Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Remembering Elizabeth Edwards...

The world lost a courageous woman today with the death of Elizabeth Edwards, after a long battle with cancer. She (sadly) is best known for being the estranged wife of former Senator John Edwards, the one-time vice-presidential candidate who also ran for president in 2004 and 2008. The mother of Cate, Emma Claire, Jack and Wade, who died at age 16, Edwards was 61 years old.

While struggling with her own health, she was an outspoken advocate for health care reform. She often wondered aloud how other women suffering from breast cancer or other illnesses would fare if they didn't have the personal wealth she did. She also shared with the public the most intimate struggles of her bouts with cancer, writing and speaking about the pain of losing her hair, the efforts to assure her children about their mother's future and the questions that lingered about how many days she had left to live.

But it was her grace under tremendous pressure that truly showed the world what a class act she was. She initially stood by John Edwards as rumors of his infidelity and fathering a child swirled around his second presidential campaign, despite his staunch denials. And even once he admitted the affair and they separated earlier this year, she never publicly castigated John, despite what I'm sure was tremendous embarrassment and betrayal.

When on December 6 she announced that doctors had told her further treatment would no longer do any good, she still tried to remain positive for her supporters, and wrote on her Facebook page:

"The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered. We know that. And yes, there are certainly times when we aren't able to muster as much strength and patience as we would like. It's called being human. But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful."

Truly a role model of courage and grace, even in dark times. Rest in peace.

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