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    D - I have always said that when YOU earn another rank of adulthood when YOU have to make the choice to put a pet down. In younger days, it...

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Just a Word or Two?

14 Dec 2010

They met in college.  She said when he went to say goodnight he leaned over and softly kissed her forehead and that it was “sweet.”  She said no man had ever done that before and they were hooked.  John and Elizabeth Edwards were bonded for 33 years; that’s an eternity by today’s standards!

Together they produced a marriage, a family, a law practice, books, a political empire and for years they endured the loss of a dear child—an incident that changed them both dramatically.  Along the journey they endured a heart-wrenching extra-marital affair.  That last one is sadly the one that will remain with each of them forever, especially with John’s “love child.  And it’s a story that happens millions of times a day around the world.

On Tuesday, December 7, 2010 Elizabeth slipped from this world at the age of 61 after a six year battle with cancer.

I am by no means supporting what John did.  In fact, on the occasions I met him I thought he came across as a grimy used car salesman.  (I choose “grimy” because there are a lot of decent, stand-up guys in that industry.)  So when word came that he was pulling a Clinton, I wasn’t shocked or even a bit overwhelmed.  On the whole, I was mostly sad for the family.

I remain sad for the family even after it has eternally changed.

But here’s my question, and I want you to weigh in on it:  with all the ups and downs, goods and bads and long-term history this couple faced together, should John have been afforded the opportunity to say goodbye to his wife of over three decades?  Even if he didn’t feel right about it, protocol still plays its roll in these matters.

Laurie and I will celebrate our 33 anniversary on June 16th so I have a good idea of all the battles and victories this family faced together.  A lot of them!  (No infidelity in our home thank you.)  But, because this idiot did what so many other idiots have done—in fact are doing as I type this—does that negate his chance to publicly say goodbye?

Was he a jerk?  Yep.  Did he break her heart?  And then some.  Did he cause total upheaval in the family?  No doubt about it.  (Though he now moves back into the house he once owned with his beautiful bride to raise the younger children.)  But, regardless of those things—did he have the right—even the etiquette to say goodbye; I mean, extra-marital affairs happen every single day—in less high profile cases?

Don’t get me wrong, I never cared for the guy and much preferred her grace to his bumbling maleness—though they were equally as liberal—but I do wonder about the goodbyes.  Had it been a three, four or five year marriage, that’s one thing but it was a third of a century—and she died with him by her bedside so certainly some forgiveness was offered and received.

The easy question is:  Should John Edwards have shared at the funeral?  The hard part of the equation is your answer.

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January 6, 2011 2:42 pm Reply

Here is updated information regarding the Edwards:

Elizabeth Edwards leaves John out of her will

by Jennifer Epstein – Jan. 5, 2010 04:48 PM
POLITICO.COM

Elizabeth Edwards left everything to her children and made not a single mention of her philandering husband John in the will she signed just days before her death.

Edwards lost her six-year battle with breast cancer on Dec. 7 and, in a last will and testament dated Dec. 1, made clear that her three children – and, by omission, not John Edwards – were to be the beneficiaries of her estate.

The former vice presidential candidate and North Carolina senator’s name appears nowhere in the will.

“All of my furniture, furnishings, household goods, jewelry, china, silverware and personal effects and any automobiles owned by me at the time of my death I give and bequeath to my children,” Edwards said in a copy of the document.

Edwards also stipulated that if she was the only surviving parent of her minor children Emma Claire and Jack at her time of death, she wanted 28-year-old Cate to be their guardian.

Elizabeth and John Edwards separated in early 2010 after he admitted to fathering a child in an extramarital affair with Rielle Hunter.

Though some reports suggested that the two became closer during Elizabeth Edwards’ final days, John was noticeably silent at Edwards’ funeral.

The Arizona Republic is a member of the Politico Network.

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