Elizabeth Edwards: In Her Own Words

Estranged wife of John Edwards took high road through tough challenges.

Dec. 7, 2010— -- Elizabeth Edwards, who died of breast cancer today at age 61, faced some of life's most brutal challenges with determination and grace.

From the death of her eldest son to the high-profile breakup of her marriage and the breast cancer she just couldn't beat, Edwards often spoke of honesty and living the best life possible.

Below are quotes that showcase her resiliency.

On breast cancer, during a 2007 campaign press conference with John Edwards: "It was that attitude we're going to always look for the silver lining. It is who we are as people and we'll continue to do it."

On fighting cancer, in an interview with ABC News' Robin Roberts: "I'm not going to get better so I'm just going to wait to die then, that's not an alternative. You know, I want to spend the remainder of my days living -- whatever description that is."

On telling her children that she would die from cancer, in a 2007 interview with ABC News' Cynthia McFadden: "We didn't try to prettify that in any way. This is the way it is."

"But we also said, at the same time, you know, everybody who's sitting at this table who's not going to die, raise your hand. And they realized that we're all going to die. But we are also extraordinarily honest with them because there will come a day when they're going to have to accept that cancer has, at some point, taken me."

On losing a child, at a 2007 speech in Cleveland: "One of the things I always say to every group where I get a chance to talk about my book at all is to say, 'If you know someone who has lost a child or lost anybody who's important to them, and you're afraid to mention them because you think you might make them sad by reminding them that they died, they didn't forget they died. You're not reminding them. What you're reminding them of is that you remember that they lived, and that's a great, great gift.'"

Elizabeth Edwards, in her Own Words

Reading from her book, a passage about her children: "When they are older and telling their own children about their grandmother, they will be able to say that she stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way -- and it surely has not -- she adjusted her sails."

On the public's reaction, in a June 2010 interview with Larry King: "I get more hugs than you could possibly imagine. I can't go through the airport -- you know, the TSA woman this morning at the airport, you know, if I -- and if I say go, I get lots of hugs from people and they really mean it, and it means a lot to me. But that -- that different kind of affection."

On her bad days, in a September 2010 interview with Nate Berkus: "Sure, there are days anybody who's been through what I've been through in my marriage, or been through a disease or lost someone they care about have days when they just pull the covers right back over their heads and stay put."

"In some ways it's nice for me to have cancer because when the kids, when I'm feeling like that, the kids will come in here and just assume that I'm just feeling bad because of the chemo even though that's not quite the reason I'm feeling bad."