Death, Birth and Beginning

A lot’s gone down over the last couple of days. Here’s what’s made me cry, rejoice and eat a whole bag of pita chips while staring at a computer screen for way too long.

Death

Elizabeth Edwards, maiden name Anania, died of metastatic breast cancer at her Chapel Hill home on Tuesday, December 7. Edwards is best-known as the wife of 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards, but she had a successful career herself. Elizabeth Edwards worked as a substitute teacher,¬†attorney, author, professor at UNC’s School of Law, and she was a health care reform advocate. Edwards suffered a number of daunting hardships later in life, including the loss of her teenage son, her husband’s infidelity and her ongoing battle with cancer, but she persevered through all. Her books Saving Graces: Finding Solace and Strength from Friends and Strangers and¬†Resilience: Reflections on the Burdens and Gifts of Facing Life’s Adversities describe some of her sufferings and how she marched on. Edwards was an inspirational person, who’s strength, courage and capacity for forgiveness knew no bounds.

Edwards will be sorely missed.

Birth

Andrew Axel Irons, son of Andy and Lyndie Irons, was born on Kauai at 8 a.m. yesterday. The new Irons weighed a healthy eight pounds at time of birth. Bruce Irons, uncle to Andrew Axel and brother to Andy, was present at the birth of his nephew, boarding a flight to Oahu immediately afterward so that he could make his round one heat in the Pipe Masters. After losing his heat, Bruce had this to say, “Seeing the birth of Andy’s son was the most important thing in the world. It’s life. It’s moving forward.” During the Surfer Poll Awards earlier this week, an emotional Bruce expressed sadness and joy that he would be the “father of his (Andy’s) child.” At Surfer Poll Bruce accepted the sixth place award for best male surfer of the year on behalf of Andy.

Watch Surfer Poll’s tribute video to Andy here.

Beginning

In other news, the Billabong Pipe Masters In Memory Of Andy Irons held its first day of competition yesterday, completing rounds one and two. Surfers competed at an uncharacteristic Pipe, with most barrels coming from Backdoor. The odd conditions favored World Tour surfers, who disposed of all wildcards and local pipe masters except for an old man, Dave Wassell, and a little kid, John John Florence. The forecast doesn’t look promising, so there’s no telling when the final two days of competition will occur. Joel Parkinson now has the Triple Crown all but won since Julian Wilson was not given a spot in this third and final event.

You can read more about Wilson’s controversial absence here.

All Jules can do now is smile... maniacally.

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