Serious illness. Infidelity. The loss of a child. Few of us can imagine going through all the things that Elizabeth Edwards had to endure. And she did it all on a public stage, with the grace of a ballerina, the assurance of a queen and the support of millions of women who saw Edwards as an inspiration.
I was certainly one of them. I admired how she balanced her home life with her job, even when her husband, John Edwards, was campaigning for president and vice president. I was so sad to learn she had cancer, and sadder still when doctors said it the prognosis was terminal. She died today at age 61.
I was agog when John Edwards admitted to cheating on Elizabeth. They had seemed so happy and real together, and they’d endured an event so tragic (the death of their teenage son) it threatens to pull many couples apart.
But even then, Elizabeth Edwards never played the victim, which she certainly could have, or publicly castigated her husband. She proceeded with class. When I’m having a bad day because I forgot to buy diapers or I’m running late for work, I think about Edwards and what she went through. And suddenly my big terrible issue doesn’t seem so big and terrible anymore.
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