Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Dedication To Elizabeth Edwards

When I now see anything written about Elizabeth Edwards, who recently died, my eyes water over, and I think of a brave, kind woman, whom I was fortunate enough to meet three years ago at a national Compassionate Friends Conference in Oklahoma City.

She knew she was dying at the time, yet she also knew she had a lot of work to still do and so, in spite of how she felt (she was on Chemo at that time and others) she continued on. She wanted to make sure she wrote down everything her children might want to know the answers to in their lifetime, so they could grow up to be fine human beings that she would be proud of. She anticipated every event, kept records of everything and participated completely in their lives. There were times during her illness she may not have been the perfect mother, but she wanted to do as much as possible in the time she had left.

Elizabeth knew the meaning of grief. Her 16-year-old son Wade was killed in an automobile accident in 1997. But Elizabeth was a survivor, as we all can be, and eventually had more children, but never forgetting her son in the process or all the help and kindness from others she received during those dark days.

She once said she hoped she could live eight more years, until her youngest was out of high school, so she could be there for him, but it was not to be. She tried to do as much as she could not only for her family but also for others. The people she met during her political life and became passionate about, the people she met at that Compassionate Friends Conference that she spoke with, when she was so ill but struggling to keep going, and the times she felt helpless and could do no more but always hoping that tomorrow would be a better day…that was Elizabeth, always with a smile on her face and a golden heart.

Her book “Saving Graces” and her newest “Resilience” give one a fascinating look into her life and struggles and more importantly, to the kind of person she was.

She left all of us with a saying that I will always keep and treasure, for it is a truth for all of us to follow in our lifetime:

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.
Elizabeth Edwards
(1949 – 2010)

No comments:

Post a Comment