By Selika Joshia Gore
I sit at my computer with tears in my eyes, saddened by the loss of a woman that I never met and had no real connection to. Yet truthfully she was everyone. Elizabeth Edwards lived her last years with a dignity and strength, not necessarily quietly, that many women admire. When she believed her partner, and husband was wronged she championed his causes, stood by his side and supported him. Qualities we all admire. But more admirable is the lesson that she taught women everywhere was that, when he is not respecting you, when things are not going as planned, when the future looks uncertain without a man, it doesn’t mean you have to lay down and take it. With fortitude she took stock of her future with a man who had publically humiliated her and determined that no matter what, she loved herself enough to move on. This should be a mantra for women everywhere. We respect our partners, love care and champion them, but we must always learn to love and respect ourselves first. And if, we choose to move on we do so with a dignity that leaves our children in a place where they have parents that put them first.
As the child of a woman who fought cancer and did not survive, I first thought my emotional connection to Elizabeth Edwards was born of my own familial experience. But I believe in fact it is born out of sheer admiration for the lessons that she has conveyed. I know from personal experience that time does not heal, but only makes the pain more bearable. I wish to Elizabeth’s friends and family healing that includes pride in the legacy that Elizabeth Edwards has left us all.