December 8, 2010

Elizabeth Edwards, RIP

God I just hated seeing that headline yesterday. I knew she had taken a turn for the worse, but didn't realize how bad.

But what a woman! What an amazing woman. And I have multiple fears about how she will be remembered in this culture.

First, as a victim. If anyone was not a victim in the face of tragedy, it was Elizabeth Edwards. Losing a teen child, breast cancer, and then a cheating husband--and I never saw a defeated person. She was out there talking about people and what mattered. I don't know that I can remember a braver person.

Second, much as I am afraid that Helen Keller is misremembered only for her handicapped status, Edwards will be remembered by those on the right as a tragic victim of breast cancer and proof that John Edwards was a fraud. They won't remember her tirelessly fighting for universal healthcare and her fight against poverty. She was not just some tragic story, she was a shaper of policy, and a reformer.

I grieve this morning because we lost a champion yesterday. And I can only imagine the pain for her children and those closest to her. But I think in awe about her strength and wonder if I have even a scintilla of it inside me.

RIP, Elizabeth Edwards. You will be missed.

1 comment:

Smitty said...

The NPR piece on her this morning was nicely done. What really grabbed me was that, when asked about her faith, she didn't give the political answer that most politicians and their spouses feel like they "have" to give about being strong and authoritative in their faith. She instead said, to paraphrase, that she couldn't and wouldn't pray to a God who would kill her child by blowing him off a highway. And why would a God that would so readily kill her kid then lift a finger to save her from breast cancer?

Honest and courageous to the very end. That kind of honesty, especially in our country, is rare and will be missed.