Resilience

Today Elizabeth Edwards died after her long battle with cancer.  I so admired this woman who taught us much about resilience and facing life’s adversities.  She shared publicly her private moments of joy and sorrow all while holding her head high and using each step of her life as a teaching opportunity for her children.

Elizabeth Edwards seemed to face life with grace and dignity up to the end and on her own terms.  She was determined to spend her remaining days living,  according to the reports.   She had said that she had to reconcile with God , no longer as an intervening God because she new that was past but with a God where she seeks salvation and enlightenment. “It’s the God I have now” she said.

I have thought often about resilience myself, I believe I have found it for myself, but have YOU?  Do you believe you have or can be resilient?

Is resilience a learned skill?  Or are we born with a gene that makes us more resilient than someone else?  Is our resilience predictable?  How do we measure resilience?  I hadn’t thought much about this until 2005 when I experienced the most devastating year of my life and my own resilience was tested following the deaths of my mother, husband and uncle.  I know that first couple of years I wondered how I would survive let alone how would I thrive and feel joy again, but I did.  I am resilient and I am living life with joy, on my own terms.

My Dad taught me a great lesson while following my mom’s death and while he was with me helping me following my husbands death, he said “JoAnne, we just play the cards we’re dealt, we might not like it but we just do what we need to do.” I have encountered a number of adversities in my life and yet here I am, I keep pulling myself up by my boot straps, wipe away my tears, yell out in frustration occasionally and keep living.

Elizabeth Edwards said in her book Resilience, “I have said before that I do not know what the most important lesson is that I will ever teach my children, Cate and Emma Claire and Jack. I do know that when they are older and telling their own children about their grandmother, they will be able to say that she stood in the storm, and when the wind did not go her way — and surely it has not — she adjusted her sails.”

Rest in peace dearest Elizabeth, thank you for sharing apart of your life with us…

Are you resilient?  How have you lived life since your loss?  Please, share your comments below;

You can get Elizabeth Edwards book “Resilience” though Amazon, click the link below;

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One Response to Resilience

  • Hi JoAnne!

    What a breath of fresh air your site has been to me, thank you! I had a two year period of time that seemed to be one immense sorrow after another.
    My hero, my dad passed, my husband divorced me to marry my brothers wife (my good friend too), they took my kids and my brothers kids away legally,spiritually and physically, mom got cancer, thank God is all good now, my son, 21 was in a car accident and paralyzed from the waist down(he is getting along okay these days) my eldest son moved out of state (18 hours away) for work reasons,lost my home,job and my dog gigi through the lack of being able to take care of her. Ungodly, horrible season of life.

    Today, I still do not have my children (sadly) and do not see my ex and his now wife ever having that tenderness of heart to understand or care for pain they could so easily stop.I believe selfishness, lack of truthfulness and love are humanities (Loving bonds) greatest killers of life.

    I have a hard time understanding how anyone could be so disrespectful of a mother and her sons. Let alone it be their own father, my ex husband,my boys aunt, my friend and sister-in-law and then to boot the law I used to believe in that now I know I believed in a lie. They too can be corrupt.

    I have lost most of everything that I ever loved, however I know I must move forward. I continue my rosary prayers, I help mom a lot, we go to church, I’m now in college, joined a gym with my brother, looking for work and hopefully once I am able to have my boys again I can have something to offer them then.

    I’m thankful for the little joys now. I’m learning to take care of me which is really strange. I walk around with a open wound in my heart but I still put on a smile, lend a hand, learn new things, enjoy the fact I have my freedom, can appreciate the smell of a flower, use my legs, can see, etc…

    I want joy again in my life and I want to really live. I want keep myself around people who really are loving and true to others. I don’t want to ever be around hearts who can do the unthinkable like they’ve done to me in the past. I’m doing research now on how to recognize honest trustworthy people. I feel I should have seen this coming with them and I need to know why I didn’t see it and then learn how and why people can do such horrible things to another life?

    Any how if you have any good thoughts or suggestions please email me. I am looking for truthful closure to this situation with my sons and those who took them away. And to know the what causes people to be okay with causing such grievous harm on another life? I cant rap my heart or mind around it and need to to heal.

    Kind Regards,
    Jeanine

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