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A Prayer for Elizabeth Edwards

Elizabeth Edwards passed away today at the age of 61, leaving behind three children and joining a fourth. Keep her earthly children in your prayers.

Elizabeth had the forethought to record her advice and wisdom for her young kids knowing she would not be there when they needed it. It saddens me that she has left behind two children under the age of 18. I'm not a mom, but I know most mothers live for two things: To raise all their children to adulthood and, if they're lucky, live to see their own grandchildren. Elizabeth Edwards will not achieve either of these goals.

When I turned 18, it was the most momentous coming-of-age moment for my parents because my turning 18 signaled they were done. They had gotten six kids to the age of adulthood, without pregnancies or prison time and with high school diplomas. For two black parents who had not finished high school, they were relieved. Their job was done. And, they lived to see their grandchildren.

I'm not a mom, but I can't even imagine what a mother must feel leaving behind her young children and hoping that someone will love them as much as she would and will raise them as she would. Had John Edwards shown himself to be someone still capable of good moral choices, I would imagine this would not have been as much of a concern for Elizabeth. But he didn't.

I voted for John Edwards in 2008 presidential Democratic primary because he talked about issues of class divide and inequity, which even candidate Obama wasn't really addressing, and because I wanted Elizabeth Edwards to be First Lady. I thought her passion for children and compassion for others would be the gentle and loving presence the White House needed in a First Lady. I hoped she would lead us to be our better selves as people and as citizens. Luckily, through the example of how she lived her life and the words she left behind in the pages of her books, we can follow in her footsteps and be our better selves. I am thankful that she shared so much of herself with us.

I hope Elizabeth Edwards has ascended to a heavenly reunion with her son, Wade. Godspeed, Elizabeth Edwards, and may the Lord bless and keep you in his loving arms.

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