Elizabeth Edwards, who was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly after her husband John Edwards lost his bid for U.S. Vice President in 2004, has passed away at her family home in Chapel Hill, N.C., at age 61. But her influence lives on.
A family statement to the press said: "Today we have lost the comfort of Elizabeth's presence but she remains the heart of this family. We love her and will never know anyone more inspiring or full of life."
We also are inspired by Elizabeth Edwards -- mother, attorney and best-selling author -- who faced many challenges in her life with dignity, forgiveness and grace. When we speak on this site about what it means to be a Daily Defender of Good Karma, we’re talking about women like Edwards.
This caring Cancer was born Mary Elizabeth Anania on July 3, 1949, in Jacksonville, Florida. Her Sun sign alone points to being sympathetic, nurturing, supportive and sensitive to the emotional needs of other people -- qualities she expressed through her work advocating for the poor and for health care reform.
Edwards’ birth chart also shows both Mercury and Mars in Gemini, which points to a lively, eager mind and naturally gifted communicator who was always on the go. This mental agility is likely what helped Edwards remain so optimistic even while facing the biggest trials of her life. She lost her 16-year-old son to a car accident in 1996. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004. She learned of her husband’s affair (and child) with Rielle Hunter in 2006, while her cancer was in remission. Then her cancer returned, spread and was pronounced incurable in 2007.
Edwards faced all these challenges while insisting on remaining positive, and she became a source of inspiration for others by talking about it all in her book “Saving Graces: Finding Solace and Strength from Friends and Strangers," written in 2006 after her initial cancer diagnosis.
We’ll leave you with these inspiring final words from Elizabeth Edwards’ last Facebook post, because we couldn't say it any better ourselves:
"The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered. We know that. And, yes, there are certainly times when we aren't able to muster as much strength and patience as we would like. It's called being human," she wrote.
"But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful. It isn't possible to put into words the love and gratitude I feel to everyone who has and continues to support and inspire me every day. To you I simply say: you know."