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Welcome to my musings on pop culture and parenting. I am the Pop Mama and this is a safe place to steal away from your screaming child and get your fix on what's up with Beyonce and great poop stain remover tips.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A SuperMom

After a hellish day yesterday I was working on my laptop while The Biggest Loser played in the background and just as I was about to log off I learned that Elizabeth Edwards had passed away.  Immediately, a wave of sorrow washed over me as I couldn't help but think of her three children -- two of them very young.  Elizabeth Edwards was 61 (the same age as my mother) and she had battled cancer for the past 6 years...very publicly, becoming an advocate for cancer awareness and a symbol of strength. 

My hellish day didn't seem so hellish as I thought about her daughter Cate, who at 28 will not have a mother to guide her when she herself becomes one.  I thought about my own mother, who had generously baby- sat for Cam just hours before when my husband and I needed a quick dinner out -- alone.  I thought about all the advice and help and comfort my mother has given me (and continues to give) as my journey through new-motherhood bumps along.  I also thought about how Cate will be a surrogate mother to her younger sister (Emma Claire) and younger brother (Jack) and what a comfort that will be for all of them.  My heart aches for their loss and the road of grieving ahead.  

While she had her own struggles with her health and in her marriage, Elizabeth Edwards always seemed so strong and hopeful -- but also real.  I didn't see an "actor" or the gilded wife of a politician when she did interviews.  I mostly saw a real woman, a real mother -- who had lost a child and been betrayed by her husband -- but still kept going to help others and be a mother to her children.  It was clear in interviews and in her work how much she adored her family.  It was clear that they were her top priority.  Even if I didn't agree with all of her choices, I still respected her and admired her work as a cancer and health care advocate.  She was graceful -- or maybe gracious is a better word.  When I first read an interview she had done, back when John Edwards was running for Vice President, I felt that she was very relatable.  I liked that she was open about the loss of her son, Wade, and that she was open about her desire to have more children later in life.  Even though her husband turned out to be a complete and utter disgrace (at least in my eyes), I think her goodness and optimistic perspective allowed her to rise above all of the scandal that surrounded her and her family.  

It doesn't seem real that she is really gone.  I always thought, foolishly, that she would beat the cancer -- or at least live for many more years.  Elizabeth Edwards was so many things and so many people loved her, but most importantly, she was a mother and three hearts are aching.  Let all of us count our blessings, remember our own mothers and hug our children -- because life is way too short.  She left the following final message on her Facebook page, showing her strength -- "I have been sustained throughout my life by three saving graces--my family, my friends, and a faith in the power of resilience and hope."       

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