The very first Blogher that I ever attended featured Elizabeth Edwards as a keynote speaker. She was BRILLIANT – so genuine, smart as a whip and a beautiful personality that stuck with me for months. Actually no, cancel that – years. I still keep a piece of that onstage discussion with me.
It was her charisma that struck me, a geeky marketer sitting with new friends in the middle of a mama-heavy blogging crowd. Literally, she moved me to tears at least a couple of times during her chat with Lisa Stone. Brave, whole-hearted woman. I remain totally impressed.
No lie, I’m typically a cynical audience member as I have attended oh-so-many conference and speaking events – but this lady…. she was one in a million.
As we continue to watch her family’s story unfold, I think it’s important to remember to celebrate the woman that held her head up high in support of a man’s mission (her husband, John) that she truly believed in.
I’m an armchair history buff – an easy hobby for such a keen admirer of fellow human beings’ stories – and it’s always an interesting journey for me to make the connection between our perception of historically significant people and their true identities while still alive.
A brilliant 19th century politician may have been a complete jerk. A prodigious sculptor and painter may have smelled funny and had terrible social graces. A queen cheated upon may not have realized or had the social clout to have acted upon her true feelings.
Let’s never forget the people we connect with in however a personal way – they breathe the same as we do, they feel as keenly as we do, they have relationship with similar ups and downs as we do.
On this note, I hail Elizabeth Edwards as a fantastically lovely gem – untarnished from an unfaithful ex-husband and judgemental society. If only we could all live so fully and so deeply.