If I had suffered through the loss of a son, been treated for breast cancer, found out my husband had been cheating on me, had him insist on running for president – making the news of the affair that much bigger when it broke – then found out he lied about the scope of the relationship and even had a child with his mistress, could I be as gracious as Elizabeth Edwards? Nope. There’s not a chance. And I’m sure my husband knows that too.
When the news came out this week that Elizabeth Edwards only had weeks to live, but then suddenly died the next day, much of the focus has rightly been on her grace and tact despite awful circumstances. Unfortunately, each report I’ve read has mentioned her husband’s affair and the aftermath. The past is rightly mentioned, especially because it supports the premise that she acted with grace when she had every right to not do so, but it’s awful that her husband’s jackass decisions cast this shadow over her legacy.
I have no idea about what was said or transpired between John and Elizabeth behind closed doors. Maybe she threatened to go Lorena Bobbitt on him, maybe he sincerely apologized, maybe guilt haunts him daily. His actions caused added pain where there had already been so much. If I were in her shoes, news accounts of the affair couldn’t quote me because every other word would begin with the letter f. I don’t know if I could fight off becoming a dark and embittered person, especially knowing that I was going to be the parent unlikely to see our kids into adulthood.
I feel awful for her children. It’s always sad when a mother dies. While it’s no replacement for her being with them, hopefully memories of their mother’s spirit and grace will help sustain them.
Photo from Facebook.