Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Tribute to Elizabeth Edwards: A Lasting Legacy

Today I was thinking what to write about. I sat down to type and just happened to turn on the television. I saw live coverage of the funeral service of Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of former presidential candidate, John Edwards. She passed away at age 61 earlier this week after a 6 year battle with breast cancer, leaving behind her husband and 3 children.

I thought I’d dedicate today’s post to her memory. I realize that The Upbeat Dad is about fatherhood. But I believe that each of us - dads, moms, kids - can learn lessons from the lives of others and that’s why I’ve chosen to honor her with this post.

I only knew of Elizabeth Edwards from a distance. But even from a distance I admired the way she handled the challenges life threw her way. She lost a teenage son about 15 years ago after a tragic car accident. She experienced the betrayal of her husband after he had an affair that resulted in him fathering a child outside of their marriage. They tried to rebuild their marriage but eventually separated.Throughout all this, she remained resilient. With the many challenges that she faced, she was always optimistic – upbeat if you will.

She authored two books in which she shared with others the lessons learned from her life - her victories and also her hurts and disappointments. I’d like to dedicate my poem, A Lasting Legacy, to her memory. It’s found in my book, Poems of Inspiration: A Daily Dose of Self Motivation. It’s been read at birthday parties, retirement parties and funerals.

A Lasting Legacy
May I seek to serve my fellow man,
and give of myself and do all that I can.
May I love and give a helping hand—
that's the foundation on which I stand.
For what is my life if not to live?
And what is my purpose if not to give?
When my life has ended I cannot relive
the moments I now have to love and forgive.
Each day as I awaken and watch the sunrise
and offer my life as a sacrifice,
may I teach all I know, and give good advice—
displaying integrity with no compromise.
Whenever I come to the end of my days
and I go to my final resting place—
when the sun goes down and I finish this race,
may I leave this world a better place.
This is my vow to humanity—
a vow that will last all eternity.
For my children and all who will come after me,
may I leave a lasting legacy.
The life of Elizabeth Edwards is one that we can all learn from. Hers was a story filled with great accomplishments but also personal tragedy. Still she handled each of these with grace and class. And for this we honor her today. She lived an exceptional life and left this world a better place as a result of her being here.

May she rest in peace.  And as we live our lives, like her, may we create our own lasting legacy.
The Upbeat Dad


  1. This is beautiful. Thanks so much for honoring a great woman. She deserves it :)

  2. Thanks for those kind words Britt. She was indeed a great woman.