to have one boob forever. I assured her that I was going to buy another one. The $500 that I spent on a replacement doesn’t even measure up to the real thing,” Bauman said.

“God is good, He loves you, trust Him. One minute before the fateful call from the doctor and one minute after the call, I had the same faith. My faith didn’t change.”

Twelve years later, Bauman is cancer free. She encourages the importance of taking charge of how one  reacts to situations.

“Life is not about how successfully you execute plan A. It’s about how you smoothly slide into plan B and C,” Bauman said.

Bauman wanted a mural on the wall of her old farmhouse. By closing off a door, a mural could be added. As she was not able to climb ladders, Bauman’s husband, Rick, and his mother decided to tackle the project. The pair wanted everything to be perfect. Upon entering the room, Bauman discovered they had hung the wrong mural on the newly finished wall. After mentioning that fact to her husband who was standing at the top of the ladder, he responded, “It’s the one you want.”

“I could have stuck with plan A and got the mural changed but I made the choice to happily slide into plan B, “Bauman said.

One crucial part of Bauman’s faith walk is forgiveness. Through her faith walk, Bauman has learned that a lack of forgiveness can control a person.

“You can stay up all night and lose sleep over the person who wronged you. They probably got a good night’s sleep. Forgiveness is a gift from God that brings freedom,”Bauman said.

April 21, 2017


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