IMG_1399I’m going to be speaking at the 19th Annual Caregiver Conference in Tucson on November 21. The theme is “Being a Resilient Caregiver”, so I’ve been thinking a lot about the meaning of this word.

Elizabeth Edwards, who once had realistic hopes of becoming our country’s first lady, learned about resilience the hard way. She buried a son. She suffered public humiliation when she learned of her husband’s infidelity and his “love child”. She cared for her father through his lingering illness and death and then, she faced what she knew was going to be a losing battle with breast cancer as a newly divorced woman. No one would have blamed her if she had chosen to sink into a deep hole of depression and self-pity. Instead she chose to write the book, “Resilience: Reflections on the Burdens and Gifts of Facing Life’s Adversities”.

Here’s a quote from her that I love: “Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you’ve lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that’s good.”

The pain she suffered during her lifetime is almost unimaginable, but what she left behind is a legacy that can inspire the rest of us to find something good in the midst of our struggles and continue to love and to live even when giving up would make more sense.