I only met Elizabeth Edwards once, but she left a vibrant impression.  I admit. I never liked John Edwards, with no real reason for my aversion.  But I always admired her.  I liked her vibrance, her resilience, her keeping moving' no matter what was holding her back, and even her loyalty and faith in her husband.  (That was early on, of course.)
I met her at a lunch for the wives of the  Democratic candidates for Preisdent two years ago.  It was held at High Cotton, and we ate an exquisite fish.  So hard to serve simultaneous orders of fresh fish, with each person --  the wife of a governor, the wives of four senators, was it? – anyway,  all of them knowing what good food was, and expecting the best from the rare restaurant respite after heavy campaigning and rubber chicken.
I didn't see Elizabeth Edwards.  She arrived after I did, I sat with another candidate's wife, with my back to the main part of the room, for part of the lunch.  Then I hopscotched over and met a few others.  Afterwords, there was a group picture.  I stood with the photographer from the Post and Courier, wanting to be sure I had the names in the right order, wanting to be sure they all looked good, all the things one wants to do for an article.  As soon as the photographs were taken, this ball of energy, radiating with smiles, came up to me.  Elizabeth Edwards said, "I think I'm the only one here who hasn't met you.  I'm Elizabeth Edwards."
This woman had more charisma in her little finger than John Edwards did in his whole body.  She was warm, immediately embracing.  It was as if I had known her a long time, as if I could tell her my secrets, sit and talk with her with a cup of hot tea and talk about our lives, our families.  She had a gift – for being herself.
I admit, I was charmed.  I wanted to talk to her more.  I was thrilled she wanted to meet me, even if it was because I was writing a newspaper story.  She made me feel alive, feel like I was valuable.
She taught me more about living ones life to the fullest, about grabbing joy every minute, fighting tiredness and insisting on surrounding herself with – what? Love? – radiance, an aura? I've never found the words.  But then, I didn't need to.  I just knew she was valuable and that I wanted to live my life as fully as she did.  God Bless, Elizabeth.  Sorry you were married to a man who didn't deserve you.