Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Lives well lived

I was on my way to bed last night when, as usual, I stopped by CNN just to make sure nothing wacky was happening with the world – like the North Koreans shooting south again. I was greeted by their yellow “Breaking News” bar and stayed my finger on the power button to see exactly what was breaking.

Sadly, it was the news we’ve all heard by now that Elizabeth Edwards, 61, had died of breast cancer. Here’s a woman who lived a life we can all aspire to emulate. Successful attorney, mother, the epitome of grace under fire – due to her cad of a husband – warrior against cancer and, I’m sure, a quiet pillar of strength who comforted others more than she asked for herself as her days drew to a close.

You may remember me writing about my mother’s battles (yes, plural) with cancer that ended nine years ago when she was 66, and I think I’ve mentioned how my brother-in-law is a 20-year survivor (he was diagnosed two weeks before he married my sister). To fight back, someone very close to me took a week off in October and raised more than $5,000 for the LiveStrong foundation by riding his bike more than 600 miles from San Francisco to San Diego. And, just before Thanksgiving, a good friend’s mother was diagnosed with what her doctors believe to be a stage IV brain tumor.

So, you ask, why are you bringing us down with all this talk of sickness and death? Well my friends, it’s because I read something yesterday at the
Firecracker’s place and I’m shamelessly stealing the idea for myself.

Read this quote:

“Your life is happening right now and this is the only moment you can control. This is the only minute that really matters. If you are constantly dwelling on something that happened in the past or feeling anxious about the future, you are missing out on YOUR LIFE. Do what makes you happy in this moment and your life will be full.” – Jill Costello

I’ve never really had a philosophy on life before, but if I was forced to pick one, Jill’s wouldn’t be a bad choice. To read more about Jill Costello – scholar, champion athlete, varsity 8 cox and cancer fighter – read this Sports Illustrated article. It's a long one, but well worth every minute. While I’m not going to say it brought a tear to my eye (I wrote too many similar stories as a reporter) it came closer to anything I've read in a very long time.

To Jill Costello, Elizabeth Edwards, my mother, my brother-in-law, my brother, my friend’s mother and everyone who is fighting, fought or supporting someone who has cancer, I wish you every happiness as you forge ahead in life.

1 comment:

magnolia said...

it was singularly depressing to read about elizabeth edwards passing. i always used to lament (ok, yell at the TV), "why isn't SHE running for office?" she was always, even before we figured out how despicable john is, the far better of the two.