Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ode to Elizabeth Edwards

People love to hear of a wedding and even love hearing about the juicy details of a marriage on the rocks. In the last few years of her life, Elizabeth Edwards had to face to loss of the affection of her husband of 30+ years. He allowed himself to become involved with another woman.

Since his first attempt to get into the White House, I have followed Edward's career. I must admit I've looked at them and thought them to be in a passionless phase of their marriage. I know all to well how the tempo changes in long term relations. As a matter of fact, that is one of the things that s most beneficial about them. Things can change in an instant.

When she got pregnant with her last children, my mind immediately told me she had problems letting go. I did not know at the time she had lost her 18 year old son. I did believe she was trying to keep her husband. She looked a lot older than he. Life seemed to have taken its toll on her. Her revelation that she had not had a mammogram for years was proof that she was thinking more of others than ourselves. She payed the ultimate price for her self-negligence and so did her young children who she has left behind to be raised by her husband and possibly some other woman.

As women, we need to be more mindful of who we are and what we are doing with what God has given us. For many of, the dream of being a wife and mother has been a huge of our development. We get in those positions and some of us literally forget we have a life. We do all we can for others and won't even take the time to check on ourselves once a year. This is so amazing to me.

Yeah, I did hate myself for a long time. During that period, I still went to the doctor. I still did what I needed to do for myself. I gave my body the honor it deserved. I have not gotten sleep for days and have overextended myself for others, but I have never neglected myself When it comes to truly paying attention to my health. I make sure I stay on top of me because I want to live.

When I was younger and stupid, I thought just not being alive would solve my problems. I often wished to "just die." I began the habit of taking an aspirin everyday thinking it would kill me. I laugh every time I see a commercial that talks about the healing properties of aspirin. By the time I got into my 30's my perspective on life changed dramatically and I was ready to live. I had chosen a man to marry who was the opposite of me in every way, so our journey together was rough, unpredictable, and sometime abusive on both our parts.

We began to even out because I began to get more in tune with myself and defining who I was and what I was and was not willing to live with. The more I focused on my personal development the better my life got around me, or should I say I had less time to dwell on others and what they were and were not doing.

It is just my opinion, but I saw Elizabeth Edwards as a very smart and intelligent woman who really thought she could and would have it all. At some points in her life I am sure she felt like she did, but as it has been revealed, something was amiss and I do believe it was her lack of self-care and awareness that ultimately was her demise, as it is for us all on some level. We are the creators of our life and lifestyle. We set the standards for acceptable care and comfort. We are the ones who have the final say. In the end, I know she saw it clearly. Her book reveals a lot of clarity.

Her relationship with her husband is not that different from most women who marry men with political aspirations. There is so much that goes along with the territory that you have to be numb to some of it. You have to know that there are forces, of the female persuasion just waiting to make their mark on your husband. I know she has had to face the possibility of him being unfaithful before. As far as we know, this is the only time a child has been involved.

Then there are the interviews that the woman has given stating that he has told her he loves her and that they'll be together. None of this helped Elizabeth as she fought the good fight to stay alive for the children she bore so late in life.

I wrote this to encourage women who may be going through some of the same things she went through, the loss of a child, a failing marriage, lack of self-care. I want to encourage you to look at loss as an opportunity for gain, not to re do, or do-over. When people leave us, we must not lean on our own understanding, we must allow nature to continue to take its course.

I made sure I watched Elizabeth whenever she was interviewed and there seemed to be twinges of regret in her phrases. I could tell she knew her choices could have and may should have been different, especially when it came to taking care of her health. Her lack of consideration for herself surely contributed to her leaving before she was ready.

I can say with confidence I have no regrets. I have done my duty. I have raised children who are kind and considerate, hardworking and generous. I am proud of them, but at the same time I have worked on myself with each of them, letting them go so they can become the people the were meant to be. I am looking forward to whatever time I have left with my husband. If he should die before me, I am looking forward to whatever is next.

Go to the doctor.

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