she was elizabeth anania until her firstborn,
died in a car accident.
to honor her son, she took his last name:
elizabeth edwards was . . .
. . . born with the first name mary
[but ever preferred her middle name].
. . . the daughter of a navy pilot.
. . . an english & law school graduate of the
university of north carolina at chapel hill.
. . . a lucrative bankruptcy/public-service law
attorney until her son's tragic death.
. . . a stay-at-home mom to her daughter Cate, &
later, to a younger son & daughter.
. . . chief policy adviser for her husband, senator
& democratic vice-presidential candidate john edwards.
. . . the self-described "anti-barbie," for both
her real-woman figure & real-woman intellect.
. . . "the most refreshing political spouse since eleanor roosevelt," according to o magazine.
. . . a steadfast spouse, standing by her man through
multiple layers of highly public lies about his infidelity.
. . . a proponent of same-sex marriage.
. . . an opponent of the iraq war.
. . . a fearless ann coulter aggressor.
. . . a healthcare advocate.
. . . a six-year cancer survivor.
. . . the heart of her family, according to them.
she died december 7th at the age of 61,
encircled by her dear friends & family,
including her estranged husband.
she left an amazing legacy
for her children & our country.
smart, savvy, brave, inspirational, resilient,
full of faith & the definition of grace.
rest in peace, elizabeth,
in the open arms of your beloved son.
"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 & patience as we would like. it's called being human. but i have found that in the simple act of living with hope, & in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days i do have are made all the more meaningful & precious. and for that i am grateful."
[our newly created seasonal shelf reflecting autumn, 12.1.2010]
just in case
your december has been too full
to note it,
i've been gone.
gone from the blog.
i didn't plan my bloggy absence.
it just sort of happened, amid
the fullness of december.
full of joy. full of light. full of song.
full of giving. full of toasting. full of twinkling.
just plain full.
so now, as we roll [almost literally] into the new year,
the fullness of december is finally ebbing
& the blog returns to room of its own.
so here i am. again!
i thought i'd begin [again] by sharing
three of our family's december traditions.
1. our advent calendar. our advent calendar is no family heirloom, but it does remind me of the one my grandmother made & we used growing up. bought at hallmark [full disclosure: i'm wholly hooked on hallmark, especially around the holidays], ours is super-simple, made of felt with little ornaments that stick on with magnets. the kids argue annually over who gets to stick up december 1 & who gets to stick december 25 up. with no treats to be gleaned, the magic of our advent calendar is all in the countdown. oh, & the star on top plays "jingle bells." gotta love the jingle.
2. jefferey, our house elf. jefferey comes to us direct from the north pole every december 1 to enhance the celebratory environment of our home & observe our family. each night, he returns to the north pole & reports to the big guy on how we're doing; then, when he returns to our house, he perches himself in a new spot, to be searched for & rediscovered each morning. sadly, jefferey hitches a ride with santa come christmas eve to return to his snowy home for another 11+ months. we miss him, but realize not everyone gets the honor of hosting a house elf, so we feel blessed by his presence during his yearly 24-day stay.
3. my christmas-tree pins. i'm not sure which year i decided to begin collecting pins shaped like christmas trees, but it's probably been a decade or more. i've got just about 50 tannenbaum brooches now － from plain silver to multi-hued swarovski crystal-laden － so i don a different one every day of december. i guess maybe i'll go for a final collection of 62, so i can do a full rotation every other year ... though it's getting more & more challenging to find christmas-tree pins that are different from those i've already got & also attractive [the world is chocked full o' ugly holiday jewelry, believe you me].
so, do you have daily traditions for the month of december? do share.