Friday, December 31, 2010

The Sail Adjuster

Elizabeth Edwards died recently, in December, 2010.  She was the wife of presidential candidate of 2004 and 2008 John Edwards, senator of North Carolina. Mrs. Edwards lived a very public life as political candidates and their families do. 

Mrs. Edwards was diagnosed with breast cancer originally in 2004. Her battle with breast cancer was a roller coaster ride with it returning in 2007.  It was also during this time frame that she was forced to deal with the unfaithfulness of her husband. In 2010, at the age of 61, her fight with breast cancer ended.

While I didn't agree with much that Mrs. Edwards stood for politically, I found her role as a mother to be inspiring. From all that I could tell, she seemed to truely love and care for her children. She tried to protect them, shield them...something any mother would do. I could relate to that.  She had a 28 year old daughter and two other living children, a daughter and a son, who were 12 and 10.

Her memoir, Resilience, was released in the spring of 2009.  When asked the question about what she considered was the most important lesson to teach her children, Elizabeth Edwards responded this way.
 “I have said before that I do not know what the most important lesson is that I will ever teach my children, Cate and Emma Claire and Jack. I do know that when they are older and telling their own children about their grandmother, they will be able to say that she stood in the storm, and when the wind did not go her way — and surely it has not — she adjusted her sails.”
He asked her if that’s still the message she hopes people come away with.
It is,” she said. “I hope that it is when bad things happen, you have the strength to face them."
I read that quote and thought, you know, that is one of our main jobs as a parent - to teach our children how to adjust their sails when the wind does not blow their way.  I've heard it said that life is 10% what happens and 90% how we respond. Sometimes when life happens, it's in our favor; sometimes it isn't. How do we respond?  When we respond inappropriately, we teach our kids the inappropriate way to respond. It's that simple.

Don't know about you but I think I have some work to do in the sail adjusting department.

1 comment:

Sandra said...

What a great thought to start off the year...I've been thinking a lot the last few day about changes for the new year...Maybe it's time to "adjust the sails" Thanks for the thoughts!

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