Saturday, August 9, 2008

Yesterday

Posted originally at EENR Blog

Today is here and yesterday is over. Why am I writing this? Because as a reader and a John Edwards supporter I want to urge you not to change a damn thing about this blog. Why? Because the issues that are so important to us may not be as in focus today if it hadn't been for what John Edwards did throughout the campaign season. I believe this wholeheartedly.

What John did in 2006 has no bearing on Universal Health Care. What happened in 2006 does not make poverty in this County any less of an urgent issue. The corporate media would love to believe that what John did in 2006 would mean one less powerful voice talking about the strangle hold that corporations have on every facet of our lives in this Country.

Nothing can take away from these issues unless we let it happen.

Secondly, people will look to the die hard Edwards supporters to see how they should feel about this. Regardless of those people who are not really about the issues but about destroying a man, we must stand with Elizabeth and John. I believe that with all my heart.

The only person who truly can be angry is Elizabeth and it is their private matter, theirs to struggle with and theirs to deal with, it is not our pain.

Today, by Elizabeth Edwards

Our family has been through a lot. Some caused by nature, some caused by human weakness, and some – most recently – caused by the desire for sensationalism and profit without any regard for the human consequences. None of these has been easy. But we have stood with one another through them all. Although John believes he should stand alone and take the consequences of his action now, when the door closes behind him, he has his family waiting for him.

John made a terrible mistake in 2006. The fact that it is a mistake that many others have made before him did not make it any easier for me to hear when he told me what he had done. But he did tell me. And we began a long and painful process in 2006, a process oddly made somewhat easier with my diagnosis in March of 2007. This was our private matter, and I frankly wanted it to be private because as painful as it was I did not want to have to play it out on a public stage as well. Because of a recent string of hurtful and absurd lies in a tabloid publication, because of a picture falsely suggesting that John was spending time with a child it wrongly alleged he had fathered outside our marriage, our private matter could no longer be wholly private.

The pain of the long journey since 2006 was about to be renewed.

John has spoken in a long on-camera interview I hope you watch. Admitting one’s mistakes is a hard thing for anyone to do, and I am proud of the courage John showed by his honesty in the face of shame. The toll on our family of news helicopters over our house and reporters in our driveway is yet unknown. But now the truth is out, and the repair work that began in 2006 will continue. I ask that the public, who expressed concern about the harm John’s conduct has done to us, think also about the real harm that the present voyeurism does and give me and my family the privacy we need at this time.
My response...

Dear Elizabeth,

It pains me to see you here, feeling you have to explain anything in your personal life. Both you and John have given a great deal for causes that many of us believe in and have elevated the conversation this campaign season. Everything else is noise.

I wholeheartedly supported John's campaign and wrote as part of EENR, I'm still very proud of what I wrote and all of it remains as true and important now as it did then.

Know that you are in my prayers, you and your entire family. It is unfortunate that those who chose to serve the public must suffer such invasions of their private matters. We are all human, we all make mistakes and we are all worthy of love and forgiveness. Until this is restored to how people in "public" office are treated, nothing much can change, even those issues we hold so dear because the sensational will aways overpower the most important priorities.

Thank you for fighting the good fight, for us and for your health and your family. Know we are behind you in this fight whenever you need us for whatever reason.

My love and respect,
Heather
Yes, I understand feeling betrayed. I defended him too. And I don't regret that one bit, by keeping the talk off of supposed affairs and love children we helped push the ISSUES. And by abandoning John I feel that we are abandoning Elizabeth when she needs us the most. Her voice is just as powerful and clear when it comes to speaking about health care for all. Her voice is just as vital to the cause of ending poverty in our life time. Elizabeth needs us too and if we leave John behind, we leave her by the wayside as well.

I have no sway here, I can only speak for myself and this is what this diary is intended to do. But I hope you search your hearts and your consciences and reconsider your actions regarding the blog.

Yesterday Gary and I went to file his candidate statement for the ballot handbook that voters receive prior to the election. We stood there having raised the money to pay for the majority of the ballot through donations (Something they rarely see according to the woman who helped us) and they told us we could not file this statement because we had failed to file a form. One form.

As I stood there absorbing this I was browsing my email and saw the news alert regarding the news. I was going between the two in my mind. As I stood next to my husband I felt the world caving in on me.

We had taken this money from people, good people who wanted to support us and because I had failed to do something we would be wasting their money. I could feel the tears welling up and my stomach turning. I've put so much into this campaign and I was the one who pushed him to run and I felt I had failed him once again and not only that, I had failed hundreds of others who had donated to our campaign.

Now, they said they couldn't find said forms and I was sure we had filled them out, in fact, the copies of both forms (we filled it out TWICE) were sitting on our kitchen table with the official stamp of the Registrar of voters (ROV) on it. We told them this.

As we drove home to get these documents, Gary was visibly shaken and upset. I was still feeling sick. We went over it, we filled them out! We sent a copy to the Secretary of State (without using certified mail, something we've learned to be a big no no.) Now what?

When we got home we had a message that stated they had found both ORIGINAL documents. Gary was in contact with the SOS and they were clear that we could file our statement, no big deal, you filled it out, get it to us ASAP.

But the ROV was still not going to let us file, they wanted written approval from the Secretary of State (SOS). Thankfully the wonderful woman who was helping us gave them written approval and we were able to file the statement. But what a roller coaster ride of emotions. What an up and down for us.

We had spent the day calling people to see if they could give us more money. Our bank account was still a good $1,500 below what we needed to file and even though good souls had donated to ActBlue, we were not going to get that money until Thursday August 14th (GOD bless every single person who donated and who helped spread the message of a good man standing up to an entrenched party in our County).

People delivered. We got checks in the mail, my uncle donated ANOTHER $250 as well as a good blogger friend who lives in Gary's district. Someone wrote us a check for $50 and let us pick it up at his home. People were helping us and when they said we couldn't file, all I could think was telling these people that I had failed them. That we had failed them.

This is only a microcosm of what Elizabeth and John have been through. This is minuscule compared to the turmoil, emotional trauma and upset that campaigning can drag one through, including the spouse if they choose to be as involved as Elizabeth is.

I hope you will consider my words. I hope you will choose to stand with Elizabeth if you cannot stand by John right now. I hope you will consider that what we did is not diminished in any way because of something that happened in 2006. That was yesterday and that was many yesterdays ago. We have to look to tomorrow. We have to keep going forward and we cannot leave the Edwards family behind us.

2 comments:

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