Elizabeth Edwards

I don't profess to know a whole lot about Elizabeth Edwards, only what I've gleaned from articles and interviews. But she was an inspiration to me.

Aside from the everyday grind that we all face, she endured three separate incidences that, each on their own, could have very well driven her past the breaking point.

Her son Wade died in a car accident. He was 16. I have a 16 year old son. I cannot imagine what losing a child feels like. I can't even begin to imagine.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer. While her husband was on the campaign trail for the Presidency of the United States, she found a lump. She never quit stumping for her man, though. And even when she faced the fact that this wasn't the kind of cancer that she could beat, she put on her game face and kept on going.

Then, as if losing a child and finding out you have incurable cancer wasn't enough, her husband admitted to her that he'd had an affair.

Oh, and the person with whom he'd been affairing? She had a baby.

At that moment, with all eyes on her, Elizabeth could have taken a deep breath, screamed at the top of her lungs and then gone full-on Betty Broderick. She could have hired the sharkiest, most blood-thirsty attorney out there and ripped John Edwards a new one. And she could have made sure that the "filmmaker" who hosted the love-child had a miserable existence from that day forward.

But she didn't.

She took the high road. Yeah, she wrote a book, yeah, she did interviews, but she did all of it with dignity and aplomb. She never once mentioned the other woman by name, a tactic that I myself have employed. When you call someone by their given name, you acknowledge their presence. You humanize them. She chose to do neither.

She had been bracing her children for her inevitable death for the past few years. She said that when the family first sat down to address the severity of her disease and the certainty of her losing the battle, she said, "Everyone here who isn't going to die raise their hands" (or something to that effect). She started a letter to her children back then and supposedly added to it often. A letter that her children will be able to read for the rest of their lives. Although it won't replace having Mommy there, it will be almost like a phone call or an email. A reminder that she loves them.

She showed us how to live, how to forgive with grace. She showed us all how to deal with adversity, how to face it with a brilliant, quiet ferociousness. And in the end, she showed us how to leave. Surrounded by family, her children and her estranged husband.

Rest in peace, strong woman. Finally, you can rest.


  1. An inspirational woman who left our world way too soon.

  2. I was surprised at my level of sadness when I heard of her death. I just thought maybe she'd make it. She really was a pillar of grace and strength and dignity thru it all.


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