Following Hope’s Path, Part XVEDITOR’S NOTE—This is the fifteenth story in an ongoing series that is following Kagawong’s Mary Buie and her brave battle with breast cancer. The series is chronicling Ms. Buie’s journey as she navigates through doctors’ appointments, surgery, chemotherapy and recovery as well as exploring the various groups and resources that exist on Manitoulin for women fighting the disease. No stranger to uphill battles, Ms. Buie, an English-trained nurse, pushed emphatically for Ontario to recognize midwifery as a medical discipline and then returned to university to re-qualify as a midwife before founding Manitoulin Midwifery.
KAGAWONG—Mary Buie is looking forward to the holidays this year. With her health and energy up she assured The Expositor she would be making the most of the season.
“I feel great,” said Ms. Buie. “I am doing well and so thankful that my health has improved and I have my energy back for the holidays.”
This time last year Ms. Buie was recovering from a modified radical mastectomy and undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Though she maintained her positive outlook, her energy was down and she was preparing for further treatment in the New Year.
2013 brought great news for Ms. Buie as she learned she was officially cancer free and began to regain her health and energy.
With Christmas now here, Ms. Buie has chosen to focus on time with family and her childhood traditions, which she can once again carry on sharing with them.
“I was born in November of 1944—just at the end of the war,” Ms. Buie told The Expositor. “I grew up in southern England in a semi-detached house. Growing up we would have a small three-foot tree in the front sitting room that we decorated with crepe paper chains and paper lanterns. We would also tie little crackers on the Christmas tree. It’s weird now thinking back that we only used that front room for Sunday tea or at Christmastime, but that’s how things were.”
Ms. Buie recalled fondly her Christmas dinner, which was always a roasted turkey and vegetables that her father had grown.
“My mother would make a Yule log decorated with holly and ivy,” continued Ms. Buie. “This year my daughter Jen will be making the Yule log when my husband John and I go to spend Christmas with her and her family in Calgary. It will be our first time all together there for the holidays.”
Ms. Buie said she will also be making Christmas pudding, just like her mother made when she was growing up and something she enjoys making with the help of her grandchildren.
“I am really looking forward to spending time with my grandson Chase over the holidays,” she shared. “He’s almost two and very sweet. He apparently loves to sit on Santa’s knee. It’s going to be so wonderful to see him and have the energy to play with him.”
When Ms. Buie and John return to Ontario in mid-January, they will be visiting with their son and other grandchildren.
“Christmas is such a wonderful time of year,” concluded Ms. Buie. “I am so blessed to have my health and to be spending time with family.”