Oftentimes in life we find ourselves at a crossroads, unsure of what’s ahead of us and how we could possibly move forward. The trials and tribulations we face every day can have resounding impacts on our lives. Great challenges can produce great beauty.
For Concordia at Cabot resident artist Sandy Bauer, the word trial does not exist.
Coming to Concordia nearly eight years ago, Sandy was faced with one of the most difficult challenges anyone could imagine. A stroke occurred in the left side of her brain, leaving the right side of her body completely paralyzed.
This devastating setback came with a long list of new challenges, especially for someone who was formerly right-handed.
One of seven children born in Pittsburgh, Sandy moved to Cabot with her family at a young age.
Meeting her husband later on, Sandy began working for Moonlight Mushrooms, the only underground mushroom farm in the United States. She would work there; for nearly 30 years.
“I grew up in the area, and eventually had a family member who introduced me to Concordia,” Sandy said.
After her stroke occurred, Sandy already knew of Concordia’s excellent Outpatient Physical Therapy program and came to Cabot for rehabilitation.
Undergoing nearly five years of treatment, she elected to move to Concordia permanently.
“Everything about Concordia is my favorite,” she said. “The other residents, the staff, the activities - everything.”
The remarkable part about Sandy’s story however, is not just her courageous spirit and ability to overcome any challenge in her path, but also her ingenious artistic ability.
As part of the 2019 Concordia calendar titled “Brush Strokes,” Sandy’s artwork was chosen to be featured not once, but twice - her illustrations gracing the front cover and depicting the month of March.
What’s even more impressive: before coming to Concordia, Sandy had never painted.
Gayle Funk, a Concordia Lutheran Ministries Activities Assistant and long-time friend, introduced her to painting during her time in therapy.
“It just kind of started,” Sandy said. “Everyone else was painting and I thought, I guess I can paint a little bit too.”
Her artistic process is simple; working with Gayle, Sandy chooses a picture she likes, most often something from nature - and Gayle gets to work sketching out the image.
“Sandy is definitely a perfectionist,” Gayle said. “She knows exactly what she wants and how to get there. I just help her draw.”
Teaching herself to paint with her left-hand, Sandy illustrated a collection of artworks that range from landscapes to animals. She gives her finished pieces to her friends and family.
The favorite pieces in her collection, however, she saves to decorate her room in the Lund Care Center.
“Sandy encourages people,” Gayle said. “She tells them to give painting a try even if they’re just starting out. She encourages me to keep trying new things every day.”
To learn more about the senior care services, physical therapy and retirement living options offered at Concordia at Cabot, visit www.ConcordiaCabot.org or schedule a tour today. Call our administrative headquarters at (724) 352-1571 or message us through the Contact Form on our website. To request a free copy of the 2019 Concordia Calendar, “Brush Strokes,” call the Public Relations Department at 724-352-1571, ext. 8266.