Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Elizabeth Edwards

When I was in the thick of it, I drew inspiration from where I could get it. That may sound sappy. But two sources in particular were very helpful--Lance Armstrong and Elizabeth Edwards. I've written about Lance Armstrong before, but not about Elizabeth Edwards. She passed away of cancer, rather suddenly it seems, after a long, long battle. If that makes sense. Armstrong wrote about survival and recovery, the "return;" Edwards became more of a model for temperance and grace when faced with a seemingly hopeless prognosis.

I listened to a segment about her on NPR on the way to work this morning, it was a recording of her talking about her childhood remembrance of the Japanese festival called Obon, which honors the deceased. She remembered in particular the custom of releasing floating lanterns into a river.

(Photo credit:

Sometimes I think we lack in good ritual ceremony to remember the deceased here in the U.S. Firing guns into the air doesn't quite cut it for me....

Anyhow, bon voyage, Ms. Edwards, enjoy your ride on the Cosmos Mariner, and thank you for your help. Here's a link to a more eloquent eulogy: You have to read the quotes about her philosophy in the face of cancer and the death of her son.

Speaking of class, please check out Kevin is one of the original gangstas of PMP.

Okay, the best way to honor these people is to remember what they have taught you, incorporate those lessons into your life, and then to move onward, live fully, and enjoy! So, thank you Elizabeth, Kevin, Lance, and all the others, and on to the holiday season!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this. A year ago, I was frantically doing the diagnosis dance, and it was right before Christmas that a wonderful radiologist finally figured out what all that "stuff" was inside of me (he was also the first dr. to actually take the time to talk with me honestly, person-to-person). My MOAS took place on Martin Luther King, Jr. day. Now, I find it strange to be in a perpetual "recovery" mode. I wonder if I will ever get out of it, or if my long scar will always remind me of that amazing (fearful and awful, yet amazing, as well) experience. Perhaps because of the upcoming anniversary, I find myself a bit pensive, a bit scared of the next CT scan, a bit more ready to fall into thinking about the uncertain future rather than focusing on the wonder of the present. Through your blog, I found Kevin's blog, which is a beautiful, difficult reminder of what we all will face someday, regardless of any medical diagnosis. So, thank you for your blog -- it's nice to have unseen companions out there.

Dan said...

Dear Anonymous--I love the phrase "perpetual recovery." I totally get where you are coming from. Thanks for posting!