Letters to My Children

Elizabeth Edwards wears a brave face. Campaigning for her husband, John, she has somehow managed to brush aside the dread and fears of her incurable cancer to lead a normal life—well, normal for a presidential candidate’s wife. Her busy days of travel and speeches would wear anyone down, but combine that with her illness and chemotherapy and the many people whose good wishes and advice can’t help but remind her constantly of her mortality, and you have a wonder-woman in my books. How does she do it?

Elizabeth sometimes wonders if she is doing the right thing; while looking death in the eye should she even bother campaigning but instead be spending quality time with her children and husband? She says, “I worry if this is right, but I don’t have any good choices…I have a lot of ways I could be spending my time. I believe this is not a waste of time.” She is doing what she wants to do, what she feels is important and worthwhile to do and it seems to give her energy and purpose.

Elizabeth Edwards is working on what she calls a “dying letter,” or a “guide to life” for her children. She is filling each letter with practical advice to her three children on how to lead a good life, including important things to think about to help ensure their happiness and fulfillment. What a wonderful way to impart her mother’s wisdom to children she may not see grow up.

This is something to think about, this “dying letter.” Whether we mothers are young or old, I think our children would appreciate having a special letter written by our mother. Whether it consists of worldly advice or sentiments about what being a mother means to us, is that not a priceless gift we could leave to our beloveds? A “dying letter” to us might be a “letter of life” to our children. Best wishes, Elizabeth.

Information taken from the Wall Street Journal, Weekend Edition, July 21-22, 2007 “The Nights and Days of Elizabeth Edwards”


About moonbridgebooks

Co-author of Cherry Blossoms in Twilight, a WWII Japan memoir of her mother's childhood; author of Poems That Come to Mind, for caregivers of dementia patients; Co-author/Editor of Battlefield Doc, a medic's memoir of combat duty during the Korean War; life writing enthusiast; loves history and culture (especially Japan), poetry, and cats
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