She is finally at peace. Born Mary Elizabeth Anania, her sunrise was July 3, 1949; sunset, December 7, 2010. Elizabeth passed away on a Tuesday at her home in Chapel Hill, NC after a long and courageous battle with breast cancer.
Although I might not have agreed with some of her political stances, I admire and respect the lady for reasons different than what one may expect.
- Her family meant everything to her. Through the years she managed a very elegant balance between her home life with her husband and children, her professional career as an attorney, then later becoming her husband’s chief policy advisor during a presidential bid.
- Her courageousness and perseverance was inspiring to all who have fought a disease and those who continue to fight.
- She maintained such grace and poise after their oldest son Wade was killed in a car crash (age 17) in 1996. I cannot imagine what strength it must take to go on after the death of one of your own children.
- She lived her private life on a public stage. Yeah, I’m gonna go there. The level of humiliation she must have endured after her husbands indiscretions came to light had to have been gut wrenching. I simply can’t think of any other term to describe it.
In September 2006, Edwards released a book, Saving Graces: Finding Solace and Strength from Friends and Strangers, focusing on the death of her son and her illness. In May 2009, she released a second book, Resilience: Reflections on the Burdens and Gifts of Facing Life’s Adversities, further detailing her illness, the deaths of her father and son, the effect of these events on her marriage, her husband’s infidelity, and the general state of health care in America.
On December 6, 2010, Elizabeth’s family announced that she had stopped cancer treatment after her doctors advised her that further treatment would be ‘unproductive’. The cancer had metastasized to her liver, and she had been advised she had several weeks to live. Her family members, including her estranged husband John, were with her. It was on this day she posted her last message on Facebook:
You all know that I have been sustained throughout my life by three saving graces – my family, my friends, and a faith in the power of resilience and hope. These graces have carried me through difficult times and they have brought more joy to the good times than I ever could have imagined. 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 always felt that Wade was an angel, and that one day she would be able to see him again. Somehow I feel you’ve already found Wade, dear Elizabeth. May you rest in peace now.
Factual source: Wikipedia