Saturday, May 30, 2009

Elizabeth Edwards' Resilience

I’m a native North Carolinian, and I loved John Edwards and believe in many of the causes he believes in. I discounted the National Inquirer’s claim at first because I believed John Edwards was different from many of our politicians. When I found out the Inquirer was right, I was so disappointed in him.

I saw Elizabeth Edwards’ interview with Oprah and other media reports before I read her book, Resilience. John’s affair has been the subject of such interviews in light of Elizabeth’s new book. Eventually, I think people forget about the bad behaviors of people in the media spotlight. I wondered if America was just to the point of forgetting it happened when she brought it all back up and again focused attention on back to her husband’s infidelity. Then I started reading the book.

I thought John’s affair would take up more of the book that it did based on the attention the affair was again getting. Elizabeth didn’t start talking about the affair until page 169, and there are only 213 pages in the book. She spent many more pages talking about the grief she experienced in 1996 when their oldest child, Wade, was killed in a car accident. I had read Elizabeth’s first book, Saving Graces, when it came out two years ago. In it she talked in great detail about her first bout with cancer and Wade’s death. Based on her two books, I’d venture to say that Wade’s death has been the biggest roadblock in her life, bigger than her parents’ failing health, terminal cancer, or being betrayed by her spouse.

She wrote that she wasn’t as scared as she might have been when she was rediagnosed with terminal breast cancer that had spread to her bones. She said both, “it wasn’t as tough as Wade’s death, so I could do it,” and “death looks different to someone who has placed a child in the ground.”

So maybe her husband’s infidelity is not what she wants to focus on for whatever time she has left.

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