Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Elizabeth Edwards' Resilience

“The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered,” Elizabeth Edwards wrote on her recent Facebook post. “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.”
Resilience: Reflections on the Burdens and Gifts of Facing Life's Adversities
Last year, before Mom passed away in August, she and I read Elizabeth Edward's book, Resilience, together. We also listened to Elizabeth read it on the audio book version, and we were blessed by Elizabeth sharing her journey with cancer so openly, as well as the other struggles she's endured. If you haven't read her book, I'd encourage you to. I especially enjoyed hearing Elizabeth read it aloud.

Yesterday in his blog post, Mike Isaac expressed so well what I felt as I heard the news that Elizabeth's cancer has spread to her liver, and as I read her Facebook post. Here are his words...

"There aren’t many of us that can say that their lives haven’t been affected, directly or indirectly, by cancer. Everyone has a loved one, a friend, a family member stricken with the disease. Whomever the diagnosis is given to, and however it comes, it’s a terrible thing to hear. My heart goes out to Edwards and her family during this emotional time.

Telling, though, more than the content of Mrs. Edwards strong and beautiful words, is the medium in which they have been cast. The press release issued by the family did the work necessary to distribute the facts of Mrs. Edwards’ health situation. The Facebook post shed insight into her person. 
Far more than any public address could have conveyed, Edwards’ words feel earnest; they’re the contemplative and highly personal thoughts that can only come from a person when a microphone isn’t being thrust in their face to record a statement. When a reporter isn’t trying to ask questions about how their last moments will be spent. It’s studied thought – meditated. I can imagine Mrs. Edwards posting it from her home computer, like she did her picture below, three months ago:
C/o Edwards' Facebook page, circa September 2010.
We live in a different age. One in which the intensely personal can become completely transpersonal, mass-distributed, in a matter of clicks and seconds. Some may find it distressing, even inappropriate, to use a site such as Facebook for addressing matters of the utmost gravity.
Others, like myself, will find it a privilege to read those words, to experience another’s private thoughts on mortality in one shared intimate moment. Mrs. Edwards obviously did not find it inappropriate to share her thoughts with the world, and with whomever it would help in doing so.
And for that, I applaud her."


[Me here again...] I applaud Elizabeth too for sharing her journey in such a courageous and open manner. I want to do a better job of that in my own life, and Elizabeth is helping me do that. Would you join me in praying for her and her family during their last days together here? Precious moments, for sure.

10 comments:

  1. I read this last night on the news, and it made me so sad. All the wealth, the supposed glamour of political life, all fades away at a time like this. I hope there are some special moments for her and her family during these last days.

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  2. So true, Linda. Strip away all else, and the heart of everything and everyone lies in an eternal relationship with Christ. Joining you in those prayers...

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  3. When I heard the news of her condition, it sadden me. Tammy you and I and many others know the feeling of that moment when the medical profession tells a loved one that they have exhausted all their efforts to help them. A very sobering moment and yet with Christ there is always an assurance that something is holding you together...that in that sinking moment, beneath your feet IS a solid ground. We know that it is Jesus, keeping us, holding us, comforting us. I pray that Elizabeth and her family will have that assurance today and in the days to come. That Christ will be real to them...that He IS our all in all. If I could be near her now I would hug her tightly, because I believe that is what Jesus would do. Instead I join with you in prayer and release her to God's love for I know that He is working constantly to bring about His purpose.
    Love,Veronica

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  4. Well said, Veronica. So well said. Much love, lady.

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  5. Just heard that Elizabeth passed away... Praying she's at peace with Christ and for comfort for her family.

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  6. Yes, I just heard too. I agree in prayer with you.

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  7. She is with Angels now

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  8. Finally releif from all she has gone through.

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  9. I'm sad to hear of her passing--I too, know the pain of watching your loved one pass away with cancer--our son passed 2 years ago last July; I gave him birth, witnessed his 'first' breath...also there for his 'last' breath...I am sooo looking forward to Heaven when we have no more partings and no more death, sorrow or tears....the joy I have 'left' is our sweet grandchildren: age, 13 & 11....I'm praying for the Edwards Family tonight......

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  10. Thanks, friends. As I head to bed tonight, I'm still thinking about her, and I can't help but wonder if Mom was there to greet Elizabeth when she reached Home.

    Anonymous, I'm praying for you too. Did we happen to hug in line at ICRS a couple of years back? When you shared that you had lost your son (and we already knew that Mom's chances of staying with us weren't good)? Your kindness has really stayed with me. If this is you, I remember you well, dear friend, and pray for you often. Much love...

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