I guess we are always shocked when someone we think we know, or actually know, dies. That’s the way I felt this morning when I heard the news that Elizabeth Edwards had passed. Monday’s announcement that she was beyond treatment and only had a few months to live at least gave us a false hope that she would indeed live for a while more, not one day. I guess that’s the shocker. What a woman. What an inspiration. She impressed me as a down to earth mom who got up each day to face whatever challenges would confront a woman with young children. No fuss. Back in the day, which now seems like a hundred years ago, during the presidential campaign of ’08 it was fun to listen to her practical observations of what was going on. Elizabeth, it seemed, would love to have you over for coffee and a donut in her kitchen. At the time I was leaning toward her husband as a possible candidate for president. I thought his ideas on how to remedy poverty in this country were refreshing. I also felt that Elizabeth was behind him 100%. Then the bottom dropped out when she announced that her breast cancer had returned. That’s when things began to change for me. I wanted her to run for president. Having a tight grip on her on mortality she would have brought a depth of spirit to the White House. But it was not to be.
Later, the revelation that Mr. Squeaky-Clean had an affair which produced a child changed everything again. I watched, like most of the TMZ crowd how she would react. I am sure she forgave him, but did not want to live with him anymore. Gutsy and practical she was. I applauded her for not compromising and for her strength. Sometimes we think forgiveness also means forget-ness. It doesn’t. I don’t think it’s in our DNA to forget, but that doesn’t mean we have to dredge up the same feelings every time we think about something that happened to us. It means a practical remembrance that forgiveness is not a one shot deal. It happens over time and there are consequences for actions.
I personally will miss Elizabeth Edwards for her character and warmth. I hope the kids do all right and that John begins his rehabilitation.
and so it goes…