She's a mom, she's a writer, and she's on the campaign trail with her husband. Elizabeth Edwards is also a cancer survivor and she's sharing the lessons she's learned in her book, Saving Graces.
Rachael wants to know about the most important lesson Elizabeth has ever taught her children. "You don't know what the most important parenting lesson you will teach them is, but it's possible this one -- preparing them for the worst times," says Elizabeth, who last year received news that her breast cancer had returned and metastasized to the most advanced stage (stage IV). "We're telling them what we would do in those circumstances -- which is to fight for life."
In Saving Graces, Elizabeth explains how connections to others have sustained her -- and sometimes those people are complete strangers. "We are all capable of making connections and reaching out when we need help," she says. "Everything we need is there, but we need to actually do the work to connect with people. Once we do, that connection's right around the corner whenever we need it."
"When you're out talking to the people, what are the things most Americans are concerned about?" asks Rachael.
"I hear a lot about the need for universal healthcare, education and questions about the economy," Elizabeth responds. "I think of that pathway to the American Dream to be this ladder that I got to climb up. John got to climb up that ladder too, but now a lot of the rungs are broken out and people are still trying to climb but they can't actually reach that next rung. And that's what government's supposed to do. They can't climb the ladder for you, but they're supposed to make sure the rungs are there so you can climb it. And that's what John's trying to do."
Though campaigning on the road can be tough, Elizabeth lightens the mood for all involved. "My favorite moments aren't always the ones everyone else enjoys," she says. "I have a songbook and I make everyone sing. In the 2004 election I even made the Secret Service sing!"
Elizabeth is also proud to show off the "kid art" her two younger children made for Rachael: a papier mache heart from her son Jack and a watercolor from daughter Emma Claire.
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