“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.”
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."