I have always found Elizabeth Edwards to be a fascinating woman.
When I heard about her death yesterday morning, I admit I was very sad–and not just sad in the way a person is sad about any death. I was sad because Elizabeth leaves behind young children. And there is no way the loss of their mother will do anything less than change every day of the rest of their lives.
Elizabeth has always intrigued me. Though we would find ourselves arriving at very different conclusions about many issues–politically and otherwise–she has fascinated me because of her apparent devotion to her children.
And here is what has been on my mind today. By all accounts, Elizabeth was a professional woman. She was an attorney, a best-selling author, and a political activist. During her husband’s presidential bid, she was his chief policy advisor. She was witty, brilliant, and charismatic.
Yesterday, I heard Larry King refer to her as one of the most fascinating people he had ever interviewed.
Yet, if you watch the news reports, read the stories, and listen to the commentators, you will hear them extol her virtues as a mother and caretaker. While watching reports about her life yesterday, the tallies in the “she was a wonderful mother” column far outnumbered the tallies in the “she was a political genius” column.
And by all accounts, she was both.
Yet at the end of life, it is the natural response to extol those efforts that are made on behalf of home and family. Meaning motherhood–and in fact all things domestic–is alive and well. Even if the only time we discuss it is on the day of reckoning.
Food for thought.