There is a story out today in the N&O, and indeed another at the Daily Tarheel about Elizabeth Edwards. She did a number of book signings, a handful of interviews, and basically spent the whole day discussing her new book Saving Graces. I was lucky enough to hear her speak briefly yesterday and I have to tell you that once again it seems we have a couple with an uber-husband in the front (think Bill Clinton) and a wife who holds her own in any arena off to the side (Senator Edwards Part Two anyone?). I'll not pretend to have had any special moment with Mrs. Edwards, but I can now attest to what others have said - when you share the room with her you sense the kindness and generosity of spirit. I can say no more. In fact, when I first saw her I wasn't prepared to see her and ended up giving her a big smile from a distance because she was so overtly friendly. Then, I did a double-take and realized who it was walking towards me, shook hands briefly, and went back to what I was doing.
For more on the day's events, I'll excerpt the N&O and DTH below. Also, you can click on the book picture to order a copy at Amazon, or better yet, walk on down to your local bookseller.
RALEIGH - Some came because they, too, have lost loved ones. My daughter, one man said. My dad, a young woman said.
Some came because they, too, battled cancer. Some still do.
Some came because they, too, lived in Raleigh and learned in Chapel Hill, or vice versa.
And some came because this time it's the Other Edwards -- soul-grieving, son-burying, husband-supporting, cancer-surviving, law-practicing, child-rearing Elizabeth -- signing the books, reading the excerpts, telling her story.
The idea of a tapestry of friends supporting people in time of need is a theme of Edwards' book.
So is: Don't be afraid to talk about those people have lost.
"Let me be clear: You don't forget that he died," Edwards said. "The great gift is when people remember that he lived."
Edwards said she didn't always know when the grief would hit. If it came while she sat in a restaurant, she'd run for the ladies' room. She'd let the tears fall, she said, then wash her face.
"Then, I'd wait for someone to come in the door, and when they did, I would pounce on them," ... Edwards said she would pull out a photo of Wade and tell strangers about her firstborn.
"I would always be certain to say: The time you've spent with me listening about Wade has been an unbelievable gift that you've given me," Edwards said. "[I'd] try to make certain that they understood it was something that made me feel better, not something that made me feel worse."
From battling breast cancer to telling half-truths about Santa Claus to her niece, Elizabeth Edwards bared all Monday during a campus visit.
On her first stop in North Carolina for her book tour promoting her memoir, "Saving Graces," Edwards spoke to a crowd of about 120 people in the rotunda at the School of Law.
Edwards, an alumna of the UNC School of Law and wife of former U.S. Senator and vice presidential candidate John Edwards, charmed the crowd with her honesty.
"What I found is that people …want you to need them," she said.
Edwards said making and relying on connections for comfort and strength is what gets her through tough times such as the death of her teenage son Wade in 1996 and her battle with breast cancer.
"My life is made a lot easier because I've asked for help when I needed it," she said.
I have to run for now, but I just wanted to leave a place for others to comment if they wished.