Woman to Women
The Blame Game
It’s a mistake to throw stones at Elizabeth Edwards
-Mary Beth Sammons
When it comes to married men cheating on their wives, I personally have absolutely no sympathy and for reasons of pride alone, am the first to say: “Done.” “Out of here,” “Que sera, sera,” or in the words of Beyonce: “To the left, to the left.”
There is no reason I can imagine why anyone has to put up with such humiliation, unless they of course have a reason that is complicated and makes sense on a number of emotional levels that is none of anyone else’s business but the couple involved.
So tonight, as I read the headlines that the Democrats are lambasting Elizabeth Edwards for keeping her husband’s affair a secret, I am ready to hop on the first plane to North Carolina to give her a big hug. Then, I want to don boxing gloves and call these political scapegoater bullies into the ring and scream: How dare you?
How DARE they question the “recklessness” of HER keeping the affair of her hubbie, John, a former U.S. senator and two-time presidential candidate under wraps? Oh, yeah, right. Her fault. I’m not saying this because I perceive her some victim wife. Not at all. This is a woman who is a visiting Harvard fellow. A woman who is poised to play a significant role in shaping healthcare in this country; she is especially passionate about giving voice to the needs of hospice patients and is playing a significant role in advocacy in the national plight of those facing the challenge of imminent death, fighting for their dignity.
I for one applaud Elizabeth Edwards as a woman of incredible strength and courage, against all odd. One of the most inspiring interviews I have ever been involved in as an editor, was in 2007 when a writer I worked with was the first to interview Elizabeth. She was appearing at her first of a national tour of book signings for her memoir, a book that chronicled the most wrenching moments of her life – the death of the couple’s 16-year-old son Wade and her diagnosis with breast cancer. I remember the writer calling me after the interview and saying “Wow, she is a very special woman.” And I remember reading everything I could about her and agreeing.
So, the Democrats tonight are casting stones at Elizabeth Edwards, a woman who has surmounted the death of her son. A woman who has reinvented her family and given life to two more younger children. A woman committed to helping others navigate illness and loss. A woman who has terminal cancer and still continues to march to the edge of the cliff to reach back and help others on the illness journey. And a woman who is a mom of three children, she obviously is determined to protect and shield them from the sins of the father. I applaud her courage for what may be one of a woman who has faced so many life disappointments, that all she knows is that she has her own strength and only that to keep on keeping on, for her self, for her children and for others who need her to inspire them as they face adversity. What is she supposed to do? Broadcast that in her most vulnerable time of need, when she faces the reoccurrence of a cancer that is now terminal, that she is alone?
How dare they?