Elizabeth Edwards' nanny remembers 'amazing woman'
BOSTON -- Family and friends are remembering Elizabeth Edwards as an inspirational mother and fighter.
Edwards died Tuesday after a six year battle with breast cancer.
Heather North knew Edwards like few others. North spent five years living with and caring for the Edwards' two youngest children, Emma Claire and Jack.
She was with them during John Edwards' vice presidential bid with Massachusetts Senator John Kerry in 2004, and the beginning of Edwards 2008 presidential bid.
“I lived with them for a lot of years every single day. For us, she's my second mother. She helped shaped the person that I am. We love her dearly. She is amazing woman,” said North.
North was with Edwards in Boston when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer at Mass General in 2004, just hours after Kerry and Edwards conceded the race at Faneuil Hall.
North stayed with the family until 2007 before moving back to Boston. But they've kept in touch, and North visited Edwards in October, and talked to her for the last time last week.
“I know that there’s going to be difficult times ahead. There’s going to be difficult times when I see the children, moments, but in that letter I made the promise to Elizabeth that I know one thing that is very important to her is memories. Family memories,” said North.
North says that John Edwards’ public affair was a very difficult time for the Edwards family, and not only ended his political career but their marriage. But North says she was not surprised that John Edwards was at Elizabeth’s bedside.
“It’s a complicated romance, but I understand it. It’s a deeper romance than a lot people can grasp. There was a deep love for each other,” said North.
North said she finds comfort in a book by Elizabeth Edwards, with a personal message inscribed. It also contains words she says best describes the woman she calls her "southern mother."
“When the seas got rough and the storm came in, she wants to be remembered as someone who adjusted her sail, and she did. She adjusted her sail and she moved on. She still had a great life. A lot of people that love her,” said North.
The Edwards family released a statement Tuesday saying, "Today we have lost the comfort of Elizabeth's presence but she remains the heart of this family.
"We love her and will never know anyone more inspiring or full of life.
"On behalf of Elizabeth we want to express our gratitude to the thousands of kindred spirits who moved and inspired her along the way.
Your support and prayers touched our entire family."
The family is asking Elizabeth's memory to be honored with donations to the Wade Edwards Foundations.
Wade was the teenage son of John and Elizabeth who died in a car crash 14 years ago.
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