Thursday, March 22, 2007

Regarding Elizabeth Edwards

When I saw the flash on Drudge last night, I immediately suspected a recurrence of Elizabeth Edwards' cancer. Turned out to be true.

While I was initially surprised that Edwards would decide to continue this campaign in spite of his wife's condition, I certainly understand not quitting. Whatever else I may think of John Edwards, he is no quitter. Whatever his underlying motivations may be (and it's all mere speculation on our part), he is completely dedicated to running for the office.

One thing this blogger will not do is take Edwards to task for this decision, nor impugn any ulterior motivation on his part. That would not only be impolitic of me, it also lowers me to the level of some Kos Kid who crows over the deaths of anyone with whom he does not agree.

Cancer is insidious. It cares not what a person's politics may be, nor what color their skin reflects. There are also as many ways to react to cancer as there are victims of this disease in its seemingly countless forms.

I have written elsewhere about RoboMom. RoboMom is my mom-in-law, and she fought that battle for six years before succumbing to the disease. One thing she did not want was for anyone to be inconvenienced on her account. Fortunately, we as a family (all of her kids, grandkids, and siblings) were far too stubborn to let her get away with that. We graciously overrode her objections to "fussing" too much over her, and I think she was secretly pleased and grateful that we insisted.

Elizabeth Edwards is a politician's wife. Being a political spouse requires certain sacrifices; sacrifices that, I suspect, Elizabeth came to grips with many, many years ago. She understands what a campaign like this means to her husband, and she is just as dedicated to seeing it through as he is. The last thing a woman like Elizabeth wants is to be a distraction to her husband. I count this as a good thing.

Decisions like this are never made lightly. When Edwards says that they really never even discussed the possibility of his dropping out, I take him at his word. What I suspect is that these issues were discussed and settled during the onset of the disease in 2004. The talking part is behind them. Edwards has already indicated that he will be where and whenever his wife may need him. This, too, I would expect.

This is not to say that this decision to go on might not change in the foreseeable future. Heaven only knows what kinds of treatments Elizabeth may receive, or how the disease may progress. Six years of watching RoboMom taught me that you can't reliably predict anything about cancer. Can't be done.

So, this blog may consider John Edwards to be a fool of a politician, and I reserve the right to rake him over the coals for his politics, but you will not find me berating him for his "handling" of this intensely personal issue.

You just won't.

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